Visit A Place Where It Is OK To Hug Arcade Machines

In Manhattan, there is this place where you a guy is supposed to hug an arcade machine, where there's one arcade cabinet made of wood, another made of papier-mâché and where you can play games you may have heard of but probably never played.

The place is called the Babycastles arcade, an art exhibition in New York City. Realising that many of you don't live near Manhattan, I decided to visit the Babycastles gallery space earlier this week during quiet hours and shot a video tour for you.

Our host is Babycastles co-curator Syed, who walked me through the exhibition's first round of games - all ones that had been at prior Babycastles events - and engaged in a battle of the game Nidhogg with a colleague. Plus, he demonstrates the secrets of the huggable arcade machine:

The cabinets you see in the video are still at the Babycastles arcade space, but as of tonight, the games on display go through their first rotation. Down come many of the games seen here and up goes the second phase of games, a batch all contributed with the theme "Neverending Games". (Info on those games is on the Babycastles Facebook page; for some reason, only one of the games is about cannibalism).

The gallery, which is a co-production with artists group Showpaper, will continue through 2010 with new exhibits every couple of weeks. Keep an eye on the official site (Safari required) for more details.

And here's one more look at my favourite of the cabinets, the wooden one with Nidhogg...


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