April 7, 2008
I think I spent most of my childhood -- and a large part of my life as a young adult -- desperately wishing I was in a video game arcade. When I finally obtained my driver's license, my first thought wasn't about the girls I would take on dates, or the road trips I'd take with my friends. Sadly, no. I was thrilled that I could drive myself to the arcade any time I wanted. I distinctly remember my first encounter with each watershed game of the arcade era: my first Space Invaders, my first Pac-Man, my first Donkey Kong, my first Galaga, and so on. I kept a running mental inventory of where each unique arcade machine I discovered was in order to feed my burning arcade urges. I was always strangely eager to visit the unimaginably tacky tourist trap South of the Border because that was the only place I had ever found that had my beloved Crazy Climber. I can't say I know every single game on the KLOV, but I'm no stranger to many of them.
I can also attribute my career in software development to arcade games. Like many software developers, my introduction to programming was my Dad telling me if I wanted to play video games at home, I had to write them first. Tough love hurts. Home game consoles were the gateway drug of choice for parents who imagined their children as young programmers, a sneaky way for parents to trick their lazy game-playing kids into learning BASIC. And who can forget the more obvious mutant crossovers, like the Atari 2600 BASIC Programming cartridge?
I'm trying to imagine what it would be like to key in a BASIC program on these hideous Atari Keypad controllers.
Oh, and you can't save any of your brilliant up-to-63-character programs, either, which had to be a little disheartening. If you were unfortunate enough to receive the Atari Basic Programming cartridge as a gift intended to launch you from gamer to programmer -- instead of an actual computer -- my condolences.
It's probably not surprising, then, that many adult geeks have a lifelong fascination with arcade nostalgia. As with any other hobby, it can be taken to extremes. Like, say, for example, if you were to add an arcade wing to your house and dub it Luna City. Could happen.
Unfortunately for you, I'm a classic enabler. If you have any interest in vintage arcade gaming at all, I'm warning you -- don't read any further. I've spent a solid decade pursuing my arcade obsession as an adult armed with full time jobs and disposable income, with varying degrees of commitment and success.
Let's start with the cheap and satisfying route. These large format, high resolution color coffee table books on arcade history are a wonderful trip through our shared geek heritage. I had tremendous fun bringing them in to work and paging through them with my coworkers. Writing about them now made me pull them down from my bookshelf and start flipping through again myself. They are, in short, why coffee tables were invented.
Supercade: A Visual History of the Videogame Age 1971-1984
High Score!: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games
They aren't technically about arcade games, but Classic 80s Home Video Games: Identification & Value Guide and The Encyclopedia of Game Machines are in the same vein, also outstanding, and worth a look.
But these games beg to be played, not merely read about. The next inevitable step on the journey is to discover MAME, the venerable multiple arcade machine emulator. It's nothing less than a geek rite of passage. It is the acid test for any new hardware platform, whether it's a phone, a PDA, or even a digital camera: can we make it run MAME?
Soon after discovering MAME, any true geek develops the irresistible urge to build real arcade hardware so they can fully enjoy these classic arcade titles the way they were meant to be played. Now that I'm thinking about it, I actually question the credentials of any geek who hasn't felt compelled to build hardware for MAME at some point. I've done it myself many times. My first true arcade build was my home MAME cocktail kit.
But the biggest and best build I've done to date is the SlikStik standup cabinet and authentic arcade monitor, through the generous patronage of my previous employer, Vertigo.
SlikStik is sadly defunct, but the cabinet lives on.
These are only two of several possible arcade cabinet form factors. It's not as complicated as it looks. The BYOAC site is an excellent resource, as is the outstanding Project Arcade: Build Your Own Arcade Machine book. Arcade control hardware is actually fairly simple, for the most part; it tends to be of the simple binary push button type. I've also taken a cheap USB gamepad and soldered a salvaged arcade controller together myself, as Bill Bumgarner describes. It's just downright fun to browse through the Happ Controls website and play with all the cool arcade hardware they offer.
If you don't want to invest the time and effort into building your own arcade controls, the best, least expensive off-the-shelf arcade controls right now are the X-Arcade series. They've finally gone fully USB, which means they're compatible with pretty much everything, Mac or otherwise. It drove me absolutely bonkers that for years, the accepted standard arcade control interface was a lousy PS/2 keyboard connector. The controller itself still shows up as a USB keyboard, which I find quite silly in this day and age, but at least it's progress.
There are a few different flavors, depending on how much you want to spend, and what kind of games you're into. The flagship model is the X-Arcade Tankstick, which bundles two sets of player controls and a trackball for $200.
They also offer a two-player controller sans trackball for $130, and a single-player joystick or standalone trackball for $100. I own several of these, and the build quality and feel is arcade to the bone. The included pinball flipper buttons on each side are a nice touch for a pinball simulator enthusiast like me.
If you're looking for something radically simpler, the Competition Pro USB joystick is a good choice. I've been happy with mine, but you do have to give up on the idea of playing any game with more than 2 buttons. It has to be imported from Europe, but it's not expensive.
Or at least it wasn't expensive. After browsing around for a bit, I'm not even sure the Competition Pro USB is available for sale at any price, anywhere. Options for inexpensive USB arcade controllers are pretty limited and often sketchy; I encourage you to look at the known quality of the X-Arcade controllers if you're at all interested.
I warned you. It's an addiction. Now where did I put my Pac-Man Operator's License? Oh yes, there it is.
See you on level 256. Who knows, you might even learn something along the way.
Posted by Jeff Atwood
Who can say if if was the insidious influence of the arcade that turned me from my anticipated career path in medicine and made me write "Computer Science" on my college application instead. Regardless, I think I made the better choice. And I actually got to live the dream for 11 glorious years in game development. Oh, sure, my kids didn't see me for all of 1994, but the ride was fun while it lasted. Here's to the games we love and the late, lamented studios that used to make them. Long live the memory of Access Software!
Well, being a bit younger, I wasn't forced to write my own games, but I do anyways. The first console I owned was my Nintendo DS and I write my own games (in C/C++) for it. My, the differences are staggering. I can hardly imagine writing a program with only 63 characters (those poor Atari people); I regularly place more than that on a single line.
As far as arcades go, I don't think I've ever been to one. The only one that's not at least 40 minutes away closed down several years ago, and that was before I was aware of it.
The first game I wrote was a copy of PAC MAN using high ASCII characters on the PET CBM (Model 4032). Later I moved on to the Atari 800 where I tried to write a version of ZORK. It didn't work too well but it got me started.
I remember sitting in middle school programming Theseus and the Minotaur for my TI-83. That was the first major program I built and the one that started it all ;)
Hey, I usually take a look at your blog through iGoogle and guess what? today it wasn't updated. I couldn't belive that there's no new entry and.. I was right.
Something's wrong here... There're usually zillions of comments to each posts, now I'm seeing four... like I Am Legend or something...
"Hey, I usually take a look at your blog through iGoogle and guess what? today it wasn't updated. I couldn't belive that there's no new entry and.. I was right.
Something's wrong here... There're usually zillions of comments to each posts, now I'm seeing four... like I Am Legend or something..."
It was just made a few minutes ago. It's on my iGoogle RSS reader.
I've done the MAME thing (and the Commodore 64 simulator thing) and I came to the conclusion that these games just aren't as much fun as I remember when I was a kid. Mostly because they're so un-freaking-believably HARD. Sure, the nostalgia's there but I'll take a modern remake of Galaga or Loderunner any day over the old ones. As for writing games... I got a couple rooms down in my imitation-Zork on the Commodore 64 before moving on to other things :)
Jeff, I assume you've seen The King of Kong? If not, you should go rent it now. Right now.
I've done the MAME thing (and the Commodore 64 simulator thing) and I came to the conclusion that these games just aren't as much fun as I remember when I was a kid.
No doubt; that's part of the learning process. Plus having infinite credits drains some of the excitement, as well.
But a few dozen of them do hold up and can legitimately be called timeless classics.
Yep, I missed this because of iGoogle as well. Good post. My first game was making my own version of the game Pitfall (spaceship down a hole, not the jungle thing) that was popular in my high school "programming" class. Wrote it in Turbo Pascal, and was hooked ever since.
My introduction to computer "video" games was in 1974 -- before pc's. At Carleton College (Northfield MN), we had a network (!) of DEC PDP 8's. Some of them had a storage tube (not even a CRT), along with a joystick and a TTY (that's teletype for you young-uns). Someone (not me) had written a Asteroids-type game for it. You would turn down the intensity of the storage tube, and the program (in assembler) would refresh the screen. One player would bang away on the TTY and another on the joystick. Go into the computer room on a Saturday night, and you would invariably have guys playing this in the dark - the green light of the tube washing the room, spaceships swimming around, shooting dots at each other.
Anyone reading this know how to get legal licenses for arcade roms?
I built an arcade cabinet, which I thought would be great to bring to work (Other developers were talking about how great it would be to have one at work). However, I can't bring it in so long as there are unlicensed games on it.
Star Roms is defunct. I have not found an alternative (Other than loading it with the freeware roms.)
I am in NO way asking for where to locate roms, in case there is any confusion.
I've come to the conclusion that iGoogle sucks... so far as getting to Coding Horror on time anyways.
I was an avid Pac Man player, like a lot of folks. A couple of non-arcade games that got me hooked early was Battleships and Pinball. When newer games came on the scene, you could find me around StreetFighter and Mortal Kombat- I'm talking the very firsts. And, I also thought the early Nintendo magazines were awesome... cool literature about gaming!? :D
Hmm... but nowadays all gaming I do is conducted on a 64 square checkerboard, Chess. ;)
Great article man. Very enjoyable.
I was just thinking about building a cabinet over the summer after buying DK on my Wii. I started to look for resources and information and you saved me all the legwork! Thanks Jeff.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane. My dad wouldn't buy me any games for our Apple either, so I used the books: 101 Basic Computer Games and 101 More Basic Computer Games. Anytime someone things GOTO is ok, I just pull out those books.
The 2600 Basic computer programming cartridge is classic.
I used the books: 101 Basic Computer Games and 101 More Basic Computer Games. Anytime someone things GOTO is ok, I just pull out those books.
Yep, me too. Those books are based on earlier work in Creative Computing and referenced here:
I loved the early 80's video games. Asteroids ... PacMan ... Lunar Lander ... and MISSLE COMMMAND ROCKED!!! And then I got a VIC 20 and fell in love with BASIC programming. But years later I discovered LabVIEW, an icon-based, data-flow language that you could use in a laboratory to communicate with and get data from instrumentation. I've been at it for over 10 years now. Games are fun but the go-to-work-every-day-but-still-have-fun kid in me loves data acquisition. LabVIEW is taking over the test engineering world, and I'm thankful to be a part of it. Now I'm dabbling in Python ...
Jeff: Why is it silly for a specialized controller to show up as a USB keyboard (or mouse, for that matter)? It actually seems pretty elegant to me. Using my expensive whiz-bang controller w/o requiring any OS-specific drivers seems like a win to me, especially since I'd love to be able to use that controller on future computers and future OS's.
Computer games (arcade and otherwise) have had a huge impact on my life. My fascination with computers began when I was 15 and my father had a dial up terminal to a time share. He showed me Zork and I was fascinated. He called me from work one day to tell me I was using up too much CPU. I accidentally discovered that I could type BASIC commands in at a certain point. I was literally hooked for life.
My buddies and I used to spend hours at the Stop N Go at the front of our neighborhood playing Defender and Venture. We played so much we had to start taping thread to quarters so we could get multiple credits. Even after college, I remember spending hours at another Stop N Go playing Street Figher -- the one with the big pads that you had to punch. I actually got blisters on my knuckles from playing so much and I had to start wearing gloves.
Several dates with my girlfriend (now wife of 18 years) were playing Ultima III on the computer at my Dad's office. In college, I cut the floppy for Ultima IV so I wouldn't fail out of school.
Games for me have been a love/hate relationship. Now, I just don't seem to get to play that much. My wife, son, and I played several MMORPGs (EQ, AC, SB, WoW) together. I think I've finally burnt out on games or at least I'm taking a couple year long respite. I played Army of Two with my son but I just don't commit the time to games like I used to.
Not really any point to this comment, your post just brought back memories.
Why is it silly for a specialized controller to show up as a USB keyboard (or mouse, for that matter)?
It isn't silly, it's most likely because of driver support, why not just register your USB device as a HID (Human Interface Device) like a keyboard or mouse and use the built in API to interface the function of the device, that way you don't have to right your own drivers and support them.
Concerning the Competition Pro Joysticks: at least the C64 models had four buttons. The triangular small fields next to the stick were additional buttons (with no functionality whatsoever - as much as I can imagine).
Ohh - a trip down memory lane.
The main problem are the licences. I think most people which are using mame using illegal copies of the games. There exist some devices like a C64 stick (competition pro style) which integrated games and scart adapter to plug it to a tv. But most things are just illegal copies.
It isn't silly, it's most likely because of driver support, why not just register your USB device as a HID (Human Interface Device) like a keyboard or mouse
... or as a Joystick HID which is *also* 100% supported with no drivers necessary, even on crusty old 2001 era Windows XP.
Seriously, try it yourself. Plug in generic USB gamepad and watch how it shows up. It's supported out of the box, literally plug and play. Showing up as a keyboard is just a side-effect of years of PC backwards compatibility.
I had that Atari Basic set - it's still at my parent's house. I think I remember it came with an instruction book with some simple programs that beeped a lot. It frustrated me, but I'm a programmer today. I also liked your tweet on Sunnyvale Golfland - I just happen to be in San Jose on buisness (about 10 mi away) and am going to go there tomorrow night - Thanks!!
Jeff, your blog needs a nice big "Warning - sentimental nostalgia trip" stamped to the front of it ;-)
I love those old video games. They were so simple and easy to get into, with no messing about. They didn't rely on fancy graphics because it wasn't possible to do fast and fancy graphics back then, so you had to rely on pure gameplay. And games were simple enough that it was possible to think about the game logic and wonder how you'd reimplement it on a home computer (usually in BASIC) in your head. Try that with today's blockbusters.
I dug out a Playstation style controller (plugs into a standard PC gameport) from the attic the other day - I think I got it well over ten years ago as a controller for old games. Certainly it was before "Dave's Classics" got shut down.
Yeah, it's a shame most MAME ROMs out there are illegal cracks. A lot of the copyrights have changed hands so much it's a huge logistical nightmare to get clearance to release them officially. I'd love to get hold of some of the old Ultimate (as RareWare were originally known) games that were around on home computers in the early eighties, but the copyrights are being closely guarded - pity, as I think the games could still be sold for profit today.
I haven't played a new game since Quake came out - and a large reason I played that is because of its ability to be customised and tweaked.
Oh, Jeff - about your controllers - how well do they stack up to "Track and Field" (and variants)? I've found an original IBM Model M keyboard to be the best for the job - you can bash the hell out the keys and it just keeps working.
I somewhat have the feeling that this arcade stuff is/was rather US specific. I can't remember ever having seen many around here in Germany, and I don't think that's just because I am too young. At least I remember only C64 games and somewhat later PC games and Nintendo consoles...
Hey Jeff, great post, I finally finished cutting the wood on my 2nd MAME cabinet last night and am planning on putting it together this weekend. Cheers for al the help and encouragement along the way It is great to know that I am not the only one obsessed with this sort of stuff. :)
I used the books: 101 Basic Computer Games and 101 More Basic Computer Games. Anytime someone things GOTO is ok, I just pull out those books.
Now, you're sending me back too... I still remember putting my old vic 20 in my backpack and biking 3 miles to my closest friend's house to type in those old basic games from the magazines. And how could I ever forget playing lawn dungeon on the PET in school.
But when I found MAME, I never seemed to make it beyond the vector graphics version of Star Wars, I just love that way too much.
thanks for the nostalgia!
I "programmed" on that Atari 2600 BASIC Programing cart/controller package. Wasn't as bad as you'd think. Was kind of fun. Could implement a full fledged "pong" game in those 63 instructions (I don't specifically remember it being 63, so I'll take your word for it). Did some interesting music too in that space. Good times. :-)
Those Atari things look hideous indeed.
What brought me to programming was indeed when my father once told me about computers, that I could make my own games with it. It was not like he said "you have to do them yourself", he just mentioned I could, and from that moment on I was fascinated. Took some years though until I finally had a computer, a C64, already old then. But the Commodore BASIC 2.0 manual came with it, and from that moment on my father had to drag me outside to make me play in the garden instead of being behind the screen all day :-D
I've seen the Competition Pro USB in a computer shop maybe a year ago, the action felt a little different from the original Competition Pro, but seemed quite robust like the original.
Yeah, I thought about building a MAME cabinent. But while I did eventually justify buying an arcade controller, the $2500 pricetag for a replica cabinent kind of put me off, and I'm not mechanically inclined enough to DIY.
But yeah, I've spent countless hours playing games that my parents would never give me more than a quarter or two for when I was young... good times.
I have very similar feelings about arcade games. I grew up near a Nathan's Hot Dogs in New York which had a great arcade. They always got the newest games and had several machines of each of the more popular games. I spent most of my pre-college earnings at the arcade :(. I also discovered that Bahama pennies were the same size as the Nathans tokens ;). Through an unlikely set of circumstances about nine years ago, I turned my hobby into a career. Today, 99% of my time is spent writing emulators for arcade and console games on various platforms (PC, Mobile, embedded board). I work directly with the game companies and with game publishers. My favorite project so far is the Chicago Gaming Arcade Legends 2. My partner designed the embedded board around a XScale CPU, another wrote the BIOS and bring-up code and I wrote the game emulator code (mostly ARM assembly language). For existing UA2/AL2 owners with the 100-game model, we're about to release an upgrade pack with another 45 games :).
Jeff, there's a place in Laconia, NH called Fun Spot with a Crazy Climber machine...and a ton of the actual classic arcade machines in good working order (not MAME, the real deal). Check it out if you're ever in the neighborhood.
Anyone interested in classic video games, or anyone at all for that matter, should watch the documentary King of Kong.
It gives a new meaning to obsessiveness and the antics of these adults show that when it comes to video games they are still kids. Its an entertaining and fun movie.
At couple of years ago I was given a bunch of Megadrive ROMs (illegal ones I suspect) by a friend and I got really excited. It turned out that very few of the games I used to consider "classics" really hold up any more for me... Except Sonic the Hedgehog, and Street Fighter II. It's funny how modern technology spoils us - at the time I remember thinking some of these games were _amazing_ and would play them for hours simply because they looked so graphically lush, and because they felt like they played at 100mph... I guess one day we'll look back at modern classics and say the same thing (although I suspect Super Monkey Ball will never lose it's charm!).
The new font on your website is horrible. Different letters (A,w,M,v, etc.) are displayed in a lighter shade of gray than the other letters.
I used the books: 101 Basic Computer Games and 101 More Basic
Yep, me too. Those books are based on earlier work in Creative
Computing and referenced here:
Same here! That's how I got started programming. Different machines' BASICs weren't really all that compatabile, plus you'd always have a couple of transcription errors. So you couldn't just type the games in and play. You *had* to learn to debug. After a while you (or I at any rate) learned enough about the language to start making improvements, and eventually making your own programs from scratch.
Its kind of a shame there's nothing like this around these days to get kids interested in programming. My son at age 10 expressed interest in programming games like the ones he plays. But games these days are humongous man-decade projects. There's just no way. The best he can do is scenario builders that come with a few games. But that's not really programming.
I built a MAME Machine using original Xbox arcade controllers and a four port Xbox to USB hub.
The controllers were like $12 a piece and have a nice solid feeling joystick and all the buttons that the Xbox has. I think there are like 12 total buttons, with 6 or 8 of them being really nice and big. (Think like the old Nintendo Advantage controllers, but with more buttons, and interchangeable joysticks.)
I know they lack the nerdery level of hardwired, homemade controllers, but they work really good, and still bring you back into the arcade feeling. (Not to mention you can move them around, or hold them in your lap if you feel so inclined.)
TIM: No "legal ROMs" exist. Best you can do is buy the board(s). There seems to be consensus the board "carries" the license.
I went full bore and bought the games. Boards, cabinet, artwork and all. Hence, arcade.melchman.net
I really don't recommend it as a hobby (addiction) unless you have plenty of space, time, money (like gambling money), tools and patience.
With that warning, check out forums.klov.com and suddenly you will know you are far from alone.
Wow... I guess I'm not a geek then. I spent a small amount of time in arcades when I was little but outgrew it very quickly.
You guys are all geeks :)
I've used this for my MAME cabinet : http://www.ultimarc.com/ipacve.html
I've been very happy about it. Used an existing cabinet, just connected the existing joystick and buttons to the card, connected it and presto : it was correctly configured for MAME out of the box.
Actually, in retrospect, maybe it was a little too easy. It lessens the sense of accomplishment.
They also have joysticks, buttons, etc. I don't know how they compare in price to other places though.
I hope someone finds this handy.
I check this list of a href="http://arcadelocations.classicgaming.gamespy.com/"Classic Arcade Game Locations/a now and then when I'm in the mood to play a coin-op. It seems to be updated regularly.
I actually question the credentials of any _geek_ who hasn't felt compelled to build hardware for MAME at some point.
You probably meant "nerd".
You don't have to be like the others tell or expect it. You are you!
"the Schneider CPC 128 (the German version of the ZX Spectrum"
Sorry to be a geek, but Schneider was the brand name that was used to market the Amstrad CPC range in Germany. Neither of these machines were a 'version' of the spectrum - merely a competitor to them.
Admittedly Amstrad eventually boought the Spectrum product range, but the machines were decidely different (Apart, maybe, from both being based on the Z80 processor)
I'll just get my anorak...
My first experience with programming was on a TRS-80 in a middle school programming class. Used tap drives to backup and load your programs. I can't even remember programming like that. When I entered the workforce, it was in IT Support, Network Design, and Management and I never really did any development work at all until I started working on Linux, first I learned shell scripting and gradutated to troubleshooting already written C programs. I wrote the patch that fixed uname in coreutils to properly recognize the i386 based family of processors above the i386. Doesn't seem like a big deal until you realize that unix development environment generally used (do they still?) uname to discover processor architecture. After that I got out of programming and this time IT altogether due to the 9/11 crisis and the problem was compounded by the Enron/Arther Anderson debacle. My IT career ended that day. I was lucky to return to IT about 2 years ago, by perserverance and gathering as many certificates are I could get a hold of quickly, and a government contractor took a chance at hiring me after my hiatus. I have been working for the government in Enterprise Solutions and Tier 3 now since that day. I had to learn windows all over again, since I had a firmer background in unix than I did in windows. I started out learning vbscript, and today I have graduated to working on C# projects. Though I am still in the steep learning curve phase of learning this language, it is so very much like and very much unlike KR C. My biggest issue isn't the syntax, but wrapping my head around the utterly inescapable and deeply entrenched object oriented format of developing in C# using the visual studio developement environments. It's definately been fun and I am happy to be back in IT and now getting more heavily back into development.
Can I say that games were my first programming experience. NO, I cannot. However I can say that games are what drew me to computers. I am obsessed with games, especially good ones. My current game is EVE Online, and there is nothing else like it. On of my programming projects is actually writing a player aide for that game to help players make better decisions when it comes to things like skill selection, trade and commerce and choice of ships based on what attributes and skills your character already has and what your end goals are for the current set of choices.
Games I say are an important part of creating market share for any successful computing platform. Even Unix had excellent games very early on and within a year of it first being put in production. Primitive games maybe, but excellent for the technology that was available. Interest in gaming is very often the spark that turns users into successful developers.
Yep my interest in science and technology pretty much came from games as well. It's how I ended up studying Computer Science and becoming a professional developer.
It was May 1998 and my older brother brought home a copy of Gran Turismo for the PS1. He fired the game up and I was ABSOLUTELY FLOORED! The graphics and life-like physics of the cars just fascinated me. I just had to know more about how it all worked.
I ended up reading books on automotive engineering, math and physics and later the software itself that made the game tick. I ended up sticking with the software since it was general purpose enough for me to write applications in all the areas that interested me and I haven't regretted the choice. Great Post.
I guess I'm in the "middle school" of aracde games. My parents had an old Atari 2600 and refused to by a Nintendo for us, so we got our fix through those games, late 80s and early 90s really 8^D To my "nerd" credit, I actually beat Pitfall 2 (some really long weird map with no real points, just get all the goodies) and even had made a map of things at one point since there was the potential to get lost.
We had a pizza place in town, and that was where the Arcade games were. It was classic. I loved the 1941, Raiden, top level shooter games, and I coveted getting the original Star Wars arcade game (are they still out there other than Disneyland?) I blew many a quarter on Street Fighter II (Mortal Kombat was only so-so) and knew about all the weird variants that snuck out (Turbo Edition Rainbow was like LSD induced fighting 8^D)
Ahh, the good old days. I've had MAME up on my box at a few points in time and I should pull that one back up.
Say, has anybody seen the Ultimate Arcade 2+ before? I guess this might be a "cheap and legal" way to get your fix! www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11231741whse=BCtopnav=browse=lang=en-US
OMG, South of the Border reference! My parents moved to South Carolina two years ago. During the move (from New York) I was sucked into this place under the guise of authentic Mexican food (I was dying for a burrito after 14 hours of driving). Lo and Behold, the place God forgot, an incredibly tacky and awful alternate reality, where the burritos were NOT authentic and everything truly sucked. Thanks for making my day!
Mine and my friends nostalgia lead to starting a club. What could be more fun then play the games, drink beer and dance to the music. As we discovered it was great. We have the club open once per month and each time have between 150 to 300 guests. Standing in the DJ booth seeing the people dancing to Super Mario is truly awesome.
So what is my point? I think it is that love to arcade games comes in different shapes and if you take it all, put it in a bag and shake, all kind of weird things will come out. At our club i can see happy faces jumping around to this weird 8bit music and they were not even born when it was made. Ok, I realize that I do not have a point, but lets pretend that I did.
Man, that guy in Virginia has really got it going on. How many of us, growing up in the 70s and early 80s didn't dream of having our own arcade or movie theater? I have a new goal in life. Oh, wait, I'd have to give up partying with hot chicks. Nevermind.
Can't believe how cheap the Crazy Climber machine appears to go for on Ebay according to the link in the post.
I followed almost every link in that article - must take you ages to hyperlink it all!
OK, time for a spot quiz. Which arcade game would say (among other things):
"Warrior need food badly!"?
Someday, I hope to own a "Pin-Bot" pinball game! Maybe for my 20th anniversary present - screw the diamonds!
Love the guy in the first picture! "Talk to the computer" - ha. They act like it's really easy to learn BASIC. I've done a fair amount of programming with QBASIC on MS-DOS in my day and it ain't child's play, let me tell you.
Hey Jeff, check out my pet project Mamesaver. http://mamesaver.sourceforge.net/ It's runs MAME games as a screensaver...
Actually you could even help me out with it as I've had nobody with multiple screens to tell me how it responds and if I need to fix anything in that area....
The Competition Pro was the only Joystick that I ever returned to the shops; In it's day it was the most solid joystick ever, but I couldn't get the hang of it, instead prefering the quickshot 1 and 2 (Turbo) with the fire buttons on the handle.
Jin: you're so right. Thru the 80's and early 90's. ahh memories.
An Atari 2600 BASIC Programming cartridge! I never knew that they existed.
I had a Atari 2600 in 1981, bought by my father (for himself initially) and loved it :) Miner 49 was brilliant!
you know what i miss? the subculture formed by arcade games than the games themselves. sure i miss the games as many others listed here. but i long for the days when you step in an arcade, put your quarter on the streetfighter cabinet.. waiting for your turn to reign supreme... it was personal and intimate. an arcade was a place where you can submerge yourself in a world far far away from school, work.. a place where people share your same interest.
there's nothing more satisfying maintaining a 100 wining streak. i wish console online play would simulate the old "tokens on the cabinet" look...
What about actually going to play arcade games in your own backyard (ok, you know it's more my backyard than yours): www.ujuju.com?
Crazy Climber lives. One of the other developers on my team and I still frequently use the phrase "Lucky! Lucky! Lucky!"
Was this supposed to be a joke? Where I live we didn't even have computers before late 90's. I know a TON of gamerZ who are dumb as hell and won't program ever.
I also had the atari programming cartridge..I remebered the 63 characters.. migrating to VIC20 was tremendous improvement..3,5 kb of ram and tape recorder!
LOL. Kill screens. I remember my father's frustration when he was playing Tetris in Windows 3.1.
His very high score suddenly becomes negative when it exceeds 32767, thus frustrating him because he can go much much higher than that.
It's sad that it is so difficult to get a good, simple joystick these days. PC game pads and those flight sticks don't play Ms. Pac Man on MAME very well.
P.S. Drool. Drool. I want that PAC MAN sticker. How geeky is that.
i grew up playing arcade games like mad. those mario games and duck hunting games at the local arcake was my childhood. my mom would take make me go do launddry on sunday laundry days and i would always beg for 2 dollars for 8 games when arcade games are still 25 cents each. those were the days. with inflation now, games are 1 to 2 dollars per game. i missed when life was simple. the last arcade game i played was marvel versus capcom 1 and 2. they are comin out with a new one but i dont know if it will be only for ps3 or will it be arcade as well. the arcade days seem to be coming to an end. check out my site that im working on.