Hey Jack! You home?

By JJack

April 04, 2020


52 days ago

I'm always home. It is mostly because of my job. At some point I got sick of working 60 hour weeks with no hobby. It is easy to do when you are at home and your face is always in a screen. Sometimes you have to remind yourself to stop and take a break or you never do anything but work. Being a Gen X, I grew up during the golden age of arcades. I have always been a gamer in one form or another all my life, mostly pc and console games, and while I love alot of modern games. They never seemed to have the same magic that the old games from my past use to have. pac-man, donkey kong, galaga, etc. One day I was browsing ebay (the worlds garage sale) and discovered a device called a "super gun". The thought of being able to play authentic arcade boards was intriguing to me so I bought it, and a couple of jamma boards. That started the flood. Soon after that, my collection of arcade boards had grown to over 300 boards, I could not stop buying them. My hobby evolved to building superguns as well as making jamma adapters for classic arcade boards. This was fun, a great hobby, but something was still missing. There was still a little kid inside me that used to wander around places like showbiz pizza and chuck-e-cheese looking at the games and thinking to myself "someday, I want my own arcade..." With the help of a few youtube channels I finally got the notion that I was going to convert my basement into my arcade / game room. So I started scouring craigslist for arcade cabinets. There were some complete cabinets out there but most of them were way over priced., Most of the affordable cabinets I found were gutted, but that was not a problem since I already had a huge selection of boards. So I started buying empty cabinets and populating them with what I had. My wife (who had for the most part been pretty indifferent about my sudden obsession of converting the basement) said to me one day. "You know, if you put a pinball machine down there, I might actually come down there and play with you once in awhile" At first I dismissed the idea with "Nah, pinball machines are too expensive." But as the arcade grew I started thinking. "Any good arcade has at least a couple of pins." So I started looking around for something affordable. After a long search I bought the Bally Amigo. It was a nice slow EM. We play that thing like clockwork every night. It was such a blast, I coud not believe how much time we spent in the basement. Suddenly it was the game both me and my wife played the most. It was the Amigo that opened the pinball flood gates from there. Almost overnight I seemed to completely forget about arcade cabinets, and started obsessing over pinball. The rest is history. I now have 7 pins in my basement and we are down there all the time flipping like crazy! I like working on them alsmost as much as playing them! That is my story. Maintaining my own little arcade is a labor of love I expect I will take to the grave!

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