08/11/2019

Please Enjoy This North Korean Government Approved Picture Of People Enjoying Video Games (From The Attract Mode Archive: #073)

by Matthew Edward Hawkins

The following post originally appeared on attractmo.de, on August 22, 2013.
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Some of you may have seen the above already, via Kotaku. But for everyone else: North Korean’s government run news agency recently released images of a newly built game center in Rungna Islet, located in Pyongyang, the nation’s capital.

It’s filled to the brim with the “latest” arcade offerings, plus there’s mini golf, a skate park, even a roller coaster! One source states that it’s open 24 hours, and during the first ten days of business, the number of visitors “exceeded tens of thousands”.

Seeing video games in such blatant propaganda is amusing to say the least, though it strikes a special cord for myself; my mother was originally from North Korea. Her and the rest of the women folk escaped through the mountains, immediately after the communists took over the family business during the Korean War.

I’ve long fantasized of visiting my mom’s homeland, which is tricky enough under normal circumstances, but being the son of an expatriate makes it a billion times more difficult. I’ll need to get a false identity, in Switzerland, among other things. But I am dying to see what games this Pyongyang arcade holds.

On a related note, am currently back in Washington State, where I grew up, to get ready for the big show. Though later tonight I’m swinging by the B&I, where the Pacific Northwest’s biggest arcade can be found, and which used to my most favorite place on earth.

But it’s a total horror show these days (you can pictures from last year’s visit here and here). Am eager to see if Virtua Fighter 1 is still kicking. And hopefully I won’t get shot… which happens there a lot these days, no joke.

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