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Author Topic: What was your 1st Arcade Experience?  (Read 49 times)

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What was your 1st Arcade Experience?
« on: November 12, 2018, 08:46:04 PM »
Good... Bad... or indifferent - it doesn't have to be the most mind blowing experience you had (This topic will come later) what was your 1st Arcade experience?

We are continuing the Arcade Discussion... Also, please see the If You Could Buy 1 Arcade Cabinet Right now - What would you Buy? topic and post up.

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Re: What was your 1st Arcade Experience?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2018, 10:25:58 PM »
Showbiz Pizza! for a succinct explanation please see below Wikipedia exert...

ShowBiz Pizza Place was an American restaurant pizza chain and family entertainment center founded in 1980 by Robert L. Brock and Creative Engineering. The brand emerged following a separation between Brock and Pizza Time Theatre, owners of the Chuck E. Cheese's franchise. ShowBiz Pizza restaurants entertained guests through a large selection of arcade games, coin-operated rides, and animatronic stage shows as a way to provide a complete package of food and entertainment.
Both companies became competitors and found early success, partly due to the rise in popularity of arcade games during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The type of animatronics used in the ShowBiz pizza chain which featured an overall-clad, hillbilly bear named Billy Bob as one of its central characters distinguished it from its rival which offered many of the same services. Following Pizza Time Theatre's bankruptcy filing in 1984, however, ShowBiz bought the struggling franchise and formed ShowBiz Pizza Time Inc., a combination of the former companies' names. By 1992, all ShowBiz Pizza Iocations were rebranded as Chuck E. Cheese.

This place was kid nirvana in the 80's. Asheville had no large arcades when I was growing up. There was an Aladdin's Castle in the mall but it was TINY. bowling alleys, pizza huts, grocery stores, all had a few arcades, but Showbiz had them all. The essential Atari line up graced one area which housed most of the machines that would later be knows as the golden age of the arcade, then another area had some of the newer cabinets Nintendo, Bally Midway, Williams, Sega, et al's heavy hitters of the 84 - 89 era, and of course a pleathora of pinball and ski ball rounding out the experience. Of course there was dome hockey, fooseball, and air hockey tables too but Nintendo had just hit the scene as a home console and the resurgence of video gaming was spreading like fire. The vector displays were starting to become aged but were new to me so it was awesome jumping between an asteroids or tempest machine and going and playing punchout or double dragon. There were a lot of birthday parties here, Saturday nights when step dad had his kids, and special treats when I got good grades on my report card. For me this was the pinnacle of the arcades, just before the quarter crunching games of chance started taking up prime real estate.

I will cop to the fact that the 90's had MUCH better machines. The sound was better, the games were better, and the gimmicks were better. You didn't just sit in a tie fighter and play Star Wars with some cabinet mounted speakers blasting in your ears, you sat in a cockpit with the freaking machine whirling you around. It was about this time though that the golden age machines were quickly forgotten and moved out. There was a bigger mix of cranes, and claws, and ticket producing crap. The arcade games were better, but there wasn't nearly as many of them.