My first memory of an arcade game was a 60’s style rifle target shooting game I saw in some 1970’s Los Angeles drug store. Soon after I saw a standup disco looking PONG game at a Shakey’s Pizzeria and knew this was something else. But it wasn’t until a couple years later when I saw a wall of games at the local discount retailer that included Gun Fight, Sea Wolf, and an early black and white driving video game, that I knew these machines would be a lifelong passion. For most people, the love of video games is about the game itself, the game play, the adventure and challenge. For me it was all about the packaging design. It was like cool furniture that you could interact with. The game was cool, but I would stare for hours at the design of these machines. The lights, the art, the messages; the aesthetic of the machines is what made me fall in love. Arcades became a visual paradise for me, and I began to hangout in them as much as I could even though I was clearly the youngest kid around, only 8 or 9 at the time. During the years I was homeless, hanging out in arcades was a great way to pass time and indulge in my fascination. From that point, I knew I wanted my own arcade to hang out in 24/7. I wanted to have the machines at my disposal so I could admire the genius of the graphic art, illustration, and cabinet designs. The lights of the arcade, the design of the machines, the sounds, the smell of the CRT monitors burning, the cabinet materials off-gassing, the cabinet wood, and paint are all fresh memories in my mind. Yes, it’s strange, I know, but in many ways it’s the memories of “home” for me, and I love it.

Anyway… After watching a few decades of great game designs, I have not lost my appreciation or passion for these machines. Although many of the arcade games of the 1980's had endless budgets spent on their development, and had a level of graphic design that has yet to be matched, good design is still showing up to this day. What is left of the pinball industry carries the torch of cabinet design and illustration, as well as the modern generation of video game machines, almost.

There is a huge underground community of arcade game collectors and fans online. There are hundreds of "basement arcade" websites and blogs. Many of these people meet in online communities, in small local groups at each other’s houses, in basement arcades, gather at retro conventions, the few still living old school arcades, and the random remaining amusement auctions. It’s a whole other level of comic con style nerds but NO costumes! Well… definitely a lot of retro arcade game shirts. Ugh! Anyway, If you are interested in any of this retro arcade machine geek madness, pay a visit to where you will find a forum packed with retro arcade enthusiasts and the world’s most comprehensive list of arcade machines/pictures. *NERD!

In this folder are pictures of my arcade machines, my mini arcade, some classic old arcade machines long gone that I pulled off the internet, as well as many of the game cabinets I admire, also from the internet.