Back in 1999, if I wanted to play an N64, a PS1, a Sega Saturn and a SNES all in the same day, I'd have to go to Hayley's house, then Tom's house, then Karina's house and then Emily's house. That's some serious rollerblade mileage.
Even then, a good sesh on a console was not always guaranteed – getting my mitts on the Sega Saturn D-pad involved sneaking into Karina's brother’s room while he did his paper round. And Tom could only play those free PlayStation magazine demos after his parents caught him playing Resident Evil 2 at the not-so-recommended age of nine. It was a tough time to be a gamer.
Fast-forward over 20 years, and I'm walking (not rollerblading) into the London Science Museum to be greeted by 160 games consoles all lined up and ready to be played.
From the Atari 2600 to PS5s with VR headsets, they have it all at Power UP. Billed as a hands-on gaming event, this exhibition is a far cry from the likes of Berlin Computer Games Museum, where consoles sit in pristine condition behind glass for you to gaze longingly at. Here at Power UP, you don't just get to see how games consoles have evolved, you get to feel the progression in your own hands.
Five minutes on a Sega Master System 2 will have you baffled as to why Sega once considered square controllers with pointy edges to be a good thing. One race on Mario Kart SNES and you will probably require a new glasses prescription. When Dave Mustaine sang, 'It gives me a migraine headache,' I'm pretty sure he was referring to Donut Plains.