SIGHT­SEE­ING

Jenna Rose Rob­bins heeded the call of her in­ner geek to seek out Ber­lin's havens for her fel­low so­cial mis­fits.

Where Berlin - - CONTENTS -

The Com­puter Game Mu­seum is just one place where you can free your in­ner nerd.

Say what you want about Ber­lin, but it's one of the few ma­jor world cities that man­ages to walk that fine line of be­ing both cos­mopoli­tan and un­pre­ten­tious. Here, amid the trendy clubs and sky­rock­et­ing real es­tate prices, you're free to be your­self, which for some of us means em­brac­ing our in­ner nerd.

In ad­di­tion to the mul­ti­tude of old­school stores cater­ing to mu­sic and comic- book lovers, the Ger­man cap­i­tal boasts ver­i­ta­ble mec­cas of geek­dom, such as the Com­puter Game Mu­seum (Com­put­er­spiele­mu­seum, p. 38). The Friedrichshain in­sti­tu­tion not only show­cases orig­i­nal game con­soles – in­clud­ing the fa­mous Nim­rod from the di­nosaur days of 1951 – but even al­lows visi­tors to play most of them. Test your bar­rel- jump­ing skills on Don­key Kong, pro­tect the planet from Space In­vaders, or take a slightly- too- long gan­der at the life- size Lara Croft, if that's your thing.

Tak­ing a more for­ward- look­ing ap­proach is the Game Science Cen­ter (Char­lot­ten­str. 1, www.game­science­cen­ter.de), which bills it­self as "the fu­ture mu­seum." The brain­child of four game de­vel­op­ers of­fers hands- on projects and tech­nolo­gies that may soon be com­mon­place, such as eye- con­tolled games and full- fledged vir­tual re­al­ity. Mean­while, in a neigh­bor­hood not so far, far away, Madame Tus­sauds (p. 38) has opened a spe­cial Star Wars ex­hibit, where mem­bers of the Rebel Al­liance and Galac­tic Em­pire put aside their dif­fer­ences long enough to ad­mire the wax­work like­nesses of their re­spec­tive he­roes.

And of course, there are the niche- nerd at­trac­tions, such as the Wun­derkam­mer Ol­bricht at me Col­lec­tors Room ( p. 45) for con­nois­seurs of es­o­ter­ica, the aptly named Mu­seum of Things ( p. 42) for, well, stuff, and the graphic- de­sign par­adise of the Mu­seum of Letters (Holz­mark­t­str. 66, www. buch­staben­mu­seum. de), a ty­pog­ra­phy sanc­tu­ary that "res­cues threat­ened letters from public spa­ces." Cap off your day with a trip to Gela­te­ria

Mos Eis­ley (Her­rfurthpl. 6, www. mo­seis­ley- gela­te­ria. de), named for the space­port in the orig­i­nal Star Wars film. Just re­mem­ber: Han shot first.

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