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'Old School' Arcade Still Popular In NYC

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the keeping-it-authentic dept.

Classic Games (Games) 177

pickens writes "In 2005, there were 44 licensed video game arcades in New York, according to the Department of Consumer Affairs; today, 23 survive. With the expansion of interactive online gaming, video game action has largely shifted to the home. 'Arcades are an anachronism now,' says Danny Frank, a spokesman for the Amusement and Music Owners Association of New York. 'They exist only in shopping malls.' But Chinatown Fair has become a center for all the outcasts in the city to bond over their shared love for a good 20-punch combo and 'old school' games that more popular arcades don't stock anymore — the classic Street Fighter II from 1991 and King of Fighters 1996, for example, as well as Ms Pac-Man and Time Crisis. 'Now, you can play a million people from all around the world,' says one player. 'For me, it's not the same as playing face-to-face. The young'uns may not care, but I do.'"

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hmm (4, Interesting)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#33157760)

Also Barcade in Williamsburgh, Brooklyn has an astounding number of working, old-school arcade games (Joust, Gauntlet, Dig Dug, that generation), so it's worth visiting if you're into that stuff and can put up with the PBR-drinking, ironic-t-shirt and black-rimmed-glasses crowd.

Re:hmm (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33157804)

DisneyQuest in Orlando has a five floors full of original old-school arcade games

Yeah, but then you're stuck at Disney. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33157954)

on the plus-side, if you dress up as Goofy, there's a good chance you can get Cory Doctorow to fellate you while you're there.

Re:hmm (1)

Luke has no name (1423139) | more than 4 years ago | (#33157902)

PABST BLUE RIBBON is an excellent trash beer. Sounds like my kind of joint! I miss my Bubble Bobble at Dairy Queen.

Re:hmm (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33157938)

PABST BLUE RIBBON is an excellent trash beer. Sounds like my kind of joint! I miss my Bubble Bobble at Dairy Queen.

Speaking of irrelevant shit...

Why don't black people like to eat Tootsie Rolls? Because they keep biting their fingers off.

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33158550)

Yeah, PBR is fine. I'll take a microdraft in my style over a PBR, but I'd much rather have a PBR than an overrated micro or a macro beer. Good value on the taste/dollar ratio.

Re:hmm (4, Informative)

CyborgWarrior (633205) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158082)

Just so everyone doesn't get the completely wrong idea... this place also has a VERY NICE beer selection. Everyone else may be drinking PBR, but you certainly don't have to. I absolutely love this place and I'm not even from New York (yet)!

Re:hmm (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33158110)

Gerry the Babby Gerbil cowered in the corner of his nest, trying to dig down into the cedar shavings while the huge meaty hand of Harry the Homo searched for him.

Gerry had seen his brother Geoffrey fucked to death by Harry's impossibly large meat pipe: first the duct taping, then the lubrication with a garage grease gun; then the grunting entry and Geoffrey's squeak of pain; the hideous squishy pumping and Harry's howling orgasm; then a soft pop as Geoffrey exploded, his tiny intestines flying in a high bloody arc.

Gerry had seen Harry screw a poodle; hump a duck; violate a goose; bugger a hamster.

All had succumbed to Harry's animalistic thrusting. The poodle had been the worst. After Harry had finished with him, the poodle had run around yelping, trailing the ravaged remains of its colon. The blood and the stench had been incredible. Crazed by its pain, it had leaped for Harry's throat but had died in mid air, a strangled yowl its last sound.

Sometimes Harry had invited his friends over. After snorting hideous drugs they would bugger each other and then wait to see what treat Harry would provide for them. Once it had been a cage of chinchillas. They had removed the chinchillas and screwed them with horrible frothing enthusiasm, throwing the crumpled remains into a pile.

Now Harry's hand was getting close and there was nowhere to go. Summoning all his courage, Gerry bit down on Harry's sausage-like thumb. There was a roar of pain, and Harry disappeared, leaving the cage door open. Now was his chance. But would it be enough?

(to be continued)

Re:hmm (1)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158460)

The most entertaining off-topic reply, ever!

Re:hmm (3, Informative)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158118)

You forgot to mention that they carry a wide variety of micro brew beer on tap. They have over 20 taps and even a cask tap that is hand pumped. On certain Thursdays they feature beers from a specific micro brewery to promote that breweries beer. So if your a beer lover (or snob) and love true classic arcades, then its worth paying a visit.

The NYCGI holds their monthly drink nights there every second Thursday of each month.

Yea the damn hipsters are annoying as hell but ignoring them is easy once you get lost in the beer menu.

Re:hmm (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158198)

What, no classic pinball machines to go with the classic arcade machines, how could they (own a Meteor). The old fashioned shared gaming experience never translated well to watching someone play a PC, game play time makes it boring.

Re:hmm (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33158146)

It's the white-rimmed/framed-glasses faggots that I try to avoid.

Please guys, give your white-framed glasses back to your mom/girlfriend ... stop looking like a douche bag.

Ah yes, memories from the 80s... (1)

CaptainNerdCave (982411) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158156)

Frank Booth: What kind of beer do you like?
Jeffrey Beaumont: Heineken.
Frank Booth: [shouting] Heineken? Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!

Re:Ah yes, memories from the 80s... (1)

plantman-the-womb-st (776722) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158722)

Sex in a canoe? PBR, fucking close to water that's all it is. Rogue Dead Guy, now that is a beer.

Re:hmm (1)

BryanL (93656) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158502)

While I have nothing against professional bull riders, I must admit I have not been around one when he has been drinking so it might not be my cup of tea.

Re:hmm (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#33159062)

As a non-Yank, what is PBR?

Re:hmm (1)

jwiegley (520444) | more than 4 years ago | (#33159194)

I am depressed that my generation is now officially called *THAT* generation.

Well (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33157764)

Fun Spot NH has a ton of them.

http://www.funspotnh.com/gms-classic.htm

Too bad it's in the lakes region where no one wants to go.

Re:Well (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158602)

Ditto for Stop-N-Play [stop-n-play.com] where I live in Hudson, FL, (about 1 hour of Clearwater.) They even have Time Crisis.

Bar Arcades (3, Interesting)

mconeone (765767) | more than 4 years ago | (#33157768)

What about Dave & Buster's/Gameworks? Although straight-up arcades are rare, these places are somewhat common.

Re:Bar Arcades (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#33157878)

I always thought of Dave & Busters as Showbiz with liquor.

Re:Bar Arcades (2, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#33157892)

If you can ever find a D&B with a properly working machine that's not a fakie-gambling device, my hat's off to you.

There's a reason nobody goes there any more. None of the shit is EVER repaired. The local one by me had a wall of 16 of the Star Wars Trilogy Arcade units and not a single one had anywhere close to a working joystick. They left the guns on their House of the Dead machine broken for more than a year - not "broken" as in "sights a bit off" mind you, broken as in not a single shot registered onscreen ever.

Re:Bar Arcades (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33158016)

The one in Times Square is decent. Course any business there has to try much harder.

Re:Bar Arcades (2, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158084)

They must be the only one. I know a number of people who work, or have worked, in D&B's across the country. None of the ones at 10 different locations had anything resembling maintenance at any time. They were instructed basically to lie to the customers and just say "yes, we know, the repair guy is coming tomorrow" when it was reported, even though they KNEW it would never fucking get repaired.

The only things that ever got repair were the pseudogambling machines - the skeeball, coin-drop, and other ones that passed out the tickets that you redeem for crappy-ass "prizes" at the ticket booth.

Re:Bar Arcades (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158144)

Ugh. Dave and Buster's. Too many fluff games with too little actual gameplay. Gotta find something in that madness...

Ah! Multiplayer trivia! Alright! Oh, wait, half the questions are pop-culture questions and many of them repeat in 2 or 3 iterations. Speaks volumes about the intelligence and attention span of their clientele.

Sage advice: go stoned, really stoned, and pound long-island iced teas until it becomes fun.

We more places with pinball games and working ones (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158252)

We more places with pinball games and working ones.

To many places have games there are beat down and they don't get fixed.

Re:We more places with pinball games and working o (3, Interesting)

halowolf (692775) | more than 4 years ago | (#33159072)

Back home they always tried to shutdown the dedicated arcades for 'Attracting an undesirable element'. ie more than 5 kids in one place at a time. Admittedly one of them was a dank dark hole of a joint and I wasn't sad to see that one go, but the other was a lovely bright affair with great games and not a single bad element in site, well not counting the kids, and there was never any trouble there.

The only place we could rely on was the bowling alley and its rather good selection of games both arcade and pinball. Good luck trying to shut that place down, it was far too popular.

Re:Bar Arcades (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 4 years ago | (#33159342)

I've been to D&B a number of times and they only seem loosely qualified as "arcades". They seem more like the fairway at a carnival. Whack-a-mole and the modern shooters where you stomp your foot on a pedal and keep your finger on a trigger while flailing a toy uzi around spasmodically until you reach the end of the game and carnival fairway horse raising and ski-ball abound.

The problem with arcades are that you're mostly limited to old arcade games since new games are not as frequently manufactured or varied. You're competing with enthusiasts and collectors for the cabinets and spending a lot of time and money maintaining and repairing aging and ailing machines.

Staged Photo (4, Funny)

gravos (912628) | more than 4 years ago | (#33157800)

The photo at the top was obviously staged. No girl would kiss any guy who hangs out in an arcade all day.

Re:Staged Photo (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#33157834)

No girl would kiss any guy who hangs out in a basement all day.

FTFY. Your mom doesn't count.

Re:Staged Photo (2, Funny)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#33157888)

I've gotten laid at the Arcade before... Not CF, but one that no longer exists in the city. :P

Re:Staged Photo (1)

The Pirou (1551493) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158186)

Girls won't kiss a guy, but they'll strip down to their seksay unmentionables?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/linus/sets/428974/ [flickr.com]

REFUTED!

Them there ladies appreciate geeks, nerds AND dorks. However, there might be some pre-req that you're good at PvP; I've heard that ladies hate guys that wantonly lose quarters to pimple faced peers.

Re:Staged Photo (1)

Anarki2004 (1652007) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158624)

I think this is better [crazyshit.com] Obviously not work friendly. I also suggest using something like No Script [noscript.net] while visiting this place. Not for the squeamish.

Re:Staged Photo (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158664)

Squeamish? That was a very tame video.

Re:Staged Photo (1)

Anarki2004 (1652007) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158800)

more for the stuff you will find on the sides of the video. The poop and human disfigurement stuff kind of bothers most people.

Re:Staged Photo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33158500)

No, you don't understand, that's DDR they're playing. They're not at an arcade, they're at a fucking RAVE.

Popular! (3, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#33157808)

Twenty in a city of twenty million, and half as many as five years ago. How is this "still popular"?

Re:Popular! (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 4 years ago | (#33157818)

That's twenty more than I recall ever seeing anywhere else!

Re:Popular! (2, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#33157848)

Dammit, make me feel old again and I'll... I'll... Wave my cane at you!

Menacingly!

Joystix (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33157830)

Joystix [joystixamusements.com] in Houston is pretty damn popular as well. Every first and last Friday of the month, the bar next door sells $15 wristbands that get you in to the showroom, where everything working is on free play aaaaallllll niiiiight (well, until last call...). They've got an arcade machine that pre-dates pong (they don't turn that one on...) all the way to up games that are almost kinect-like (seriously, they had a rail-shooter that, instead of stepping on a pedal, it watched which way you dodged out of the way and did that). It's freakin' awesome. And because it's a repair/resell shop, the stock is constantly rotating, so there's always something new. It's an arcade gamer's paradise. Except when some stupid singles group sets up an outing.

Sorry if that sounds like an advertisement... I'm there every chance I get, and I think I've dragged every one of my friends along at some point. I needed somewhere new to proselytize.

Other good NYC arcades? (4, Interesting)

MunchMunch (670504) | more than 4 years ago | (#33157840)

I've lived in New York City for years, a few years back, and I determinedly Googled trying to find arcades. I found about two. Now I've moved back, and would really like to find these 23 arcades, wherever they are.

How do you find the arcades? Do Slashdotters know of any other good NYC arcades?

Re:Other good NYC arcades? (4, Informative)

lyinhart (1352173) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158434)

Arcadelocations.net has a listing of arcades with classic games in New York State [arcadelocations.net] . So does AURCADE [aurcade.com] . One location not mentioned is Peter Pan Games in Queens. Depending on where you live, it might be easier to get to than Chinatown Fair, which is blocks away from the nearest subway station.

Otherwise, there's some good looking places in New Jersey (*shudder*) like Richie Knucklez and 8 on the Break.

Re:Other good NYC arcades? (2, Informative)

story645 (1278106) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158518)

I play games at pizza shops, movie theaters, and the like, spent a ton of coins on area 51 at the Chinese takeout place by my elementary school, and I've only really been to arcades if I was going to a birthday party thrown at one. There's a teeny one in the basement of Queens Center Mall, and it might have something decent buried behind the DDR (haven't had a chance to check) and I've seen some boxes at the local comic book shop.

Even some PC games are better face to face. (4, Insightful)

OnePumpChump (1560417) | more than 4 years ago | (#33157866)

I can't stand playing Counterstrike on the Internet, but on a LAN it's a different story.

Re:Even some PC games are better face to face. (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#33157890)

Even some PC games are better face to face.

Real face-to-face [youtube.com] counter-striker's would straight up pwn your average Larper [youtube.com] . Nubsauces.

Re:Even some PC games are better face to face. (3, Informative)

RossumsChild (941873) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158100)

For the social gamer that's lost his LAN crowd (due to them all growing up, gettin' wedded, what-have-you) there's a breed of bar/internet cafe/gamespace that is becoming more and more prevalent. The Atlanta one is called Battle and Brew and rents time on PCs loaded with most of the modern games, as well as big screen TVs and a full rock band setup.

I'm curious to see how this new sort of gamer's pub does in the modern social climate.

I'm hoping they will do well--it'd be a good thing to be able to wander into such a place when I'm sent out to some city I don't know on business and be able to find a few kindred spirits and a gaming rig when my own gaming machine is 3,000 miles away.

"Old School" Pinball in SF Bay Area (5, Interesting)

dannyastro (790359) | more than 4 years ago | (#33157904)

If you want really "old school", check out the Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda, CA (near Oakland) - http://pacificpinball.org/ [pacificpinball.org] . They have pinball machines from the 1930's to 2000's, with a big collection of "woodrail" and "wedgehead" games. No video games. Only pinball (and an odd electromechanical rifle game here and there).

Re:"Old School" Pinball in SF Bay Area (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33157974)

Sounds very similar to the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas...http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ [pinballmuseum.org]

Re:"Old School" Pinball in SF Bay Area (5, Informative)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158046)

Really old school is the arcade museum in the Fisherman's Wharf area of San Francisco.

Re:"Old School" Pinball in SF Bay Area (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33158080)

I agree with that. In that place I saw a functional Death Race 2000 game among with several penny operated mechanical arcades similar to those in Disneyland.

Re:"Old School" Pinball in SF Bay Area (1)

Papabryd (592535) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158192)

If you live in the Baltimore/Glen Burnie area, CrabTowne [google.com] is worth your time. Not for the food mind you...but just walk on through to the game room with dozens of working arcades (Including Tapper! [djgallagher.com] ) and a perimeter lined with working pinball of all types. Really wonderful place. Really terrible chicken fingers.

Pinball Hall Of Fame (5, Informative)

Travco (1872216) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158008)

The Only place for Pinball. Over three hundred games on site, over a thousand in the worlds largest collection. The proprietor has been in the biz for almost 40 years and can tell you anything you want to know about any game you can name. http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ [pinballmuseum.org] And for you youngsters he has twenty or so classic videos.

Re:Pinball Hall Of Fame (2, Informative)

dannyastro (790359) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158262)

PHoF is great, but it's not the only place for pinball. The Pacific Pinball Museum (mentioned above) has 90 machines in the museum and about 800 more in storage. For the first weekend in October, they put on the Pacific Pinball Exposition at the Marin Civic Center with over 350 pinball machines set on Free Play (the PHoF machines are all coined). THAT is pinball heaven!

pinball circus that is there is a real odd game! (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158272)

pinball circus that is there is a real odd game! To bad it's costed to much to make as they there are only 2 of them.

I last visited this place . . . (3, Interesting)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158018)

. . . in NINETEEN SEVENTY SEVEN.

It was a Junior high school field trip to Chinatown. Other than seeing a bum sleeping on the street, and picking up a copy of ANALOG with a Joe Haldeman story, I don't remember anything else BUT this arcade.

A tough kid offered to sell us switchblades.

We played the "chicken" games.

If there were video games, I don't remember them specifically. But they'd certainly be old school stuff that make the "classics" mentioned above seem science fictional.

Re:I last visited this place . . . (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158050)

Unfortunately, the chicken died several years back...

Re:I last visited this place . . . (2, Interesting)

coughfeeman (608160) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158096)

I remember this place in the 80's. My parents would take us out to Chinatown every week from the 'burbs to get some "real" groceries, and my brother and I would beg for a quarter so we can play a game. That was the one and only place I've ever seen the the machine where you can play Tic-Tac-Toe with a live chicken.

Why has no one made a video game museum? (2, Interesting)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158026)

A museum of video games would try and buy up every game ever made. Then people could pay admission to visit for the day and play every video game the museum collected. The goal of the museum is to own every video game ever made.

Re:Why has no one made a video game museum? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33158086)

See here. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Why has no one made a video game museum? (4, Interesting)

Travco (1872216) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158088)

Having been a Video game service person in the early 80's I can tell you why your dream can't come true. Many of the early games depended on short run parts that were unreliable and are now Gone. Most of them could be emulated with no trouble but then you could have the museum in your own home (MAME)

Re:Why has no one made a video game museum? (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158194)

But you can't have it legally on your home built MAME machine (at least with EVERY game you could think of). The various MAME cabinets that you see in arcades get most of the popular ones though, and you can buy those machines.

Re:Why has no one made a video game museum? (2, Interesting)

jlb.think (1719718) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158580)

But you can't have it legally on your home built MAME machine (at least with EVERY game you could think of). The various MAME cabinets that you see in arcades get most of the popular ones though, and you can buy those machines.

Buying old broken machines allows you to do a full restoration, exempting hardware, that flawlessly plays classic games. When you buy the machine with the ROMs, or a machine from an owner you bequeaths you all rights including his right to all information on the ROMs all lost parts, et cetera, then get the right to run the game. You can buy a crapped out box and gain the legal rights to a full restoration in a commercial or private environment. Someone could probably make a hand-some amount of money selling replica machines with the rights they gain. One could even secure the old ROMs inside a new case as proof of its legality. Emulation has made it so some of the very fun cult classics could make their way back into bars, or even in gamer cafe's. One game on a machine, period. Mastering a really hard game makes one want to play more. Anyone who has ever played Defender:Stargate understands the urge to pump in more quarters to get a shot at them Yllabians.

Re:Why has no one made a video game museum? (2, Interesting)

gameguy1957 (937850) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158382)

Believe it or not, there are several companies out there that have started to reproduce a lot of the hard to find items. With things like artwork there will only be a short run every few years for some of the more rare titles, but the more popular games have reproduction parts available from many vendors.

There's a company that has actually reproduced the yoke for the Star Wars games and they are also looking into having the vector tubes reproduced for the old X-Y games. So the rare stuff is getting easier to find in some cases. It'll be expensive, but at least it's available.

I picked up a Dragon's Lair cabinet a couple of weeks ago that has been converted to some generic 1990's era game. The area where the marquee mounted had been cut to allow a generic marquee to be installed. I can buy the replacement wood panels, marquee brackets, marquee plexi, and the repro marquee itself to restore the cabinet back to its original shape. So a few months of work and a few hundred dollars in parts will get this classic back into working shape.

Re:Why has no one made a video game museum? (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158136)

I think that task has been delegated to various P2P emulation groups who do indeed collect every game ever made that they can get their hands on.

Re:Why has no one made a video game museum? (1)

S-100 (1295224) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158258)

They are working on it. The Video Game Hall Of Fame is trying to acquire one of every video game ever created. It's located in Ottumwa, Iowa, home of the famous Twin Galaxies Arcade, and the self-proclaimed "video game capital of the world".

Re:Why has no one made a video game museum? (1)

Destoo (530123) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158282)

There are several arcade and console restoration and conservation groups.
The American Classic Arcade Museum [classicarcademuseum.org] was present at Pax East.

Re:Why has no one made a video game museum? (2, Informative)

gameguy1957 (937850) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158318)

Videotopia is a museum display that travels. They currently have a setup in Tallahassee, Florida. I saw it last Friday while passing through there. They have everything from the first commercial video game (Computer Space) through some late 1990's era games.

There are more working classic video games today than there were ten years ago. It's not cost effective to refurbish and keep them running commercially, but there are hundreds of home arcades where people collect, restore, and share their games with their friends. I have a home arcade with 60 video games and 5 pinball machines. My collection is small compared to many of the others. So the arcades and games are not gone, just no longer in public.

Do a search online and you may be able to find someone locally with a nice arcade in their home that has an occasional game night open to everyone.

Re:Why has no one made a video game museum? (1)

anarche (1525323) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158874)

Be one of the only museums that could make money.

Re:Why has no one made a video game museum? (4, Informative)

edashofy (265252) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158904)

In addition to the efforts going on in Ottumwa, there is the already-existing American Classic Arcade Museum [classicarcademuseum.org] , located inside Funspot [funspotnh.com] in New Hampshire. This arcade was prominently featured in the cult-favorite documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters [imdb.com] . I don't think their mission is to collect every single game ever (that would be a lot of them) but they sure have a huge collection [funspotnh.com] of both popular and obscure games.

The museum is really just one floor of the arcade (there are three) featuring many, many classic arcade games in excellent working order. I imagine the maintenance is a perpetual nightmare, but they do what they can. There is no admission fee, just ordinary tokens to play the games. Most still cost one token (each token costs a quarter, or less if you buy in bulk), and let me tell you $20 goes a long, long way there. For maximum childhood regression, they keep the lights down and play awesome 80s tunes over the sound system. I was there a couple months ago and got to play some games that I had not laid hands on for a long time: Elevator Action (last played at Fuddrucker's), Missile Command (pediatric dentist's office), Sinistar (Lamppost Pizza), Dragon's Lair (Chuck-E-Cheese), Star Wars (basement of the local Sears), Tapper (local bowling alley), Crystal Castles (by the front door of the local Alpha Beta supermarket) and so on. A few machines I had never seen before in person (a stand-up Pong machine, Satan's Hollow). They even have a friggin' Computer Space [wikipedia.org] , but alas it was broken when I visited. The fact that you're even allowed to touch it is amazing.

I also got to play the infamous Donkey Kong machine, where I was proud to hold the high score (a piddly 18,000) for probably five minutes, and the same Pac Man machine where Billy Mitchell played the world's first perfect game of Pac Man (I think I cleared about 3 boards).

It's a real experience - if you're in the area I highly recommend stopping in.

Surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33158052)

It is surprising that in a city of 19,000,000 people you can find enough like minded individuals to populate an arcade.

Time Crisis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33158064)

- WAIT -

ACTION!

Man, I love this arcade shooter, even more fun with a 2nd player, and the music is great too.

Damn Wild Dog, won't he ever die?

Bravo! ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33158078)

Flyn's still exists!

Not likely this post will reach through the "wall" however.

Arcades are dead. Long live the arcades. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33158112)

I grew up in arcades and absolutely loved them. They were a huge, huge part of my life and the next biggest social hub outside of school to meet people -- well, other geeky boys like yourself, other than the legendary Arcade Gamer Girl who existed but was rarely seen.

Sadly arcades are dead. Why? The technology. Arcades had games based on the absolute forefront of technology and every vendor was trying to beat each other with better sound, flashier graphics, and more interesting gameplay. Once games went to 3D the technology abruptly plateaued and nobody could do 'better' anymore, just 'the same'. Plus this technology brought arcade quality games home around the time of the PSX/Saturn, both of which had a huge number of arcade ports (and the PSX hardware went on to power many an arcade game).

Will the ever come back? No. There's no money to be made. Today's 3D games cost such an insane amount of money to develop that nobody wants to take risks. That's why they go with safe bets like Tiger Woods Golf or some dancing game and truly unique, original titles like Bayonetta are few and far in between.

OK, so what does an arcade fan do in light of this? Collect games! Arcade games are absolutely dirt cheap, most of them are easily interchangeable in one cabinet (1 cab, many PCBs), and there's nothing like owning your favorite games.

Aah (4, Interesting)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158176)

There was a good solid decade between 1978 and 1988 when you could go into any mall and you'd hear the arcade from a mile away. I'd make a bee-line for 'em and blow any quarters I had on me. They always turned the games up way too loud, and the most distinctive sound was the falling bug from centipede. Going to the arcade was a very sensory experience.

Occasionally you'd get lucky and they'd have a new machine in that you'd never seen before. All arcades seemed to have that new-electronics smell. Occasionally you'd find a broken control, but a lot of the guys who worked in those places could actually fix the machines, and they always seemed to have spare parts on hand.

They were on their decline with the 90s. I remember being horrified upon discovering an upscale mall in Florida that didn't have an arcade. Eventually this became the norm. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted. I'm glad to have been growing up in that time.

If I ever get back to New York, I'll have to go looking for one of these places, if only for the chance of hearing those bugs falling one more time.

Re:Aah (1)

Paspanique (1704404) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158366)

Yay! The good old days! I remember going to the Arcades while my mother shopped, just looking at people playing since I didn't have any money. Tron, with the blue controller and box setting, robotron with two controller. moon patrol, centipede. Then When I grew up a bit, having a paper route allowed me to play a lot, games were different Skate, altered beast , afterburner , vigilante, xenophobia and so many more...it was a blast back then. After came the Street fighter 2 & mortal combat in my teens, so much quarters spent, but head-tohead match-up were the best, nothing beats the feeling of beating up a line of people waiting for you to destroy them! So much better than not seeing the face of the guys you're creaming!! The good old days. It was fun!

Re:Aah (2, Informative)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158488)

There was a good solid decade between 1978 and 1988 when you could go into any mall and you'd hear the arcade from a mile away. I'd make a bee-line for 'em and blow any quarters I had on me. They always turned the games up way too loud, and the most distinctive sound was the falling bug from centipede. Going to the arcade was a very sensory experience.

For any young'uns out there who want an idea of what it looked and sounded like, check out the video found here. [cinemarcade.com] (If you play the Quicktime version, be sure to click on the right side of the movie to turn on the music.)

That video is almost 10 years old, and I still find it amazing. I wish that guy would redo it with the tools available today.

~Philly

Of course it's popular (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33158180)

It's popular because video games are for faggots and America is infested with faggots.

Asbury Park, too (3, Informative)

S-100 (1295224) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158236)

The Silverball Museum opened on the boardwalk in Asbury Park earlier this year. There are over 200 classic pinball machines and a smattering of early video games and other early games such as pitch & bats, shuffle alleys, and such. http://silverballmuseum.com/ [silverballmuseum.com]

Re:Asbury Park, too (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158330)

Lucky Leo's at Seaside Height has a "classic" arcade room off from its main one. I only ever go there in the dead of winter to avoid the "Jersey Shore" crowd.

Ground Kontrol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33158314)

Ground Kontrol http://www.groundkontrol.com/ in Portland, Oregon is an 'old school' arcade that's quite popular as well. It has a heck of a pinball collection too.

Penny Arcade in Manitou Springs, Colorado (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33158380)

There is a great classic penny arcade in Manitou Springs, Colorado. They have old ski ball machines, and all sorts of old arcade games

old skoool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33158394)

i dig real arcades myself however i get disappointed when i feel or can obviously tell that the games are
not cared for or aged.
    i want to go to one where the games and the game stations are at least within an average of 2yrs
at the most give or take for the age of the machines and is well lit or creatively styled
with a decent food stuffs area with not only junk food but real foods and so on
with lan rooms and mmorpg sections a fantasy one would include a gym or real sports areas that earn credits for game play
or something

The reason arcade games are more fun face to face (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158398)

is that unlike most computer games where at most your "ranking" is the only thing up for grabs, the people involved in an arcade match actually have something tangible, ie their money, at stake. If you win you get to keep playing and force the other guy to pony up more cash if he wants to keep playing, if you lose then you gotta put up the cash. Humans seem to respond better when they perceive there are real consequences to losing and prizes for winning.

Old School? (2, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158430)

But Chinatown Fair has become a center for all the outcasts in the city to bond over their shared love for a good 20-punch combo and "old school" games that more popular arcades don't stock anymore — the classic Street Fighter II from 1991 and King of Fighters 1996,

Games from 1991-1996 are considered "old school" now? A person born in those years would be described as very young.

Re:Old School? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158942)

Games from 1991-1996 are considered "old school" now? A person born in those years would be described as very young.

Yes... pecause people and computer games are not the same things. You know that means that the games are getting on to 20 years old. Take one of the era all-time classics, SF2 CE. The system board was a 10ish MHz 68k variant (probably 68000), with a few thousand colours (4096??) and a little spot of RAM. I seem to remember to also had a Z80 for sound and a hardware blitter. I think the graphics were of order 320x240.

So, yeah, that is old school for several reasons. Firstly, the computer world has moved on very far since then. Secondly, the kids who were born then (and after) are all grown up and at least legally adults. We were playing these games in arcades before they were born. They are now adults, remember. So yeah, the games are certainly old school.

Re:Old School? (2, Interesting)

discord5 (798235) | more than 4 years ago | (#33159352)

Games from 1991-1996 are considered "old school" now? A person born in those years would be described as very young.

1991 would mean that it's 19 years old, which for video games is pretty old. I do remember enjoying Street Fighter 2 a lot when I was 19 years younger, which seems like ages ago. What's perhaps more surprising about it is that aside from the sequels, this game has actually been ported, published, republished, ported again, overhauled, balanced, given new art, rebalanced, etc etc etc and people are still playing the latest incarnation from 2008 Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix.

There's also a very active competition atmosphere surrounding Street Fighter, one that probably rivals the whole starcraft thing. The last event I noticed was EVO2010 [evo2k.com] , which was live streamed over the internet as well. It's pretty impressive to see some of these players go at it.

In a way, I'm a bit saddened that arcades are disappearing. We don't have a lot of cities with arcade halls here, but carnivals used to bring arcades with them. I would lose a lot of small coins to those machines, but over time the coins weren't so small any more as the prices went up. A few years after I stopped going to arcades at carnivals traditional arcade games disappeared for more lucrative things with prizes (robot arm grabbing stuffed animals, coin machine where prizes would drop down together with coins). I never really understood what's so fun about inserting coin after coin until some coins fall out and possibly a cheap watch or keychain. These days you're lucky if more than one arcade shows up at a carnival, and you're really lucky if they carry a few good arcade games. The cities where there are arcade halls have very few actual arcade machines, and are more focused on the really big stuff that takes up a lot of room: DDR machines, rythm games (think like guitar hero), and things like that.

I guess the consoles have mostly obsoleted the arcade with multiplayer over the internet, even though it's quite not the same experience. From what I gather, arcades are still very popular in some Asian countries.

License? (1)

tirefire (724526) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158442)

From the summary, emphasis mine: "In 2005, there were 44 licensed video game arcades in New York"

Somebody please tell me that a gubmint license is not necessary to operate an arcade in New York.

Re:License? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33158822)

By tradition, permission to operate coin-operated machines in NYC is given by the Mob.

Re:License? (3, Informative)

Arivia (783328) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158834)

Well a business license would be. And I suspect you'd have to put the type or purpose of business on there.

Is there a crack force of arcade investigators? No.

Re:License? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#33159094)

Somebody please tell me that a gubmint license is not necessary to operate an arcade in New York.

Somebody please tell me that a gubmint license is not necessary to operate a bank in New York, it's a terrible distortion of the free market.
Somebody please tell me that a gubmint license is not necessary to operate a fast food restaurant in New York, it's a terrible distortion of the free market.
Somebody please tell me that a gubmint license is not necessary to operate as a dentist in New York, it's a terrible distortion of the free market.
Etc.

Nice place (3, Informative)

lyinhart (1352173) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158464)

Yeah, Chinatown Fair is a great place. I remember that they were probably the first arcade in NYC to get Street Fighter IV a couple of years ago. Keep in mind that the game wasn't even officially available to U.S. arcade operators. And they shelled out for four Japanese style sit down cabinets (you needed two cabinets to play two-player versus games), which no doubt cost them thousands of dollars. They still had some of the older games though, including Capcom vs. SNK 2 and Super Street Fighter II Turbo. Chinatown Fair does cater to one-on-one fighting fans - I don't know any other arcade around that has Blazblue and Arcana Heart cabinets.

It's too bad they're so out of the way though, they're almost hidden in a corner of Chinatown and blocks away from the subway station. So unless you're in Southern Manhattan or Western Brooklyn, it's a tough place to get to.

Such a shame (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33158558)

The arcade industry here in Japan is still thriving - I myself go to one in the middle of Shinjuku most days after school to play Border Break or goof off on other games. It's one thing I'm really going to miss once I head back to the States in a week and a half(among other things). Living in a suburb in central Jersey doesn't help in that regard too much after having lived in Tokyo.

I suppose it's easier for arcades to survive in cities, where people commuting to and from work/school can stop by there and play a few rounds of Street Fighter or something, but the difference in gamers' tastes and preferences between America and Japan is like night and day. A lot of gamers my age and older(mid-to-upper 20s) seem to prefer older games almost as a result of the rise of stay-at-home Internet-connected game systems, whereas here in Japan people of all ages are always psyched about the next Gundam vs Gundam or Street Fighter or whatever the new big deal is. Maybe if we had up-to-date brand-new arcade games in the US, people would be more into it, but the difficulties in localizing arcade games from a country halfway around the world seem rather obvious.

I'm just rambling, so don't mind this anonymous coward who can't remember if he has a /. account or not.

That really... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33158568)

Looks like a terrible place to go.

Non-news, not even compelling advertising... For shame.

I was the first vidgame tech in NYC (5, Interesting)

mbstone (457308) | more than 4 years ago | (#33158894)

I arrived in '75 for my freshman year at NYU, and I was one of a group of students who hung around the pinball machines at the dorm. Steve was a fellow student, known as a wheeler-dealer and an elite scalper who could get you front row at Madison Square Garden for anything, the Who, the Stones, sections A and R, front orchestra. We would serve as his ticket-buying crew, often lining up all night behind the metal barricades of the MSG box office. Anyway, Steve somehow wrested the dorm pinball concession away from the existing operator. I got the job of pinball repairman. The pinball machines of '75 were strictly electromechanical Gottliebs and Willamses which, of course, used lots of relays, solenoids and stepping motors. In '76 the first solid state (TTL) machine came out, Spirit of '76. No more relays and stepping motors, only the solenoids and contact sensors (e.g. rollovers and bumpers) remained. What an interesting challenge to go from troubleshooting electromechanical logic to TTL! We had a Pong, but the first real arcade vidgame was Atari Starship One followed by some submarine-hunt game with a periscope. Next came Breakout, Clean Sweep, and Lunar Lander, followed closely by Asteroids, Pac-Man and Galaxians. These last were huge moneymakers; Steve decided to expand. He set himself up as vidgame and pin purveyor to various candy stores and bodegas. One of these was out in Flushing, Queens, it was called Space Age Amusements. One day I get a service call that all of the machines have gone haywire. I observe that it is a hot summer day. I remember the National Semiconductor TTL Handbook and that the operating temperature range for commercial grade TTL ICs is 0-100 degrees F. I tell Steve I have to go and get some boxer fans from one of the (former) electronics surplus stores on Canal Street. He thinks I'm nuts, but after I put the fans in the back of the machines they suddenly started working again (and the game OEMs started building fans into their products). Now Steve thinks I'm a genius. He calls me "the fan man." The mob owned the machine distributors, probably still do, and occasionally we would go out to Jersey or Pennsylvania to buy the equipment. One time I'm driving this van Steve borrowed from this mob guy. I stop for some cannoli on 11th street and park the van on the street. Unfortunately the wiseguy never paid his NYC parking tickets and the van got towed. Steve and I had to go and explain to the mob guy what happened to his van. That was an experience I won't soon forget.

Re:I was the first vidgame tech in NYC (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#33159132)

One time I'm driving this van Steve borrowed from this mob guy. I stop for some cannoli on 11th street and park the van on the street. Unfortunately the wiseguy never paid his NYC parking tickets and the van got towed. Steve and I had to go and explain to the mob guy what happened to his van. That was an experience I won't soon forget.

So how come you're not wearing a concrete overcoat and sleeping with the fishes?

Re:I was the first vidgame tech in NYC (3, Interesting)

Toy G (533867) | more than 4 years ago | (#33159388)

Dunno about NYC, but European coin-op distributors have always been controlled by mafia cartel, and they still are (although videogames have been replaced by videopoker, slots and partygames). They make for excellent money-laundering devices: low profile, wildly different volumes of income depending on location, very distributed, loose accounting. Many large arcades also doubled up as drug markets in the early 90s (dark, full of youngsters...), before the authorities started to crack down on the practice. Nowadays, you can still find very small arcades on small streets far from the city centre, but you wouldn't dream of actually enter the place unless you're somehow affiliated with the mob.

Keep it Real, NYC. (3, Interesting)

keatonguy (1001680) | more than 4 years ago | (#33159004)

We've got places like this back west in good ol' Portland, Oregon. There's a Barcade downtown that's all ages by day that rocks it just like this, and a pizza place nearby with some classics including an original Pac-Mac cabinet. The Wunderland is pretty solid too, especially since everything there costs 25 cents or less, but it's mostly ticket games these days.

I'm still holding out hope for an arcade 'revival' of sorts. The idea of video games as a communal pastime has a lot of merit, all it'll take is a bright spark of an idea, the lure of something you can't do with a home console to incite the gamers from their living rooms, dungeons, and desktops and back into the epileptic glow of the arcade.

In the UK almost all arcades are justslot machines (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 4 years ago | (#33159080)

Thats if they're still in business at all. You won't find a video game anywhere on the premises. The only arcade I can think of that still has them is The Trocadero in london. How thats still in business is anyones guess since the few times I've been there in recent years its got fewer people than a ham sandwich festival in tel aviv.

Re:In the UK almost all arcades are justslot machi (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 4 years ago | (#33159216)

every motorwary service station has a video game room though. Plus most seaside towns have a few traditional arcades.

Well.... (1)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 4 years ago | (#33159380)

Today gameplay is moving more and more towards the original arcade gameplay of the past.

I mean...game is almost out of the word gamedesgin.

Its all fluff, IP and stories with "CHOICES AND CONSEQUENCES!!!"

*shudders*

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