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  1. #33541
    The Future is Yesterday Hedgehog-in-TrainingESWAT Veteran Leynos's Avatar
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    That is the most sterile Arcade I have ever seen. Needs real cabs. A worn carpet with planets and stars and ribbons of confetti patterns. Needs a brown wood panel change machine. None of the arcades I ever went to stole a logo.

    Life?!...What console is that on?

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  2. #33542
    Master of Shinobi WarmSignal's Avatar
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    There's another mall about an hour's drive from me that actually has a decent little arcade which opened up a while back. Nothing amazing, but it was basically everything this one wishes that it was. Better size store, real machines, variety, ticket prizes, etc. Oddly, that mall is even more dead. Probably under 50% store occupancy, and yet that little place was booming. Granted, haven't dropped by in over a year, but it was a decent effort. Might go and see if it's still hanging on sometime.

  3. #33543
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    Quote Originally Posted by profholt82 View Post
    Well, fake cabs aside, I remember being in plenty of dark, dingy arcades in the 80s/early 90s. Especially the ones in strip malls. Filthy, full of smoke, sticky floors. Sure, there were some that were kept up well, usually the mall chains like Red Barron, but most arcades didn't exactly have very good reputations. They were known as hangouts for punks and greasers. There was always thick cigarette smoke, guys often had beer in paper sacks, and it wasn't uncommon for fights to break out. Seriously, there was usually a gang of bullies hanging around, shaking kids down for quarters, tilting guys' pinball games, etc. Most arcades back then were like Lord of the Flies, where teen thugs ruled. You just had to deal with it. I had a lot of big jock buddies though, so I was usually left alone, but I definitely saw my share of kids getting shaken down for cash. This was commonplace.

    But honestly, arcade cabs were everywhere, so you didn't really need to go to an arcade to play games. Carryouts, restaurants, laundromats, bowling alleys, all the movie theaters, from the big cineplex to the rinky dink ones with 2nd run dollar movies. So while sure, I enjoyed going to the arcade, heck there was one in town that I often rode my bike to that wasn't too bad, I'm full able of removing my nostalgia glasses and recalling that they weren't exactly children's wonderlands.

    So trip down memory lane complete, I wonder if that fella will make enough each month to afford rent and electricity for that place. I'd imagine the mall has decent rates since it isn't a very popular one, but still. It probably won't last very long. It looks like he's set the cabs up with arcade 1up marquees. So those are better than nothing at least. But yeah, kind of a janky look to everything.
    I remember those days too. There really wasn't a "bad" arcade in my area but especially after the 80s you could find old arcade cabs everywhere because they were being sold for practically nothing. My dentist had a couple of cabs set to free play in his waiting area, I always thought that was cool. But yeah, movie theaters, pizza places, bowling alleys, the local go-kart raceway, those places often had their own little arcades.

    Today things have changed so much, nobody needs to go out to play videogames anymore. So I just think places like this need to focus more on the social aspect, make it a place where you'd want to spend an evening with your buddies or bring a date. Like Leynos said that place looks incredibly sterile. Going into a place like that by yourself to play old videogames just seems depressing.
    Last edited by axel; 10-07-2022 at 03:16 AM.

  4. #33544
    Master of Shinobi WarmSignal's Avatar
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    It was damn depressing. I was bummed out the rest of the entire day, just from the terrible vibes of the place. So out of touch and destine to bomb. If they had legit cabs there, I could see myself stopping by every once in a while to take a crack at some favorites, but I won't do it on some lame emulator, in a place where the general public has an allergic reaction to being. I know a couple of guys locally who run their own businesses, that combined have a sweet retro cab and pinball collection that could fill that entire space and more. A couple years back they had all of their stuff set up in the back of an antique mall. Location sucked, nobody was ever gonna find em there. That ship sailed though, when the place shut down. They legit had the wares, they just didn't have the right venue. This guy has the location (sort of), but doesn't have the stuff.

  5. #33545
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarmSignal View Post
    It was damn depressing. I was bummed out the rest of the entire day, just from the terrible vibes of the place. So out of touch and destine to bomb. If they had legit cabs there, I could see myself stopping by every once in a while to take a crack at some favorites, but I won't do it on some lame emulator, in a place where the general public has an allergic reaction to being. I know a couple of guys locally who run their own businesses, that combined have a sweet retro cab and pinball collection that could fill that entire space and more. A couple years back they had all of their stuff set up in the back of an antique mall. Location sucked, nobody was ever gonna find em there. That ship sailed though, when the place shut down. They legit had the wares, they just didn't have the right venue. This guy has the location (sort of), but doesn't have the stuff.
    That's a shame. At this point I don't know if an arcade by itself is really viable in most malls. I feel like you'd have to have other attractions to bring in people who aren't hardcore arcade fans, like laser tag, or ax throwing, or whatever is popular these days. I'd like to see newer games alongside vintage cabs, like there was a new Mr. Gimmick arcade game that came out 2 years ago, I would love to play it but no arcade near me has it. Pinball seems to be making a comeback though, several bars near me have at least one pinball machine.

    This may seem blasphemous but I wish arcades would give up on the coin operated model, let me pay an entrance fee of $15 and have the games set on free play. If people are having fun they'll stick around and buy food and drinks, I think there's more money in that than charging by the quarter.

  6. #33546
    Master of Shinobi JCU's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarmSignal View Post

    Firstly, the store footprint that he opened up in is like an 18x90, so it's like narrow hallway almost. For any real arcade, this would never work spatially.
    False. Completely, unequivocally untrue.


    Quote Originally Posted by profholt82 View Post
    Well, fake cabs aside, I remember being in plenty of dark, dingy arcades in the 80s/early 90s. Especially the ones in strip malls. Filthy, full of smoke, sticky floors. Sure, there were some that were kept up well, usually the mall chains like Red Barron, but most arcades didn't exactly have very good reputations. They were known as hangouts for punks and greasers. There was always thick cigarette smoke, guys often had beer in paper sacks, and it wasn't uncommon for fights to break out. Seriously, there was usually a gang of bullies hanging around, shaking kids down for quarters, tilting guys' pinball games, etc. Most arcades back then were like Lord of the Flies, where teen thugs ruled. You just had to deal with it. I had a lot of big jock buddies though, so I was usually left alone, but I definitely saw my share of kids getting shaken down for cash. This was commonplace.
    Our 1980's Aladdin's Castle was set up almost exact to the photo of the arcade in question. Such a setup gave it a particular feel which resonated well with gamers. Much of what you described (minus the greasers and bullies) is where I played but, IMO, that made arcades what they were. Wax coated pepsi or coca-cola cups, cigarette burns on the cabinet, an epileptic nightmare, etc..., was par for the course.

  7. #33547
    Master of Shinobi WarmSignal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCU View Post
    False. Completely, unequivocally untrue.
    To each their own. I think it's a cramped, shitty setup. 18 feet in width? If you had real machines in there you'd be ass to ass with someone playing the opposite of you. If you had a racing game with a seat, how would that even fit? It's seriously the worst store front in the entire mall. I like the larger, more open concept style arcades where you have everything lining the perimeter of larger rectangular store, and then a bunch of stuff opposite lining the middle section. That's the kind of set up that our Aladdin's Castle was in this mall many years ago. I don't think it needs to be huge and open, but lack of width I think is a problem here. Something a bit more proportionally rectangular would serve it better. This thing is like a hallway. You can see in the photos, the counter they awkwardly set up barely leaves room to squeeze around where you go in. Hell, the former GameStop store front would have made a better arcade, IMO.

    Funnily enough, there was also another "arcade" that opened up in this mall a few months back. It's not like a real arcade either, it's like one of those where every machine is clearly a modern type of Chinese import, like the Flappy Bird type of stuff? Caters to more of a younger audience, but at least they've got some eye catching machines. They opened up in a former jewelry store front, if you know how those are typically laid out in a mall on the corners. I kinda think it's a better location for an arcade even then.

  8. #33548
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCU View Post
    Our 1980's Aladdin's Castle was set up almost exact to the photo of the arcade in question. Such a setup gave it a particular feel which resonated well with gamers. Much of what you described (minus the greasers and bullies) is where I played but, IMO, that made arcades what they were. Wax coated pepsi or coca-cola cups, cigarette burns on the cabinet, an epileptic nightmare, etc..., was par for the course.
    As you said that was the 80s, a time when "OMG videogamez" was all it took for an arcade to be popular. How much time would you spend in a place like that today? As WarmSignal said that layout limits a lot of what you could put in there, forget racers, flight sims, DDR etc. If it's all emulators on LCD screens then forget light gun games too. I just don't see where a sterile collection of very common games holds any appeal today.

  9. #33549
    Master of Shinobi JCU's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarmSignal View Post
    To each their own. I think it's a cramped, shitty setup. 18 feet in width? If you had real machines in there you'd be ass to ass with someone playing the opposite of you. If you had a racing game with a seat, how would that even fit? It's seriously the worst store front in the entire mall. I like the larger, more open concept style arcades where you have everything lining the perimeter of larger rectangular store, and then a bunch of stuff opposite lining the middle section. That's the kind of set up that our Aladdin's Castle was in this mall many years ago. I don't think it needs to be huge and open, but lack of width I think is a problem here. Something a bit more proportionally rectangular would serve it better. This thing is like a hallway. You can see in the photos, the counter they awkwardly set up barely leaves room to squeeze around where you go in. Hell, the former GameStop store front would have made a better arcade, IMO.
    Harking back to something you said earlier, that layout worked for REAL arcades in the past. Is it cramped? That doesn't play as much, if any, of a role as the cabs. Ambiance is extremely important and having a half-assed selection of smaller cabs isn't helping anything. Our old, long gone AC was laid out with an extremely similar footprint as the one in question and it was quite popular. A larger, more open floor plan would have taken a lot away from the atmosphere. Utilizing space is important. Walls and ceilings offer another palette that could and should be utilized.

  10. #33550
    End of line.. Shining Hero gamevet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leynos View Post
    That is the most sterile Arcade I have ever seen. Needs real cabs. A worn carpet with planets and stars and ribbons of confetti patterns. Needs a brown wood panel change machine. None of the arcades I ever went to stole a logo.
    And at least one air-hockey and foosball table.

    I went to a Nickelrama last year. They used to have old arcade cabinets and nothing modern. This place a ticket redemption games that tried to look like arcade games. Stupid!
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  11. #33551
    Wildside Expert Hairlesswookiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    This may seem blasphemous but I wish arcades would give up on the coin operated model, let me pay an entrance fee of $15 and have the games set on free play. If people are having fun they'll stick around and buy food and drinks, I think there's more money in that than charging by the quarter.
    No this seems to be the current trend on running arcades now. There seems to be a "barcade" opening up in a lot of places lately. I found one in Orlando and recently in Nashville when I visited a couple of months ago. I know the owner's of a retro store that just opened one up right around Covid and luckily since they serve alcohol and food they were allowed to stay open during the shutdowns. They currently charge a flat rate for unlimited play on the arcades, pinballs, and retro consoles they have set up. And I will say they have a pretty awesome selection of beer onsite too.
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  12. #33552
    Master of Shinobi JCU's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    As you said that was the 80s, a time when "OMG videogamez" was all it took for an arcade to be popular. How much time would you spend in a place like that today? As WarmSignal said that layout limits a lot of what you could put in there, forget racers, flight sims, DDR etc. If it's all emulators on LCD screens then forget light gun games too. I just don't see where a sterile collection of very common games holds any appeal today.
    In all reality it took more than just "omg videogames" for it to be well received. Each piece of the puzzle for an atmosphere which was key. Making money takes a great deal more than merely putting an arcade cabinet against a wall.

  13. #33553
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingSports Talker HyperSnugz's Avatar
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    I wish there were retro arcades full stop where I lived (southeastern England).

    Of course, they're not ever going to fucking exist nearby because this is southeast England, and it seems like every single retro enthusiast is based in the midlands or the southwest.

    For the record, a small anecdote, I've met four other people from my county in the past twelve years I've been online (two of those were on the complete other side and had no interest in this sort of stuff whatsoever, the other two had emigrated to the USA and Japan respectively), and god knows how many people from areas like Cornwall and Birmingham who were interested in retro stuff online.

    Wonder if anyone else has noticed the large number of people from those two parts of England, as well as the large number of people from Glasgow, when it comes to 'niche' places usually dominated by people from the US, at least out of the number of UK members that are there at all...
    Last edited by HyperSnugz; 10-11-2022 at 09:49 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hairlesswookiee View Post
    No this seems to be the current trend on running arcades now. There seems to be a "barcade" opening up in a lot of places lately. I found one in Orlando and recently in Nashville when I visited a couple of months ago. I know the owner's of a retro store that just opened one up right around Covid and luckily since they serve alcohol and food they were allowed to stay open during the shutdowns. They currently charge a flat rate for unlimited play on the arcades, pinballs, and retro consoles they have set up. And I will say they have a pretty awesome selection of beer onsite too.
    Attachment 16455
    Attachment doesn't work for me but that sounds like my kind of place. Hang out, have a few drinks, try out a bunch of games.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCU View Post
    In all reality it took more than just "omg videogames" for it to be well received. Each piece of the puzzle for an atmosphere which was key. Making money takes a great deal more than merely putting an arcade cabinet against a wall.
    I guess it's different for each person. For me, back in the 80s arcades gave a sense of wonder, because all the games were new. I'd keep putting in quarters because I wanted to see what happened next - what kind of stages come after this, what kind of enemies will it have, etc. Some guys got really into high scores, I didn't care so much about that, I just wanted to play through to the ending. Today I already know how the games will turn out, most of them I've either already beaten on emulators or I've watched a playthrough on YouTube. So that sense of curiosity is no longer there. Today I just want to enjoy the experience when I'm out with friends, so the atmosphere has become much more important.

  15. #33555
    Master of Shinobi JCU's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    I guess it's different for each person. For me, back in the 80s arcades gave a sense of wonder, because all the games were new. I'd keep putting in quarters because I wanted to see what happened next - what kind of stages come after this, what kind of enemies will it have, etc. Some guys got really into high scores, I didn't care so much about that, I just wanted to play through to the ending. Today I already know how the games will turn out, most of them I've either already beaten on emulators or I've watched a playthrough on YouTube. So that sense of curiosity is no longer there. Today I just want to enjoy the experience when I'm out with friends, so the atmosphere has become much more important.
    Absolutely it is different for each of us but I'm willing to bet you stayed away from the crappy games in favor of spending $$$$ on the better titles so it was more about specific quality, fun games rather than swill titles. Arcades were well known for placement and relegating the older, perhaps less impressive titles to certain areas.

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