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Classic Games (Games) Games

'Old School' Arcade Still Popular In NYC 177

Posted by timothy
from the keeping-it-authentic dept.
pickens writes "In 2005, there were 44 licensed video game arcades in New York, according to the Department of Consumer Affairs; today, 23 survive. With the expansion of interactive online gaming, video game action has largely shifted to the home. 'Arcades are an anachronism now,' says Danny Frank, a spokesman for the Amusement and Music Owners Association of New York. 'They exist only in shopping malls.' But Chinatown Fair has become a center for all the outcasts in the city to bond over their shared love for a good 20-punch combo and 'old school' games that more popular arcades don't stock anymore — the classic Street Fighter II from 1991 and King of Fighters 1996, for example, as well as Ms Pac-Man and Time Crisis. 'Now, you can play a million people from all around the world,' says one player. 'For me, it's not the same as playing face-to-face. The young'uns may not care, but I do.'"
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'Old School' Arcade Still Popular In NYC

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  • Well (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 05, 2010 @11:02PM (#33157764)

    Fun Spot NH has a ton of them.

    http://www.funspotnh.com/gms-classic.htm

    Too bad it's in the lakes region where no one wants to go.

  • Re:hmm (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 05, 2010 @11:08PM (#33157804)

    DisneyQuest in Orlando has a five floors full of original old-school arcade games

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 05, 2010 @11:41PM (#33157974)

    Sounds very similar to the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas...http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ [pinballmuseum.org]

  • Pinball Hall Of Fame (Score:5, Informative)

    by Travco (1872216) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @11:47PM (#33158008)
    The Only place for Pinball. Over three hundred games on site, over a thousand in the worlds largest collection. The proprietor has been in the biz for almost 40 years and can tell you anything you want to know about any game you can name. http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ [pinballmuseum.org] And for you youngsters he has twenty or so classic videos.
  • by ShakaUVM (157947) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @11:56PM (#33158046) Homepage Journal

    Really old school is the arcade museum in the Fisherman's Wharf area of San Francisco.

  • Re:hmm (Score:5, Informative)

    by CyborgWarrior (633205) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:01AM (#33158082) Homepage

    Just so everyone doesn't get the completely wrong idea... this place also has a VERY NICE beer selection. Everyone else may be drinking PBR, but you certainly don't have to. I absolutely love this place and I'm not even from New York (yet)!

  • by RossumsChild (941873) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:05AM (#33158100)
    For the social gamer that's lost his LAN crowd (due to them all growing up, gettin' wedded, what-have-you) there's a breed of bar/internet cafe/gamespace that is becoming more and more prevalent. The Atlanta one is called Battle and Brew and rents time on PCs loaded with most of the modern games, as well as big screen TVs and a full rock band setup.

    I'm curious to see how this new sort of gamer's pub does in the modern social climate.

    I'm hoping they will do well--it'd be a good thing to be able to wander into such a place when I'm sent out to some city I don't know on business and be able to find a few kindred spirits and a gaming rig when my own gaming machine is 3,000 miles away.
  • Re:hmm (Score:4, Informative)

    by LoRdTAW (99712) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:10AM (#33158118)

    You forgot to mention that they carry a wide variety of micro brew beer on tap. They have over 20 taps and even a cask tap that is hand pumped. On certain Thursdays they feature beers from a specific micro brewery to promote that breweries beer. So if your a beer lover (or snob) and love true classic arcades, then its worth paying a visit.

    The NYCGI holds their monthly drink nights there every second Thursday of each month.

    Yea the damn hipsters are annoying as hell but ignoring them is easy once you get lost in the beer menu.

  • Asbury Park, too (Score:4, Informative)

    by S-100 (1295224) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:38AM (#33158236)
    The Silverball Museum opened on the boardwalk in Asbury Park earlier this year. There are over 200 classic pinball machines and a smattering of early video games and other early games such as pitch & bats, shuffle alleys, and such. http://silverballmuseum.com/ [silverballmuseum.com]
  • by dannyastro (790359) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:43AM (#33158262)
    PHoF is great, but it's not the only place for pinball. The Pacific Pinball Museum (mentioned above) has 90 machines in the museum and about 800 more in storage. For the first weekend in October, they put on the Pacific Pinball Exposition at the Marin Civic Center with over 350 pinball machines set on Free Play (the PHoF machines are all coined). THAT is pinball heaven!
  • by gameguy1957 (937850) on Friday August 06, 2010 @01:00AM (#33158318)

    Videotopia is a museum display that travels. They currently have a setup in Tallahassee, Florida. I saw it last Friday while passing through there. They have everything from the first commercial video game (Computer Space) through some late 1990's era games.

    There are more working classic video games today than there were ten years ago. It's not cost effective to refurbish and keep them running commercially, but there are hundreds of home arcades where people collect, restore, and share their games with their friends. I have a home arcade with 60 video games and 5 pinball machines. My collection is small compared to many of the others. So the arcades and games are not gone, just no longer in public.

    Do a search online and you may be able to find someone locally with a nice arcade in their home that has an occasional game night open to everyone.

  • by lyinhart (1352173) on Friday August 06, 2010 @01:31AM (#33158434)
    Arcadelocations.net has a listing of arcades with classic games in New York State [arcadelocations.net]. So does AURCADE [aurcade.com]. One location not mentioned is Peter Pan Games in Queens. Depending on where you live, it might be easier to get to than Chinatown Fair, which is blocks away from the nearest subway station.

    Otherwise, there's some good looking places in New Jersey (*shudder*) like Richie Knucklez and 8 on the Break.
  • Nice place (Score:4, Informative)

    by lyinhart (1352173) on Friday August 06, 2010 @01:41AM (#33158464)
    Yeah, Chinatown Fair is a great place. I remember that they were probably the first arcade in NYC to get Street Fighter IV a couple of years ago. Keep in mind that the game wasn't even officially available to U.S. arcade operators. And they shelled out for four Japanese style sit down cabinets (you needed two cabinets to play two-player versus games), which no doubt cost them thousands of dollars. They still had some of the older games though, including Capcom vs. SNK 2 and Super Street Fighter II Turbo. Chinatown Fair does cater to one-on-one fighting fans - I don't know any other arcade around that has Blazblue and Arcana Heart cabinets.

    It's too bad they're so out of the way though, they're almost hidden in a corner of Chinatown and blocks away from the subway station. So unless you're in Southern Manhattan or Western Brooklyn, it's a tough place to get to.
  • Re:Aah (Score:3, Informative)

    by phillymjs (234426) <slashdot&stango,org> on Friday August 06, 2010 @01:48AM (#33158488) Homepage Journal

    There was a good solid decade between 1978 and 1988 when you could go into any mall and you'd hear the arcade from a mile away. I'd make a bee-line for 'em and blow any quarters I had on me. They always turned the games up way too loud, and the most distinctive sound was the falling bug from centipede. Going to the arcade was a very sensory experience.

    For any young'uns out there who want an idea of what it looked and sounded like, check out the video found here. [cinemarcade.com] (If you play the Quicktime version, be sure to click on the right side of the movie to turn on the music.)

    That video is almost 10 years old, and I still find it amazing. I wish that guy would redo it with the tools available today.

    ~Philly

  • by story645 (1278106) <story645@gmail.com> on Friday August 06, 2010 @01:57AM (#33158518) Journal

    I play games at pizza shops, movie theaters, and the like, spent a ton of coins on area 51 at the Chinese takeout place by my elementary school, and I've only really been to arcades if I was going to a birthday party thrown at one. There's a teeny one in the basement of Queens Center Mall, and it might have something decent buried behind the DDR (haven't had a chance to check) and I've seen some boxes at the local comic book shop.

  • Re:License? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Arivia (783328) <arivia@gmail.com> on Friday August 06, 2010 @03:43AM (#33158834) Journal

    Well a business license would be. And I suspect you'd have to put the type or purpose of business on there.

    Is there a crack force of arcade investigators? No.

  • by edashofy (265252) on Friday August 06, 2010 @04:13AM (#33158904)

    In addition to the efforts going on in Ottumwa, there is the already-existing American Classic Arcade Museum [classicarcademuseum.org], located inside Funspot [funspotnh.com] in New Hampshire. This arcade was prominently featured in the cult-favorite documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters [imdb.com]. I don't think their mission is to collect every single game ever (that would be a lot of them) but they sure have a huge collection [funspotnh.com] of both popular and obscure games.

    The museum is really just one floor of the arcade (there are three) featuring many, many classic arcade games in excellent working order. I imagine the maintenance is a perpetual nightmare, but they do what they can. There is no admission fee, just ordinary tokens to play the games. Most still cost one token (each token costs a quarter, or less if you buy in bulk), and let me tell you $20 goes a long, long way there. For maximum childhood regression, they keep the lights down and play awesome 80s tunes over the sound system. I was there a couple months ago and got to play some games that I had not laid hands on for a long time: Elevator Action (last played at Fuddrucker's), Missile Command (pediatric dentist's office), Sinistar (Lamppost Pizza), Dragon's Lair (Chuck-E-Cheese), Star Wars (basement of the local Sears), Tapper (local bowling alley), Crystal Castles (by the front door of the local Alpha Beta supermarket) and so on. A few machines I had never seen before in person (a stand-up Pong machine, Satan's Hollow). They even have a friggin' Computer Space [wikipedia.org], but alas it was broken when I visited. The fact that you're even allowed to touch it is amazing.

    I also got to play the infamous Donkey Kong machine, where I was proud to hold the high score (a piddly 18,000) for probably five minutes, and the same Pac Man machine where Billy Mitchell played the world's first perfect game of Pac Man (I think I cleared about 3 boards).

    It's a real experience - if you're in the area I highly recommend stopping in.

  • by jonwil (467024) on Friday August 06, 2010 @06:50AM (#33159426)

    It seems like all throughout the 20th century, whatever the young people found popular and entertaining at any given point was campaigned against by the older generations, especially in the US.

    It happened with pool/snooker/billiard halls. It happened with pinball. It happened with Comic Books. It happened with amusement arcades. It happened and continues to happen with all kinds of music including Rock & Roll, Punk, Metal, Rap, Hip-Hop etc. And its happening today with Internet Cafes. Many local and state authorities are trying to shut down or control Internet Cafes (especially Internet Cafes that offer gaming) with restrictions on opening hours, requirements for security guards and requirements to log everyone who comes into the cafe to use it.

  • Re:hmm (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 06, 2010 @09:14AM (#33160488)

    DisneyQuest doesn't have "5" full floors of "old-school" arcade games, but it is a decent arcade with a very nice section, about half of a floor of great old-school games by the Buzz Lightyear bumper car/game.

  • D Train (Score:2, Informative)

    by BigSes (1623417) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:27PM (#33163532)
    We always take the PATH over from Hoboken, NJ, then hit the D up to Chinatown. Really not that bad at all. Seems like everyone on here makes it sound like its really far out of the way in Chinatown. Not too hard to walk a few blocks to play some MVC2!
  • by BigSes (1623417) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:31PM (#33163606)
    It was always my understanding (worked in the industry more than 10 years), that the players just enjoyed playing Ms. Pac Man more than the original Pac Man. Simply a more popular game, and many of the units have the speed bumped up for a faster-paced experience. I'm unsure about production numbers, but something tells me they did produce more Ms. Pac machines.
  • Re:License? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 06, 2010 @02:00PM (#33165246)

    From NYC.Gov:
    "AMUSEMENT ARCADE (014)
    LICENSE DESCRIPTION:
    Any premises where 10 or more amusement devices are located requires an Amusement Arcade license.
    "
    http://www.nyc.gov/html/dca/html/licenses/014.shtml

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