Twin Sticks

Ever wanted to play a piece of videogame history?

This is a twin-joystick control config set into the panel of a Taito Viewlix cabinet running the 1996 mecha fighting classic Virtual-On.

It’s a modern cabinet with a flat, wide LCD screen. It can’t compare to the original 4:3 CRT monitor, but the image is sharp, the stool is comfortable, and those twin sticks are the real deal: big, robust and convincing.

Certain control schemes are important milestones along the path of gaming history – even if they didn’t exactly catch on. Virtual-On’s is one of those, alive and ready to be played in an Akihabara arcade.

Photographer and writer covering Tokyo arcade life – the videogames, the metropolis and the people