Welcome to the maze and enjoy the Habitrail

Raymond Chen

Last year, Microsoft Press and Microsoft Learning moved to new buildings in downtown Bellevue, bidding good-bye to The Maze. This was a nickname for their former building I had been unfamiliar with, but not having been to their building, I can’t say whether the name is deserved or not. What I do know, however, is that the small cluster of buildings they moved from are connected by enclosed walkways, which are nicknamed the Habitrail due to their startling similarity to the hamster transportation tubes. Back in the old days, these corridors were lined with stand-up arcade consoles, owned by the people who work in the buildings, and placed there for anybody to stop by and unwind with a game of Star Wars or Asteroids or some other classic arcade game.

Alas, the impromptu arcade game center had to be shut down when the building safety people determined that it posed a fire safety hazard. (I suspect that the reason was not only that the machines were powered by daisy-chained extension cords, but also that safety rules required that the corridor remain clear of obstacles at all times.)


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