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The Uncertain Future of NYC's Last Arcade 188

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-we-have-to-fight-in-the-actual-streets dept.
HansonMB writes "At around nearly the same time every year, rumors start to crop up that Chinatown Fair, the last beloved vestige of New York City's video arcade golden age, will soon be facing its final days. It happened again last week when tweets and blog posts reignited talk of the legendary arcade's imminent foreclosure. Without even talking to anyone, you could feel a sense of looming dread as gamers of all ages partook of their usual button-pounding pastimes. But the Fair, which has stood in one form or another on Mott Street just off Canal since the 1950s, isn't going down without a fight."
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The Uncertain Future of NYC's Last Arcade

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @01:15PM (#35291426)

    Okay well, maybe that's just par for the course in Brooklyn. But it's sad to think that this hole-in-the-wall is all that's left of the videogame arcades. Is this seriously the only one left in all of NYC? Please tell me that's just hyperbole. I thought the Japanese were still turning out popular stuff like Dance Dance Revolution [wikipedia.org] for arcades. Surely someone is still buying those machines, no?

    Come to think of it, the last remaining Chuck E. Cheese's in my city is starting to look pretty run-down too. And it's not exactly located in a neighborhood you would want to take your kids through, if you could avoid it. Not that I frequent it much anymore myself--who wants to be the creepy, single, older guy hanging out in a Chuck E. Cheese's paying the last worn-out videogames?

    I guess this is how it must have felt to pool players when the pool halls went into the shitter. It's probably a good preview what the last Vegas casinos are going to look like someday too.

    • by smooth wombat (796938) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @01:26PM (#35291524) Homepage Journal
      Okay well, maybe that's just par for the course in Brooklyn.

      It's not in Brooklyn (yet). It's in Manhattan.

      And yes, that's what many of the old arcades used to look like (well, maybe not THAT bad).
    • by xaxa (988988)

      I associate arcade machines with being bored. Apart from a couple of exceptions (in London: Namco Station on the South Bank, and in the Trocadero at Piccadilly Circus) they're generally located where people would otherwise be bored: airports, bowling alleys and English seaside towns (for when it's raining and you already saw all the shops during yesterday's rain).

      But maybe I just don't notice them, since I don't really take any interest in them.

    • by russotto (537200)

      I thought the Japanese were still turning out popular stuff like Dance Dance Revolution for arcades. Surely someone is still buying those machines, no?

      Sure. Plenty of them in Seoul. Presumably Tokyo as well. NYC, not so much.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by muindaur (925372)

        Yeah, with American culture it's focused on playing games at home with a few friends. The only difference from arcades is you don't have to compete with strangers for a turn, and eventually the cost of a DDR pad pays itself off(assuming you don't stomp it to death.)

        I think another reason U.S. arcades died out is because of cost. $1-$1.25 per game for some is beyond expensive, and it's even worse if they require tokens instead of quarters.

        Though, last time I made the pilgrimage, Fun Spot in the lakes region(

        • by Dogtanian (588974)

          I think another reason U.S. arcades died out is because of cost. $1-$1.25 per game for some is beyond expensive

          I remember in the late 80s hearing that After Burner (IIRC) cost UK £1 a pop. I remember that because it seemed damn expensive at the time. Allowing for an approximate doubling in prices over the past 20 years, that's around £2.

          Converted at present-day rates (*), that's US $3.24. It *was* damn expensive, and makes $1-$1.25 seem quite cheap.

          (*) Of course, should I have converted to dollars first (at late-80s rates), then multiplied by *US* inflation. I asked before, and the reply I got was th

    • by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @02:43PM (#35292318) Homepage
      Heh. Let's just say, don't go to Chuck E. Cheese's after the first of the month. Why? Because that's when the welfare checks come in. Think I'm joking? The Wall Street Journal did a piece on the high number of police calls at Chuck E. Cheeses [wsj.com]. Biker bars record fewer calls. Look at the Google search. [google.com]
      • by elrous0 (869638) *

        Wow, that's just sad. I guess everyone is keeping their kids at home today (or they're staying in voluntarily). There is so much paranoia about molesters lurking around every corner and so much out-of-control protectionism (kids on bikes today wear more pads than I used to when I played football). I guess kid's gathering places like Chuck E. Cheese's have just went to hell as a result.

    • I was in Brooklyn last weekend, and spent a fair amount of time and money at 'Barcade', a bar near Metropolitan Avenue and the BQE. The place is walled with functioning arcade games. Apparently I still rock at Rampage.

      • by dmoynihan (468668)

        I've been to Barcade. Really liked the condition of the games, but everybody was just kinda sitting around being ironic. Nobody played for the two hours I was there. Different environment.

  • TFA says this is the "last great arcade" and the "last vestige of New York City's video arcade golden age." It does not even imply that there are no other arcades in the Big Apple. Video arcades, albeit in newer forms, are still common across the USA.
    • by eldepeche (854916)

      I was going to say, I can't imagine Barcade going out of business. Maybe coin-op games don't make enough money for NYC rents by themselves, but overpriced beer does, and the games get them in the door.

      • by nomadic (141991)
        Yep, Barcade isn't going to go out of business until Williamsburgh gets too expensive even for the parent-subsidized hipsters who inhabit it. Which honestly should be soon.
    • They used to be, perhaps. Used to be that every mall had a video game arcade, but they've all closed down. The closest thing I have available is a Dave and Buster's, more than an hour's drive away. Consequently, I only head there with a group of friends a few times a year. Even that is looking empty these days. This might be because they haven't changed any of their machines in well over three years though...

      But, at the same time, if you want to game with your friends then your PC/XBox/PS/etc. is right ther

      • by afabbro (33948)

        They used to be, perhaps.

        There are several full arcades within 30 minutes' drive of me, and that time is only because they're spread out over a large metropolitan area (Portland, Oregon). One of them I could easily bike to. Those are free-standing arcades. If you are willing to count arcades inside other entertainment (e.g., that have climbing areas for kids, etc.) then the number doubles.

        Each has a hundred-odd machines.

        I know the same is true in many other cities.

        I will say that most of the arcades today are the "win tickets, t

    • What I don't understand is why they don't go non-profit. If their truly the "last vestige of New York City's video arcade golden age" as the article suggests, they may even be eligible for historic building protection. That would, I imagine, cut their rent and their taxes, while at the same time bringing the possibility of donations and publicity.

  • by Mprx (82435) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @01:28PM (#35291538)

    If you care about quality you should care about arcades. Arcades force ruthless competition between games. Only the best earn enough to be worth their floor space. Developers are forced to innovate, and good ideas spread to the rest of the industry.

    This essay explains the greatness of arcades:
    http://insomnia.ac/commentary/arcade_culture/ [insomnia.ac]

    • by ArhcAngel (247594)

      I didn't know AC's had their own domain! How do they register?

    • by syousef (465911)

      If you care about quality you should care about arcades. Arcades force ruthless competition between games. Only the best earn enough to be worth their floor space. Developers are forced to innovate, and good ideas spread to the rest of the industry.

      Now the games compete for cupboard space at your home and top ratings on game review sites. Love it or hate it, it's not 1975 anymore and that transition is nearly complete.

      • More importantly, games compete for my _time_. I only have a set amount of time to game, so I'm not going to buy anything that's not recommended or well reviewed. (Or that I can't get a demo for).

    • by sdguero (1112795)
      Umm, video games are better now than ever. You think Area 51 is better than Call of Duty: Black Ops???

      There are thousands of titles on dozens of platforms. Revenue from video game sales (console, PC, handhelds etc...) is much higher now than it ever was in Arcade times. The advent of online multiplayer games has revolutionized the industry nearly as much as console gaming. Because there is so much money and demand involved, more games are being developed now than ever. Hell I think we are pushing 50 mill
  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @01:31PM (#35291562)
    Now where will the drug dealers be able to market their products to kids?!?
  • Unfortunately this is inevitable. With the exception of few places like Dave and Busters, amusement park midways and kids places like Chuck E Cheese which are more event and party locations than standalone arcades there just isn't much need for them anymore. In the 80's and 90's arcade machines easily surpassed home video gaming graphically, immersiveness and socially. First graphics were matched if not surpassed, then the social aspects of multiplayer gaming were surpassed with online play and finally t

    • by hjf (703092)

      So, you think playing online with random strangers with no face is the same as meeting new, actual people at the arcade?

      I have good memories of myself as a kid at the arcade. None of which have sticky floors or crime (maybe arcades were different in my country?).

      Sorry, online gaming just doesn't do it for me.

      • by grapeape (137008)

        And when was the last time you visited one? I have great memories of arcades when I was kid as well I used to go weekly often several times a week, but I can admit I haven't been in one in about 2 years...the last one I went to was a Dave & Busters and it was for a party. As for the sticky floors comment, the few remaining arcades in my area are run down, over priced and poorly maintained, maybe its different somewhere else but from people I have talked to its more then norm than the exception.

        No onli

        • by hjf (703092)

          Over 10 years ago. There are no arcades in my town anymore, save for a kids place with an XBOX inside a few arcade cabinets and some fight games. They were replaced by cyber-cafes (most kids have computers, but they go and pay for the hour just to enjoy LAN gaming, on a computer crappier than their own).

          The best part of the arcades was the HUGE screen games with NeoGeo, the motorcycle race thing where you ride a motorcycle, the race game with force feedback controls, and the best of all, and not a video gam

          • by afabbro (33948)
            So, the screens and cabinet and such...were they HUGE? I couldn't tell from your post.
            • by hjf (703092)

              Gimme a break, I was 12 and they had screens 29" and larger. One of the Neo Geo machines had two giant screens, so big that it had a separate controls stand, a couple of feet away from the screens

              At home all I had a was 14".

              And the SNES arcade's controller were really huge: http://www.mamedb.com/cpanels.small/nss_con3.jpeg [mamedb.com]

          • by hairyfeet (841228)

            I'm probably dating the hell out of myself here, but anybody else remember the football game with the big ass metal trackballs you had to use to get the guys to run? Man that game would wear you out! To me the arcade died when it quit being about cool interfaces like giant metal trackballs and guns and started just being a glorified console in a box. By the time the last arcade closed in my area all they had were lame fighting games where it was all about memorizing funky move lists and the same boring left

        • by Andy Dodd (701)

          My home town used to have a fairly major teenage hangout - the Bridgewater Sports Arena.

          Ice skating, laser tag, and a great arcade.

          However, the place has been going downhill over the past decade. Almost no public skating sessions, and the arcade floor is half empty. The games that are there are old and the whole place is run down.

          It's a negative feedback loop - if it's run down and uncool, people don't go there. If people don't go there, it becomes more run down and uncool.

          It would probably be out of bus

          • by arkenian (1560563)

            It's a negative feedback loop - if it's run down and uncool, people don't go there. If people don't go there, it becomes more run down and uncool.

            It would probably be out of business if not for the laser tag (can't replicate that with consoles) and the ice rinks (hockey = $$$).

            I just feel obliged to note that this is a positive feedback loop, not a negative one. Negative feedback loops dampen variations, positive feedback loops amplify the effect. What you described is an amplification of "becoming uncool". /pedantic

    • that's bullshit.

      Arcades are still doing well enough in Japan.

      What killed arcades were lousy games. Japan wasn't exporting the best games, and American companies gave up around the late 80's. There was also the impression that video games and thus arcades, were for kids. This drove serious gaming out of the arcade as well. Faced with shrinking profit margins, arcade operators turned to ticket redemption to drive their coin intake.

      • by grapeape (137008)

        The last time I was in Japan (3 years ago) most of the arcades I went to were full of more gachapon, pachinko and simulators than actual video games, all of which are found in those ticket redemption places like Dave & Busters, Chuck E Cheese, etc which seem at least in my area to be doing fine. I just think that most given the choice of playing say Beatmania at $1-$2 a pop vs Rock Band for free as much as they want will choose Rock Band, the same goes for DDR, most gun games, etc.

        • Beatmania hasn't seen a console release since what, Empress?

          DDR at home isn't anywhere close to the same experience as in the arcade. More songs, *much* better pad.

          Arcades aren't doing well in Japan not because of consoles, but because of the overall economic down turn(eg: no one's doing well right now). Border Break still hasn't seen a home release. Super SF4 saw an arcade release. If times ever get better for Japan, trust me, arcades are going to get a huge boost. The gaming culture there is differen

          • by Bryan Ischo (893) *

            I was in Japan in 2001 and really enjoyed the great selection of really good arcades.

            I looked forward to repeating this experience when I went back to Japan at the end of 2010 and unfortunately, it seemed that the arcades were all gone. Yes there were the pachinko machines and win-a-prize machines but the good arcades were all gone.

            I disagreew with the poster's assertion that home consoles caught up to arcades in the late 80's and early 90's. In fact it wasn't until the PS2 in 2001-ish that home consoles

      • by geekoid (135745)

        remove pachinco from that and yes there is a huge decrease in 'Video Game Arcades'

        "There was also the impression that video games and thus arcades, were for kids"
        No, there wasn't. They no full well who went to arcades, and who supplied the quarters.

        Lets face it, Arcade became hell holes because they became competitive. Not being able to play a game until you beat the previous player is what killed them. Basically pool halls.

  • Real estate in Manhattan is only getting more expensive, even in Chinatown and the youth culture (hipsters they may be) are in Brooklyn and they would love nothing better then to prop open their shiny MBP's next to a vintage Galaga machine, even if they were born 10 years after it was new...

    Also I'm curious do they host any of the retro tournaments (ala King of Kong) at this location, a move to a larger facility might make that feasible and get some more attention to the place.

    Overall the arcade of
    • by Machtyn (759119)
      There was a great arcade in SLC, UT (Sandy, actually), that was a nickle arcade. Everything was 1 or 2 nickles. There was a cover charge, but even that wasn't exorbitant. Granted, this was also 15 years ago, hehe.

      I've often wanted to put up a multi-entertainment place near where I live. Quality bowling alley, Indoor/Outdoor putt-putt, arcade room, gaming room (for PCs and consoles). During the day, there would be a few quiet rooms for businesses to rent for video conferencing, etc. I think it would
  • I don't see anyone crying because Radios replaced bandstands, Digital cameras replaced film, or Cars replaced manure-spewing horses.

    The arcade was a product of an age when advanced graphics (basically: 16 bit) required an expensive machine, because home consoles (Atari, Intellivision) looked like crap. You went to the arcade to be awed by the sights and sounds.

    That's no longer the case, because now you can bring the advanced graphics home. Hence no reason to visit the arcade and blow 100 dollars worth of

    • I don't see anyone crying because Radios replaced bandstands, Digital cameras replaced film, or Cars replaced manure-spewing horses.

      Perhaps you should open your eyes? I know of at least one person who laments each of the above. They may not be in the majority, but they certainly do exist.

      The arcade was a product of an age when advanced graphics (basically: 16 bit) required an expensive machine, because home consoles (Atari, Intellivision) looked like crap. You went to the arcade to be awed by the sights and sounds.

      ...with your friends (the kind you meet up with in real life, not online).

      That's no longer the case, because now you can bring the advanced graphics home. Hence no reason to visit the arcade and blow 100 dollars worth of quarters. Technology advanced - obsolete crap died out.

      Funny, I do not remember arcades being required to feature obsolete games or game systems. There is no technical reason why an arcade could not host FPS tournaments, with modern and brand new games. The draw of arcades has always been spending time with friends, outside o

      • Perhaps arcades should push for early access to new games

        This still happens for some big fighting games, but doesn't really do any good in the US where the cabinets are so rare that few people have the opportunity to play them. It doesn't help when these cabinets can easily cost over $10k.

    • I don't see anyone crying because ... Digital cameras replaced film ...

      I wouldn't say crying, but the loss of warmth in digital pictures is clearly noticeable. Not to mention the sharp and abrupt cutoff between the subject and background in some digital images.

      Then of course we'll never again see the wonderfully luxurious pictures taken on Kodachrome. Without heavy manipulation via Photoshop, I can't see digital ever giving the same feel to a picture.
    • by mattack2 (1165421)

      You can bring the advanced graphics home.. and while you *can* have the actual arcade controls, most people don't have them. Console controllers are very different than arcade joysticks (and to a lesser extent, buttons).

      (I keep meaning to go back to the Nickel City arcade that's around here... At least ~10 years ago, they had pinball too. While they were 4 nickels, still that's obviously less than most places where it's the equivalent of $.50/game or 3/$1.)

  • we need good places to play pinball! pc based games are not the same as a real game.

    • by Nidi62 (1525137)

      we need good places to play pinball! pc based games are not the same as a real game.

      You check out any of the sports bars around your city? Several of the ones around me have a couple arcade and pinball games. Actually, that's pretty much the only place I see them nowadays.

      • by alphax45 (675119)
        I find most of them only have Golden Tee and that game on the bar that has Tetris and Bejewelled rip offs. :( I use to go to the arcade at the mall all the time in my youth. Thankfully we have "Playdium" (URL:http://www.playdium.com/) not too far from me and they had decent games last time I was there.
      • one of the only good ones left is gameworks that gets new test games.

  • The fact is, PC and console games are worlds better than what you see in arcades. I was in one last summer (first time in a long time) and I was thoroughly unimpressed with arcade technology. Even being able to race side-by-side w/ my girlfriend was kind of lame because of the weakness of the software. Maybe that's necessary when users have to learn on the fly, but it wasn't a very satisfying experience for me.

    Yes, there are other non-arcade games there, and we actually played those *more*, but I'd rathe

  • Face it - they're both dying. Between home theatres and consoles, their days are numbered.

    We complain about bad movies, but movies are intended still to put asses in seats, not sell DVDs. Yet lots of people complain about the theatre experience - cellphones, rude people, expensive tickets, etc.

    Arcades have the same issue - the good game machine is always busy, why keep pumping in quarters, etc.

    And the biggest issue of all - if you have responsibilities, it's a lot easier ot sit one's butt on the couch for a movie or a game versus arranging a sitter, going out, playing a bit, returning home, etc. (And when the trip can be a half hour each way, it's a complete loss of an hour in one's day - an hour that oculd be spent watching the movie or gaming - important when most people are rushed and tired).

    Sure, arcades and theatres provide a more social experience and have their advantages (big screens, pinball). But the reality is, they're not big draws anymore given the inconvenience. Theatres have big screens and latest movies, arcades have pinball (whose experience can't be replicated virtually - you miss out of the feel from real balls hitting real objects), but the draw isn't there.

    I'd love to play pinball, but going out of my way to play it isn't appealing. And a movie has to be really good for me to see it, but even so I've only gone at most once a year.

    • arcades have been dead, not dying, for over a decade

      and theatres just experienced the most profitable movie ever made last year: avatar. so i don't really understand why you think of them as the same when they are very different

      would you pay much attention to someone saying "television and player pianos are dead". what? what with the false contrived linking of two totally media phenomena?

      • by blair1q (305137)

        Avatar was priced 30% higher than the movie next door that wasn't 3-D.

        • if avatar didn't have any 3D profit hike, the grosses would still put it at the most profitable movie ever, just in movie theatre box office receipts. i personally think 3D is a dumb gimmick, my point has nothing to do with 3D at all: movie theatres are obviously not dying. in fact, even if 3D is a dumb gimmick, it shows there is new technological life in the theatre, nevermind solid economic performance

          • by blair1q (305137)

            1. profit and revenue are two very different things, especially in hollywierd

            2. 3D was the reason that movie got made

            3. one movie is not a sufficient sample size to determine the health of the movie industry

            i don't disagree that theatrical movies aren't dying, but your arguments don't logically support the conclusion.

            and while they aren't dying, they are limping. they're going to need something soon, because on-demand and home-viewing are very close to being technically capable of allowing you, the teem

            • "theatres are limping" says random yahoo on internet

              box office revenue says otherwise

              so i'll go with cold hard figures on this one

        • by geekoid (135745)

          A) even adjusted it made more money
          B) It doesn't matter because it was successful.

    • AC above had a good comment about hangouts. For me it WAS about the tech for certain years - specifically the large controls vs cramped controller buttons. I was a solid B- player; no threat to anyone but enough to hold the machine open between the champs. I retired pretty early - MK3 with a touch of Killer Instinct.

      Now you can't go anywhere to hang out - the two big bookstores are right ahead of the theaters on the way out. For the way a guy shops that leaves nowhere to go.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Theaters days have been number for decades.
      Color TV - Cinema days are numbered
      VCRs - Cinema days are numbered
      Wide Screen Format VCRs - Cinema days are numbered
      Laser Disk - Cinema days are numbered
      DVD - Cinema days are numbered
      Wide Screen TVs - Cinema days are numbered
      Digital TV - Cinema days are numbered

      There are aspect of going somewhere to see a movie that people want. Will it change? yes. Will they go away? No.

  • I thought I was decent at the game. A couple of years ago, I ate at Mott Street and played some high school kids. I should have scouted the competition before dumping in the quarters. Blackheart + Sentinel + Juggernaut doesn't cut it. After 4 perfect scores with infinite combos against me (damn Magneto and Cable!), I realized my arcade days are long over. But it was kind of weird to lose to HIGH SCHOOL students: shouldn't it have been some 40+ geezer beating me?

  • gotta reinvent (Score:4, Informative)

    by JohnnySlash (913420) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @02:14PM (#35291998)
    It's mostly for adults, due to the bar, but still Ground Kontrol in Portland (OR) is a fantastic example of how arcades can survive: http://groundkontrol.com/arcade/index.php [groundkontrol.com]
    • by greenskyx (609089)
      Ground Kontrol is GREAT and they just finished their re-model. (http://remodel.groundkontrol.com/)
    • by Xacid (560407)

      "Gotta reinvent"

      Pretty much my sentiment as well.

      While it's tragic - businesses need to evolve with the times to stay relevant. And really - the price for the gaming experience you receive on the old arcade machines is just way too high for me these days now that I actually have bills to pay. I've seen countless times where outdated games are still costing a dollar per play. It was fun and affordable when it was a quarter - and you could actually spend all day there on 20 bucks with some friends.

      I think you

      • If some BigCo really wanted to, they'd use one of the older arcade formulas to reinvent - custom rigs. It was true, for a while, that the arcade had tech about 2 years ahead of the consoles, because a big expensive machine allocated by time could afford it. Then all the game companies got shy and didn't want to take the risk.

        Who wants to play Jeopardy with IBM's new Watson? I'd pay my dollar for that. How about the VR that's been out of the limelight for a while. Portions of the tech are out there, but they

    • There is a place in Houston called Joystix [joystixamusements.com]. It is mostly just a shop that sells classic cabinets and has the largest collection in the country. However, the first and last Friday of every month, from 9 pm to 2 am, you can pay $15 to get in and play all the games without coins or tokens. They also have a full bar.
    • by MattskEE (925706)

      There's a similar sounding arcade I've been to called Dave and Buster's [daveandbusters.com] which is basically a club/bar with tons of arcade machines, they're scattered in various places all over the US. Lots of fun, but I wish one was actually close to me :(

  • A high school class went on a class trip to Chinatown in '77. (I remember the year because on the same trip I picked up a copy of Analog with the original short story version of "Ender's Game.")

    The highlight of the visit was this arcade. It was in a lot better shape, but still not exactly a palace. There was a little "Chinatown museum" in the back, but it was closed on the day we went.

    I honestly don't remember many of the games, but we made the chicken dance and the other chicken play tic-tac-toe. As I rec

  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @02:32PM (#35292174) Homepage Journal

    Just like going out to see a movie is no longer the only option with home theaters and huge screens, getting the real "arcade" feeling is no longer tied to a location if you can get the cabinet inside your home.

    A lot of people have been building their own arcade cabinets for the last decade or two with the help of community websites such as Arcade Controls [arcadecontrols.com]. There's also plenty of companies who sell real arcade parts such Happ/Sanwa/Seimitsu buttons and joysticks, others sell "empty" cabinets in which you add your own game hardware (console or computer).

  • then arcades aren't safe. CBGB's was a legendary club where many punk and new wave acts literally got their start. Now? The last I remember reading it was a Gap.... Arcades and CBGB's. Two members of a bygone era in NYC life.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      yeah, there aren't any underground club in NYC any more... sheeesh. In fact, have an underground club that becomes mainstream is th antithesis of punk.

      Arcade? well there kinda useless right now. Maybe when someone develops an AR machine that's too expensive to put in the home they will have a resurgence.

      'Arcade' come and go. Usually when there is a form of entertainment you can't get in the home. People either get bored, or the technology is cheap enough to get in the home.

  • by Krater76 (810350) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @02:36PM (#35292224) Journal
    There's always Ground Kontrol [groundkontrol.com]! It's Portland so it's really a bar with a lot of great arcade games. I haven't been there in a little while but they just finished remodeling. This thread reminded me to head down there again. My personal fave is Track & Field [wikipedia.org].

    Some might balk at the idea of it being 21 and over only, but realistically anyone less than 21 isn't going to know what a true arcade is. They are used to the mall 'arcades' that are mostly games of moderate skill that spit out tickets that they exchange for some crappy toys when they are done.
    • They are only 21 and older after 5PM.

      Open 7 Days a Week
      Noon - 2:30AM
      All Ages Admitted Until 5PM
      21+ & I.D. Required After 5PM

      and stop calling Portland, 'Portlandia', it's fucking annoying as hell and it isn't 'hip'.

  • that if people want it saved they should got here regularly and spend money.

  • Waxing nostalgic (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Itesh (1901146) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @03:08PM (#35292616)
    I was a kid in the 80s and I have such good memories of my dad taking me down to our local arcade after my getting my report cards. I wish that I could recapture the awe and have my son (only 5) be able to have a similar experience as I did. The games were phenomenal: Pac-Man, Joust, Asteroids, Space Invaders, Frogger, Donkey Kong, Mario Bros., Dragon's Lair, Space Ace, Mill/Centipede, Double Dragon, Gauntlet, Ghost Busters, Robocop, Saturday Night Slam Masters and Operation Wolf were some of the games I fondly remember. I have to give a special shout out to Pinbot as one of the best pin ball machines ever. There was nothing better than spending $20 and staying up past my bed time to play video games at an arcade.
  • by wcrowe (94389) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @03:09PM (#35292620)

    partook of their usual button-pounding pastimes

    Perhaps arcades are no longer what I thought they were.

  • When I was a kid, I had a mental map of all the arcade games in town - and in the next few towns too. We had 2-3 arcades, for a while at least. Star Worlds, Aladdin's Castle, The Machine... Sure, sometimes it was a sit-down conversion of karnov in a bowling alley that was never open except for league play, or a double dragon console with the first player punch button broken in a 7-11, or even a robotron in the back of a newspaper/magazine & soda jerk place.

    The thing about it was, in all these various

  • ... to move to New Hampshire! http://www.weirsbeach.com/halfmoon/arcades.html [weirsbeach.com]

If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, then a consensus forecast is a camel's behind. -- Edgar R. Fiedler

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