Poll: Have You Visited an Arcade Recently?

August 20, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

When I was a kid, every mall had a video game arcade.  I'd beg Mom to let me hang out in the arcade while she did the shopping.  Even though I didn't have any money, I loved watching other people play.  Hell, even the "attract modes" would capture my attention and keep me entertained.

One of the most fun nights I can remember was a lock-in at Pistol Pete's Pizza.  Basically, parents would drop us off at 10p and we would spend the night in the restaurant (they locked us in.  Yes, it was chaparoned).  We had as much pizza as we can eat and all the arcade machines (there were a ton of them) were set for "free play."  It was AMAZING!

I don't know if they do that kind of stuff anymore.  Heck, I think Pistol Pete's is out of business.  But I remember the awesome and vaguely creepy animatronic animals that put on a show every 30 minutes or so.  Check it out!

I used to love arcades but they've grown scarce and expensive over the years.  When I was a kid, a single play was a quarter unless it was one of those big units with the moving seats like After Burner.  Then it was 50 cents.  The last time I checked out an arcade was Dave and Busters more than three years ago and a lot of the games cost two bucks a play.

So, have you been in an arcade in the last year (multipurpose venues like bowling alleys, pizza joints and movie theaters count so long as they have an area dedicated to arcade machines)?  How long's it been?  Did you think they'd gone extinct?  Vote in the poll and tell us your stories in the comments below.  EZK and I will reveal the poll results and give the subject a good chat on the next podcast.  Would you like to join us?  Come back here Saturday night at 6p PST and we'll stream the thing live.  There's even a live chat.  Fun for all ages!

Except 27-year-olds.  We're not sure why.

"vote label" © Tribalium / Shutterstock. All rights reserved, used with permission.

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen

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Comments

Re: Poll: Have You Visited an Arcade Recently?

I visited a friend in Korea a couple years back and went to an arcade there.  Mostly the same stuff as around here except a few extra Rythm-based games I'd never heard of.  Had quite a bit of fun but that's mainly because gaming with friends is usually a good time no matter what.

Other than that, I don't see an arcade unless I go to the movies but there's never anything I want to play that I don't have access to better versions of at home.  If I want to play games socially, I have the internet (which is great considering the older I get, the more spaced out around the country/world my friends end up being).  Arcades just kind of lost their luster to me in general to the point I don't even know what the prices are anymore.

Re: Poll: Have You Visited an Arcade Recently?

Besides the one at Disneyland, which I'm not sure if I would really consider a true arcade since it's part of the park... The closest thing to an arcade we had in this small town as the pizza place, and those machines are long gone since the 90s. I can remember most of the machines they had. Pole Position, Centipede, Gauntlet, and Ghost n' Goblins (Or was it Ghost n' Ghouls.. or Ghoul's n' ghosts... This is what happens when you allow a game to have multiple names :|). I think there were a few more, one might of been a street fighter, probably the first. There was also another racing game, which I thought was pole position, but images of the arcade cabinet shows otherwise. It was a two player machine, two separate screens, no seats. And pretty heavy gear shifts that slid around instead of pivoted to shift gears. I also want to say there was one other arcade machine that I just can't remember really, one part of my head says spy hunter, while another thinks it was a copter game.

Oh also, some of the ferries that traveled up and down the Alaska Marine Highway had arcade machines. I remember that the Taku had a NeoGeo multi cabinet, and I would play Sengoku a lot. For some reason it was my favorite arcade game on that machine.

 

Edit: Found out what that second racing game was, Max RPM. I recognized that mascot instantly. http://www.arcade-museum.com/images/118/1181242137147.png

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Re: Poll: Have You Visited an Arcade Recently?

I'm not joking in the slightest here.

I believe the last time I was in an honest to god arcade was the one in the Disneyland Hotel from when I was a teen. And I'm now 31.

Re: Poll: Have You Visited an Arcade Recently?

I said no as I dunno if I would counter Jeepers these days, though I probably should have said yes, but there is an arcade fairly close to me that I want to visit again called Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum, which has machines from all over the planet and some that are one of a kind.

Re: Poll: Have You Visited an Arcade Recently?

I can say the oldschool freeplay arcade times were awesome, unfortunately none of the arcades in my area have any decent games.  You'd be hard pressed to find anything other than Time Crisis or some flavour of Racing.  The only decently fun game I've come across are the Big Game shooter style games.  

I want to see the likes of Tekken Tournament, Soul Calibur, Raiden, Dungeons & Dragons, Mortal Kombat, a plethora of pinball machines, Bubble Bobble, Super Off Road, Simpsons, Double Dragon, Streets of Rage, TMNT, X-Men, NBA Jam, 1943, Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, NFL Blitz, King of Monsters, and of course... Street Fighter (any of them).

 
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