By Shannon Lane @shannonroselane

HIDDEN in the backstreets of central London is a tongue-in-cheek arcade poking fun at modern society

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Videographer / director: Marcus Cooper
Producer: Shannon Lane, Ed Baranski
Editor: Dan Cousins

Novelty Automation in Holborn, London is the brainchild of eccentric inventor and engineer Tim Hunkin.

He said: “I was trained as an engineer. I enjoyed the course but one thing I knew when I came out of it was that I didn’t want to work in an office.

"Some of the stuff that goes on in the modern world is so crazy, it’s sort of fascinating. I kind of like poking fun at power and authority."

There’s no sign of Pac-Man or pinball, however you can attempt to win a nobel prize on the Small Hadron Collider or experience a divorce.

Some of the other machines include My Nuke; Personal Nuclear Reactor, Money Laundering, Autofrisk, Alien Probe, Microbreak, Pet or Meat, and Celeb! - where the player must fly as a paparazzi drone to photograph celebrities.

He said: "I’ll usually start by making prototypes, I like being in my workshop and thinking with my hands.

"That’s why it’s fun making them - I’m still sort of working it out as I go along. They’re not quick to make these machines, usually I spend about six months on one now."

One of Tim’s newest machines is i-Zombie, a game poking fun at smart phone addiction. The player must avoid oncoming ‘zombies’ who are engrossed in their phones.

The inventor said: “On the tube trains you look at the row of seats in front of you and it’s just a row of people looking at their devices.

"It was also inspired by at night when people are looking at their screens and that lovely spooky light which shines up on their faces.

"They really do look like zombies.”

The oldest machine at the arcade is over 30 years old, and was experienced by over 10,000 people a year in Covent Garden where it was originally stationed.

Tim said: "The oldest machine here is the chiropodist built in 1986. She looks her age really, she’s made of papier-mâché. I had some experience with a rather scary nurse and I think that’s what I was thinking about when I made the face."

The engineer is known for many other of his unique inventions, such as The Secret Life of the Home at London’s Science Museum and his 1998 TV programme, The Secret Life of Machines.

He said: “It's just a hobby that took over my life really, it beats working.”