Tag Archives | video arcades

The Video Game Preservation Crisis

studio_II_layoutPerhaps they were conceived as toys for children, but video games of the 1970s, 80s, and 90s are significant artifacts of 20th-century technological, cultural, and design history. Much of that history is being lost or thrown away. Gamasutra discusses the Game Preservation Crisis:

Trash cans, landfills, and incinerators. Erasure, deletion, and obsolescence. These words could describe what has happened to the various building blocks of the video game industry in countries around the world. These building blocks consist of video game source code, the actual computer hardware used to create a particular video game, level layout diagrams, character designs, production documents, marketing material, and more.

These are just some elements of game creation that are gone — never to be seen again. These elements make up the home console, handheld, PC and arcade games we’ve played. The only remnant of a particular game may be its name, or its final published version, since the possibility exists that no other physical copy of its creation remains.

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NYC’s Last Chinatown Arcade Shuts Its Doors

chinatownIt’s a sad day for lovers of underworld history, as an important slice of gritty “old New York” just faded into dust: the last video arcade in Chinatown has closed its gates. The iconic and beloved Chinatown Fair arcade perfectly embodied the cool, seedy downtown culture of Taxi Driver/Warriors-era NYC, and offered a futuristic escape from reality for teenagers and misfits from all boroughs. The arcade was minorly famous for its “tick-tack-toe chicken” booth game, which allowed customers to play an electronic game of tick-tack-toe (sometimes losing) against a live chicken. NYC The Blog offers great photos and a farewell:

Rumors started flying around New York City blogs last week that Chinatown Fair, one of the last traditional arcades left in the city, was closing. Those rumors became reality yesterday when Chinatown Fair locked its doors for good at 8 Mott Street yesterday at 12:48 am. It was in business since at least the 50s, first across the street and then at its current location for almost 30 years.

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