This week was fairly slow for news stories but suddenly at the end, I have quite a bit on my plate to share. Funny how that works. Let’s jump right to it!
Ahlgrim Funeral Home & Arcade – I have written many posts about arcades in different places but this has to take the cake for the weirder ones I have come across. When people ask me about the viability of arcades, I have stated that they can work just about anywhere that has a waiting room, given the right game and foot traffic. In that thought, a funeral home with a mini-golf course never came to mind. It is a clever way to be a little different from the norm, which they have been doing since the 60s.
Star Worlds Arcade Celebrating 30 Years In Business – If you live in or near DeKalb, IL then a milestone will be taking place there tomorrow, and not just because it is my birthday 😛 The famous Star Worlds Arcade location is celebrating 30 years in business on January 11th. According to the release they sent out: “Patrick O’Malley, owner of the arcade, opened the business with his parents while still in his early teen years. O’Malley maintains a vast collection of classic video game and pinball machines and prides himself on providing a unique environment for young and old alike.” They also will hold a special anniversary event on January 31st (a Saturday). Congrats to Star Worlds for the achievement! See the full press release beneath the Name That Game questions at the bottom. [Star Worlds Arcade Website] [Facebook Page]
NEON Retro Arcade Finally Opening – Mentioned back in September 2014, a new retro arcade was planning on opening their doors in Pasadena, CA. Unfortunately due to some factors that crept up, especially in areas where they like to make small business owners jump through hoops, it was delayed until now. They still do not have a fixed date announced, just “late January”. The game selection will still compromise of many notable classics: Asteroids, Centipede, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, Galaga, Joust, Mappy, Mario Bros., Millipede, Moon Patrol, Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man, Popeye, Q*Bert, Space Duel, Space Invaders, Stargate, Tetris and many more; pinball machines will include the likes of Pin-Bot, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, World Cup and Earthshaker. They have been able to create a solid base of followers on their social media channels, so I am sure as soon as they get the thumbs up they will make the announcement via those sources. If you are one of them and find yourself close by, be sure to drop by and give them your support! [Neon Retro Arcade Facebook]
Fantasy Scene, A Retro Arcade Art Project, – Speaking of retro games, Danny Passarella reached out to me this week and let me know about his cool project called Fantasy Scene. He has been taking pictures of retro arcade cabs and putting them into various scenarios where you would not expect to find an arcade machine, like the beach, the Taj Mahal, etc. He talks about the process in this interview with Ideastap. He is not quite done yet, he is currently seeking an original Quartet and RoadBlasters sitdown machine, but as you can find on his website, there are 10 complete scenes ready to go.
History of Videogames in 5 Anecdotes – While not strictly an article about arcades, I was sent this link about some interesting anecdotes on video game history. Pac-Man included of course! [Radio National Australia – A history of video games in 5 anecdotes]
Wonderland Wars – Sega has the first arcade-based MOBA game launching in Japan next month and they have released this trailer to promote it. We covered this one about a year ago when they unveiled it at JAEPO 2014:
Name That Game #30 – Last week I went with an odd assortment of games. The first, Atari’s Road Runner almost was a victim of development hell although it is too bad that the animated sequences could not have been kept in the non-laserdisc build as I think they would have given it some of the charm that those characters bring with them. The second title was an obscure racer by Taito called Super Speed Bump Jr., which is one of three titles in the series. The last was also an obscure one that was a single screen shooting game with the interesting mechanic in-between the main battles of a searchlight illuminating a part of the night sky.
#3 – Red Alert by Irem
Now for this week!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DeKalb Video Arcade Celebrates 30 Years in Business
DeKalb, IL (January 5, 2015) – On January 11, 2015, Star Worlds Arcade, in DeKalb, IL, will celebrate their thirtieth anniversary of video game and pinball fun. Patrick O’Malley, owner of the arcade, opened the business with his parents while still in his early teen years. O’Malley maintains a vast collection of classic video game and pinball machines and prides himself on providing a unique environment for young and old alike.
Inducted into the Twin Galaxies International Registry of Historic Video Game Arcades, Star Worlds stands out as one of the last, and possibly only, remaining neighborhood arcades that has survived since the ‘80s. Thirty years in business under the same ownership is an outstanding feat, especially when it comes to video game arcades.
While there are an ever-changing number of games at the venue, the selection is not limited to the ‘80s. You can start out playing the classic Ms. Pac-Man or Galaga, move on to one of several pinball games, fight zombies with The House of the Dead, dance with your partner on their Dance, Dance Revolution, continue with the rare Pop’n Music, and the list goes on.
Mr. Walter Day, founder of the international video game high score organization Twin Galaxies, has high praises for O’Malley. Day has included the arcade owner in his series of video game trading cards dubbing O’Malley as “Keeper of the Flame” for his contributions to the video game culture. Day has also been at the Star Worlds venue several times to honor game players as well as industry leaders such as Eugene Jarvis and Larry DeMar, creators of such games as Defender, Stargate, and Robotron:2084, and pinball designer Steve Kordek.
Star Worlds Arcade will be hosting their anniversary party on January 31, 2015. Space is limited and entry will only be by reservation. For more information about the event, contact Star Worlds Arcade or visit their website at www.starworldsarcade.com.
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