Thursday, July 10, 2014

Arcade Project 01: Plans and Why

"They came for the record store, and I stood by silent.  Then they came for the video rental chain, and still I said nothing.  When they came for the arcade, and there was no one left to defend me" -Arcade owner

I am fully aware that there is this weird nostalgia thing where we think that people of the future need to experience things we experienced in order for them to be "correct" after us.  The above paraphrased joke quote is a good example of the stuff I hear all the time.  All through the 2000's as the Tower Records and the small time record stores were dying as digital took over, we heard from their fans that the world is losing something special.  I really did not care about that because the march of technology is a good thing, as I say, and besides, there were never any good local record shops near me.  It was always chain stores shoveling the latest pop music out.  Lately, because Blockbuster going out of business, I hear a lot of nostalgia for rental stores.  I have great memories of rental stores, and it was fun looking through the cover art for movies and games and trying to judge like that for a gamble.  It really did allow me to experience more games for less money, but I had stopped using them long ago.  I never developed a relationship with any store workers, I mainly used chains and super markets because the mom and pop stores specialized in... garbage.

To tell you the truth, I do not even have a lot of arcade memories, and I think that's why I want one.  My arcade memories are regulated to the skate rink, the local movie house, and Six Flags.  I never frequented one very often, and by the time I was old enough to have a job and go to the mall every pay day, the arcades were filled with crap sports games and the latest gun simulator.  Gone were my great fighting games, gone were the Neo Geo shooters, and the "classic" section was filled only with the crap that the arcade could not get a good price on with Ebay.  It was much more financially viable to flip a Pacman arcade for $900 to some sucker than wait for that $1 of change at the end of the week.  Let me tell you, I looked for great pictures of packed arcades, and it is very hard to find any quality ones.  Almost all, without fail, is actually someone's home arcade.  That goes to show you why they died out.

The only time I really felt the "I want later generations to experience this" kind of thing was a couple of months ago when I really thought about a world without Nintendo.  That's a console thing, and there are plenty of ways to have old console experiences for very little money.  That really has nothing to do with an arcade either.  So I'm still asking myself, why do I want an arcade?  And I have to tell myself that I think I want to create the memories I may feel I have missed out on.  I think I am the section of the population that wants what they were not able to have earlier instead of the "recreate past experiences now" kind of people.  I want to be able to visit a "get away" place in my home when I need to wind down after work.  

In my mind, in the future, I have a fully finished basement.  I do not see the entire thing being an arcade, I see a corner of the area, near the food area, but away from the movie area, as having a couple of arcade and video game knick knacks.  I have seen people spend INSANE amounts of money on a home arcade and come away with something that looks awful.  I've seen people that never really liked video games get whatever they can grab and put it in a corner... and still spend insane amounts.  I think I can do better, but I am not really sure.  So I want to do this set of blogs as a sort of "test" of how much something would actually cost.  I want to get my head around the cost of doing one.

This is a list of what I want to do:

Carpet, Walls, Removable Decor
Food area with vending
3 or 4 machines depending on what I find

Small list right?  Well its deceptive.  I am trying to do this on a cost conscious budget, this is not a "dream" set up, I want a "realistic" set up, but there are things I want that will increase the price, but also some ideas I have had that will decrease it, and ideas that I think are clever and will actually reduce the price in the long run.

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