Akihabara is the famous district in Tokyo that is known for aiming gamers, otaku, and lovers of all things electronic. There are a number of quality restaurants, anime stores, supply depots, and even arcades throughout the district that bring it to life morning and night. However, while many people seem to think that Akiba culture is fading away in order to attract tourists. Behind the scenes Akiba culture and gaming is still around if you know where to look.
Where To Shop
In the past, Akihabara was the center for gathering up electronic components for radios, computers, and other consoles. Naturally, this means that a lot of original technology crafted at the heart of Akihabara never left Japan and has remained hidden underground for many years. The cost of shipping these prototype consoles and games wasn’t profitable back in the day, after all. For example, there are cult games with computer formats never before released to the West. And thus no one really knows about them, like the first Konami’s Metal Gear Solid and Square Enix’s Final Fantasy series.
There are a couple of arcades in Akihabara that have taken the pleasure of playing vintage video games on the original format to a new level. For example, there is Super Potato, a vintage gamer’s paradise. The are three floors of vintage consoles; but on the third you can also sit on a throne made of video games. Another feature is a massive, playable Gameboy hanging on the wall.
Another location designed for vintage gamers and PC consoles would be Beep. Though Beep Akihabara operates first as a museum and second as a shop, you can play rare video games. Since some of the games are incredibly difficult, Beep has printed its own guidebooks to help you through the levels. For those who want to purchase an entire system—game and all—some are available for retail. On the shelves are not only PC games but items pertaining to vintage and PC-gaming culture.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if more cities could bring back the favorite video games that people of all ages can enjoy together? Vintage games might not have the same level of graphics, but that doesn’t mean newer games are more pleasurable or playable than the older ones. The feeling of nostalgia for vintage games, the chance to talk about memories, making new ones. And joining an international community is an excellent opportunity for various cites.
Undoubtedly, there are a lot of people who have kept their SNES and Dreamcasts, PC-games and other rare consoles boxed up in their attic spaces. Perhaps we can pool this untapped resources to create something that rivals Akiba culture. Honoring the excellent games of the past as Beep or Super Potato does is just as important as acknowledging how far technology has come. Additionally, to have a place, where rarities can be curated and experience by younger generations, is just another way to preserve an element of culture.
Amid the Xbox, Switch, and PlayStation, we cannot deny that vintage gaming is far from Game Over. Cities would benefit from developing areas where people can experience the past of games. Sell their old equipment, and come together with people who have the same gaming memories as they do.