Summer is officially history, and now the preparations for the long winter is upon us. Since I hate the winter, and choose to spend my time indoors, I’ll need something to entertain me while I’m wiping bottoms, and avoiding the weather outside. As a good Canadian, I’ve done my duty and picked up NHL 2014. Now, my last review of the Yongsan Electronic Market indicated that I was frustrated with the rising cost of games. After paying an eye watering 95,000KRW, I decided to call upon a friend to take me into the gallows of the Korean gaming market. Welcome to video game alley.
How to get there: Although it’s not much of a secret, it’s still not in the open. This is mainly because a lot of these places are cash only… uhh if you know what I mean. Anyway, the easiest way to get there is to travel by subway. Go to Sinyongsan Station (Line 4) and depart from Exit 5. Now you are going to walk through a large tunnel.
As JP put it, you don’t want to get stuck here in a zombie apocalypse. Anyway, you are going to walk through these tunnels for about 250 meters. Once you exit the tunnel, you’ll need to cross the street to your left. Look for the large Playstation advertisement. If you turn around, off in the distance you will see the IPark mall and Yongsan Station.
Finally, you should be near. If you see a little outdoor food stall selling various street meats and drinks, it is right behind it. Look for the giant red letters spelling “게임 전문 상가” which translates to “Specialist Game Shop”.
Why Should I go there?
The first thing that stood out was the amount of selection. I wanted to pick up a NHL 2014, and after unsuccessfully finding it at the Electronics Market for a reasonable price (95000KRW), I found it at the first stall. I inquired about the price. The vendors tells me it’s 75000KRW. Okay, now that is a reasonable price. I buy it. No problems. It’s time to drop the puck. However, JP and I needed to kill some time, so we walked around for a bit and found tons of hidden treasures.
I felt as though I had been transported back into the mid-90s when the weekends in the winter consisted of visiting my local Blockbuster Video and spending a hour going through the game section. This is a video game historian’s paradise. There are thousands of different games from all eras of gaming. A couple of gems spotted included a Sega Dreamcast, a Super Nintendo and about a hundred Game Boy games scattered about. It brought me back to a simpler time.
Who Should Visit Video Game Alley: If you are a gaming enthusiast, especially if you are interested in the old school games from the 80’s and 90’s, I would check this place out. Also, if you are interested in the Asian gaming culture, this gives you a peek into that culture that you might associate Asia with. Finally, are you sick and tired of getting screwed by the vultures at the Electronic Market? Try this place out.
Who Should Avoid Video Game Alley: It’s not the flashiest of places. The Yongsan Electronic Market has a ton of dining options, so if you are coming here, you might want to come with the boys and not the wife or girlfriend. Also, they specialize in video games, and uhh as you can see from my pictures, some are “for big boys and girls”, you might want to keep the kidlets home if you head down. Also, tourists might find this place a little difficult to find.
Final Thanks: Special thanks goes out to my friends JP and WR who told me about this place when I was writing the Yongsan Electronic Market article. This is why I decided to begin to write the blog in the first place, to find alternatives to the mainstream. Thank you guys so much for your input and guidance.