Tired of Paying Insane Prices at The Yongsan Electronic Market? Head to Video Game Alley Behind It!

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.

Image

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.

ImageImageImage

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.

ImageImage

IMG_1352

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.

Image

So many hours wasted (?) on the Dreamcast…

Image

TMNT 2 was one of the first games I ever played and was seriously addicted to.

Image

Ohh my…. Welcome to Asia.

Image

Love Application and Schoolgirls? Yep… Asia.

Image

Game Boy games by the handful, just laying around. Some nice gems in there, if only I hadn’t sold my Game Boy for a few bucks at a garage sale… 😦

Image

I don’t know what that sign says, but that mini arcade system was ballin.

ImageImageImage

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.

13 comments

  1. I actually have been here and bought my tablet from here. Korea seems to be really over priced in technology as they only offer the best of the best in stores…. but this place was awesome!!!

    1. Nice! Glad you had a great experience! Thanks for reading!

  2. Man. Awesome advice. I got here in November (from Canada too) and I’m trying to avoid getting screwed on electronic prices. I will be checking this place out this week for sure. (and if I get lost, well, that’s half the fun)

    Cheers man.

    1. Thanks Ian! The electronics market is designed to prey on foreigners and tourists whom think that there are no better options! I hope you find a great deal and just enjoy the journey.

  3. […] cartridges and CDs. I haven't been there recently (I was last there in 2009), but expat blog Derek vs. Lonely Planet has a good rundown of how to find the place, and the kind of vintage games you'll find there. […]

  4. Hey man! Great article! I just arrived from the US and have been looking for a place like this. Did you happen to notice if there were an North American retro games among all the others?

    1. Yes! In video game alley there are tons of retro games! Takes me back to the good old days.

  5. Just moved to Daejeon and can’t find a game store here if my life depended on it. Been everywhere and nothing. Hi-mart, E-mart, Homeplus all suck. I wish this place was closer but Seouls is a couple hours away and I’ve never been there so I have no clue how to get up there lol. Just curious, does this place sell arcade sticks? I’m a Street Fighter player and am desperate to find an arcade stick but it seems impossible.

    1. I have seen them there along with other retro consoles and accessories. However this was about 3 years ago. Just a heads up.

  6. Is this place still around in Seoul?

    1. It should be. It’s been there for a long time

  7. Mike G · · Reply

    Thank you very much for the advice! My Gameboy SP’s battery went kaput so I looked for somewhere to go while in Korea. Yongsan on the whole is a rip-off, and finding old games there is tough. Anyway I found this place through your guide and dropped off my Gameboy SP for a battery replacement. I also left with a Gameboy advance for my trouble. There was a ton of amazing stuff lying around and while not as cheap as I’d hoped, very plentiful and certainly cheaper than in the US. Unfortunately it appears that some of the shops down there are shutting down. Across the street there are some big new towers that are opening and the whole area looks like it’s slated for reconstruction. To anyone reading this: come here while it’s still around!

    1. Thanks Mike! Yeah it’s a sad day for a lot of old markets around seoul. Get there while you can!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: