I was born in 1980 in Phoenix, Arizona, and throughout the mid-to-late 80’s and into the early 90’s, my parents would take me and my sister to places like Showbiz Pizza, Pistol Pete’s, Golf N’ Stuff (now Castles N’ Coasters), and Great Skate. I was immediately hooked on the atmosphere of the arcade: the sights, the sounds, the excitement of competing with and against friends, and the rush of trying to beat a game or put up a high score.
The first two games that really resonated with me were Berzerk and Pleiades. My elementary school would convert its cafeteria to a recreation center during Summer months, and those two games were there every year. While I was pretty good at Pleiades, I was really good at Berzerk – probably the best of the kids at the rec center. During my best game ever, I had to pee really bad, but didn’t want to walk away, as I was about to topple the high score. I indeed beat the high score that fateful day, but it came at a price. As soon as the game ended, I immediately peed my pants. Truth be told: I wasn’t even that embarrassed about it. Nothing was going to bring me down from that high. It was right around that time that I told myself that one day, I’d own a Berzerk machine.
As I got into my teenage years, I moved on to games like NBA Jam, Street Fighter 2, and the Mortal Kombat series, but the magic and classic simplicity of Berzerk always stuck with me. As I entered my early twenties, that nostalgia was still alive and well. On a whim back in the summer of 2003, I decided to look up Berzerk on eBay, and to my surprise, there was only one up for auction – and it was less than ten minutes from my house! I bid on it, and after a few days of refreshing every five minutes to make sure I was still the highest bidder, it was mine!
As hobbies have a tendency to do, one game turned into two games, turned into three, and well, you get the idea. My house has a horror-themed downstairs game room that’s home to seven pinball machines, a second game room upstairs that houses seven classic 80’s video arcade games and two pinball machines, and a pirate bar next to the kitchen, where I’ve parked a Donkey Kong machine. I should mention that I have a very understanding wife!
Over the years, a lot of games have come and gone (and some have even come back), I’ve made plenty of great friends, and I’ve been on several arcade adventures. The purpose of this website is to document my past, present, and future involvement in this wacky hobby.