▲ The already-famous keyboard waffle. Photo by Terry Erikson
The Nexon Computer Museum entrance, Shin Jeju, greets patrons with something not really seen on Jeju – black, lacquered light posts with flags on each side. It’s a small, maybe unnoticeable, taste of home, or at least the university campuses near them.
At 8,000 won (or 4,000 with a Jeju resident’s card), it’s hard to find a better bargain – this museum is a miniature marvel. The aesthetic of the interior is eccentric and unique for a place like Jeju - keyboard-shaped lockers at the entrance, keyboard-shaped waffles at the café downstairs, and most importantly, keyboard-shaped keyboards from times long forgotten proudly displayed on the second and third floors.
▲ The Nexon Computer Museum entrance. Photo by Terry Erikson
The third floor is reserved for exhibits and events, but also shows off early Apple computers, allowing visitors to even play around on a few. Also included in this wing are a laser harp and a 3D printer, both of which are fully useable. For its grand opening last month, the exhibit proudly displayed a fully functioning Apple I computer, one of only four known in the world.
Working your way down to the second floor, the exhibits turn to graphics processors and facial recognition software. It’s fun to look around in here, as you can see just how small these things that make your computer work have really gotten.
▲ Museum visitors transfixed by the computers. Photo by Terry Erikson
The first floor is where the fun stuff really begins; as you enter, video game consoles from the past two decades line the wall. Whether it’s fiddling with an Xbox 360 Kinect, testing out the new Oculus Rift, or playing Street Fighter II Turbo on a Super Famicom, there’s only fun to be had here.
Growing up in an environment such as this can make it easy to forget that a lot of these things are relics, and it isn’t until you take grip of an Atari joystick that you feel how far technology has come.
Watching small children’s scoffs and sneers melt from their faces after being transported to the wonderful, irreplaceable fun that is Super Mario World is a sight in itself to behold.
▲ Arcade machines at Nexon Computer Museum. Photo by Terry Erikson
If that is enough, you could head even further downstairs to the basement, where you’ll find a gift shop - a Game Boy iPhone case? Yes, please! - café - again, waffle keyboard - and a complete classic arcade.
The arcade features a bevy of games from the past 30 years with some favorites including the fabled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game, Golden Axe, Ninja Baseball Bat Man, and Double Dragon II.
If you have any geeky proclivities, or you’re simply looking for a way to beat this heat, you could do way, way worse than the Nexon Computer Museum.
Click here for the website and see visiting information below.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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