On Friday, before heading to the Mail/Art/Book Opening Reception, Ana, her husband Bob and I went to the Musée Méchanique at Fisherman’s Wharf. For a few quarters, we had a fabulous time. The arcade is filled with antique arcade games that are sweet, creepy, weird and unusual (sometimes all wrapped up into one). The three of us shared a bunch of quarters and went to town trying out the strange games.The game above is the oldest in the museum. It used a series of Alice in Wonderland-like drawings and mirrors to create the vision of “Alice” jumping rope. This one was an Opium Den and a quarter made all sorts of doors and drawers open for real creepiness. There were two games with an “execution” theme…shudder…Ana and I were both excited to see a typewriter zodiac game…sadly, it was broken and only spit out a blank sheet of paper for Ana’s horoscope. But it was fun watching the old Royal attempt to type!I thought this game was pretty progressive…a MAN trying to comfort a crying baby?! Doesn’t he look like a doting father? Sadly, this game went on a little too long and the crying baby was awfully realistic. Spoiler alert: A husband.This was one of my favorites…the chef opens the pizza door and your prize drops into his scoop. Then he drops it into the bin and it flies out onto the floor! (Sadly it was a cheap necklace…but really, the real prize is watching the pizza guy do his thing…)Many of the games sing and dance…the clown dances on demand (because you push buttons to control his arms and legs.)This amusement park was made from toothpicks…it’s kind of incredible to think about building that and making it all move (with the help of a quarter). I mean, technology is great and everything, but building this kind of thing is mind-blowing.
The museum also had retro arcade games like Pac Man and pinball. We each took a spin at pinball…now I want a pinball machine for our home. (Take note, Naoto!) I’m terrible at video games, but pinball is fun even when you aren’t racking up a high score.
I’m really looking forward to taking Naoto here the next time we go to San Francisco.