I’m a nostalgia junkie at heart. As a kid, I could never waste a quarter on an arcade game, no matter how badly I wanted to play them. Having a full sized arcade game in the house was something 99.9999% of kids could only dream of at the time. I always dreamed I would get one if I ever got the opportunity. Nowadays, it seems silly since a phone can out perform any free standing game ever made. But there was just something about being there in front of that big cabinet, grasping those custom made controls that really took you into the moment.
Back in 2008, the opportunity arrived. I bought a Spy Hunter (in rough shape for about $900) and had it delivered to my one-bedroom apartment. I caught the fever, and over the next 13 years, I slowly added games from friends or sellers online. I’ve become quite adept at learning to diagnose and repair these machines. I’ve even fully restored several of them including the PaperBoy, the Cheyenne and the Spy Hunter to like-new condition. Here is how it looks today:
The collection includes: Galaga, Star Wars (with the sought after amplifone monitor), a PaperBoy, Cheyenne (which I loved to play at Six Flags back in the day), Spy Hunter, Ikari Warriors, Asteroids Deluxe, Lunar Lander (the most prestine example in existence), Midway’s Gunfight (the first game to ever feature a microprocessor), a 1956 Chicago Coin Steam Shovel, a fairly rare Track and Field cocktail, a Haunted House Pinball, and a 1989 Black Knight 2000 pinball machine, along with it’s 1980 predecessor, The Black Knight. The red and blue machines in the back are 1971 Computer Space machines. These are the first arcade games ever made and sold to the public (by Nolan Bushnell, who would go on to create Pong and then found obscure companies such as Atari and Chuck-E-Cheese). They are 2 of less than 100 surviving examples, and 2 of about 60 known to still function.