often think museums are too passive of an experience, so it usually takes a lot to convince me to go inside one. But, my Russian friend Dasha insisted that I check out the Museum of Soviet Arcade Games while in Moscow, and I’m glad she did. At the Museum, visitors can buy tokens that will let them play ancient, Soviet-era arcade games: Sea Battle lets players fire torpedoes from Russian submarines at American military targets (surprise!), but my favorite games are Rally-M, a Spy Hunter-style, Russian driving game; Basketball, a mini hoop-shooting game; and Winter Hunt, a rifle-outfitted hunting game where players must shoot fleeing Russian rabbits. “To win the bonus game, you need to earn 500 points. Frankly, it’s almost impossible,” says the Museum’s web site. It took me awhile to convince some of my other Russian friends to join me — they thought the games sounded boring, and they prefer to mock Soviet-era culture and products — but the Museum quickly won them over too. On the way out, visit the entertaining Soviet-era soda machine, which spits out sugary drinks with unidentifiable flavors. WB
Baumanskaya st. 11. Baumanskaya Metro station. www.15kop.ru.
To read the whole story of the trip on which I discovered Museum of Soviet Arcade Games, read: In post-Soviet Russia, friends make you. — Finding friends in Moscow is easy when you make an effort to live like a local.