So Christmas is here, and I’m guessing you are all busy getting ready for the festivities. So here’s something you can sit and watch when you get a quiet few minutes from the kids and relatives.
Collecting, restoring and playing classic arcade games brings out interesting reactions in others. For the most part, people come round to the idea and think it’s pretty cool that there are some of us who have these things in our houses, garages and games rooms – “You have an ARCADE in your house?!” is a not an untypical reaction.
And I think this is because of their place in popular culture. Anyone of a certain age, fan or not, remembers how ubiquitous these things were – arcades, pubs, and cafes over here in the UK; Seven Elevens, Laundromats and Shopping Malls over in the USA – in the early 80s, you couldn’t miss the fact that video arcade machines were a phenomenon.
And once you start enthusing about the artwork, the history and the tales behind many of these titles, people start to appreciate the attraction – we don’t just play the games, we restore and repair them, and act as as kind of custodian, ready to pass these historic artifacts on into the future.
So with that in mind, I thought I’d share this documentary filmed in the states a few years back. Rather than focusing on the machines themselves, this cool film takes a look into the minds and motivation of collectors of classic arcade machines. As well as in-depth interviews with these guys, there’s some great stock and news footage from the golden age spliced throughout. The result is a film that tells the story of the arcade machines’ meteoric rise and fall, and their present day “second lives” sitting in basements and garages all over America.
Called The Space Invaders – In Search of Lost Time, many collectors will relate to much of it – I thought it was a good watch from start to finish.
I don’t think this one had much promotion – I certainly hadn’t heard of it before stumbling across it on YouTube last week. Anyway, settle down with a beer and mince pie, put your headphones on and give this a watch.
Edit August 2017: Sadly the full movie seems to have been removed from YouTube!
So here’s a Trailer or two:
The doc can still be purchased on DVD and Blu Ray from the official site here.
There’s an interesting Q&A with the film maker Jeff Von Ward too which you can read here.
Enjoy your Xmas break. I have some super interesting stuff in the works, including a tale of an amazing one-off arcade related find in the USA recently that you definitely won’t want to miss.
Merry Christmas, and thanks for your great support this year – stay tuned!