Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Death of the Arcade - My Tribute to the End of the 80s Video Game

Summer - 1984: Sweat beading. My expression reveals razor focus. THIS time I knew it was going to happen. AAA would very soon be replaced with TDW. And then I would be number uno...and the talk of the small-town teen tabloids.

Throughout the 80s I pumped what probably amounted to thousands of dollars into the likes of Tempest, Defender, Asteroids, Missile Command, Joust, and various pinball machines. I loved it. We all loved it. Mechanical Madness was the name of the arcade in Rittman, Ohio.

Fast forward 24-ish years to an under-lighted, dank warehouse in Greenville, SC. Brisk rain understates this day.

Fred Collins was the undisputed Arcade King and Video Poker Magnate of Upstate, SC until his death a few years back. In December 2007, Collins Entertainment held a huge arcade auction, the kind that is advertised throughout the United States.

Inside was THE score for any 80s arcade junkie who didn't mind melting endless spoons full of his tincture du jor mixed and matched from whatever necessary in order to get that fix. Few were plug-n-play. Thousands were available. All were covered with various forms of debris.

This was the funeral.


Anonymous said...

Whims web nice work! I really felt some emotion when I saw the Kiss pinball machine. Wow! I also wasted an hour of time catching up on old blogs while I should have been grading papers. I will have to try the video/audio ones when I am back in my room. I am currently in a classroom which has a computer with no speakers. Keep up the good work!

drawk said...

I got next *clinks 2-3 quarters into the arcade headboard before you finish your last life*