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Strangest place you've played video games


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#1 acelkin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 4, 2012 1:58 PM

I was just remembering back when I was a kid, Sears had a little room sectioned off with video games. I remember they had Zaxxon, Star Wars, Congo Bongo and a few others I can't recall. I assumed they did it so parents could shop & it gave us kids something to do other than boring shopping-lol

I remember walking home from school too & always stopping off at the local bar. They had a cocktail Pac-Man, Asteriods and Moon Cresta. I used to stop in there almost every single day after school. I'll never forget how nervous I was going into a bar the first time, I was probably 11 the first time I ventured in there. Guess kids could be in there since they served food, but only until 6 or 7 at night I believe.

One other place was a waterslide park in Minnesota. We used to vacation up there every summer. I saw Food Fight for the first time ever, it was semi-enclosed in a wooden type half shed I suppose.

This reminds me, there's an arcade in this amusement park we have in the town I live called Adventureland. They have quite a few retro games there. Berzerk, Tron, Punch-Out, Track & Field, etc. I need to hit that up this summer when it opens!

#2 toiletunes OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 4, 2012 7:50 PM

In the chicagoland area (and possibly elsewhere?) there's a chain of fried chicken places called Brown's Chicken, and one of them had a sit-down Ms PacMan. There was a Zayre's with a Jr. PacMan upright, and a Domino's pizza with a Domino Man upright. That was all many years ago. More recently, I stayed at a hotel with Contra and some racing game.

Nowadays, it's strange to see games anywhere :(

#3 Mirage OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 5, 2012 1:26 PM

I remember a laundromat in Minnesota in the early '80s that had a cocktail Pac-Man. Our washer was broken once so my mom went there and for some crazy unknown reason I was with her and got to play for quite awhile.

The main "arcade" I remember playing in when growing up, this would have been early '80s also, was the entrance to Snyder Drugs (if memory serves correct) in a small strip mall. There were always 4-5 machines standing there and we'd all hang out and play. I clearly remember playing Ms Pac Man, Zaxxon, Q-Bert there, and others. This is the same store I always bought Electronic Games magazine in, and later Compute! magazine, as well as my main source for new model cars :) Oh, the good ol' days.

#4 save2600 ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 5, 2012 2:10 PM

Libertyville, Il... I used to play Ikari Warriors and Bombjack in the vestibule of our local A&P grocery store back in the day.

Crazy Kong at a convenience store called The Convenient Store and several arcade games in a record store called Dog Ear Records. Both stores anchored a nice little strip "mall" in town. Across the street from Dairy Queen and nearby was Yankee Doodle Dandy and Brown's Chicken. Don't remember any games in those places, but there was a game or two in the restauant Fodrak's that took over when Yankee became defunct. Can't remember what those games were offhand though.

Sears in Vernon Hills had a little backroom arcade upstairs, behind clothing as someone else mentioned. I remember playing Super Mario Brothers there. And our little local theater also had a few games. Remember playing a converted Arkanoid there as well. Great times and great memories!

#5 AtariLeaf OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 5, 2012 4:28 PM

Probably my uncles basement. I remember when I was about 10, he had an Atari but before I could play it I had to drink this funny drink first that made me sleepy and when I woke up my clothes were on inside out. He told me it was part of the instructions for Space Invaders but I never had to do that in the arcade. :ponder:

Edited by AtariLeaf, Sun Feb 5, 2012 4:29 PM.


#6 bomberpunk OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 5, 2012 4:59 PM

when i was super young, my great aunt owned a bar which was connected to her house. eventually she stopped the business and the empty bar just sat there until she moved out due to Alzheimer's. anyway, we went to the bar through her kitchen. she had a pool table and ms pac-man. an empty low-light bar for a 5-6 year old child. definitely weird. but awesome at the same time.

#7 OldSchoolRetroGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 5, 2012 5:13 PM

Cemetery! I was overnight security for Halloween, cold and mostly boring I took my GP2x handheld.

#8 cparsley OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:33 PM

I was just remembering back when I was a kid, Sears had a little room sectioned off with video games. I remember they had Zaxxon, Star Wars, Congo Bongo and a few others I can't recall. I assumed they did it so parents could shop & it gave us kids something to do other than boring shopping-lol

I remember walking home from school too & always stopping off at the local bar. They had a cocktail Pac-Man, Asteriods and Moon Cresta. I used to stop in there almost every single day after school. I'll never forget how nervous I was going into a bar the first time, I was probably 11 the first time I ventured in there. Guess kids could be in there since they served food, but only until 6 or 7 at night I believe.

One other place was a waterslide park in Minnesota. We used to vacation up there every summer. I saw Food Fight for the first time ever, it was semi-enclosed in a wooden type half shed I suppose.

This reminds me, there's an arcade in this amusement park we have in the town I live called Adventureland. They have quite a few retro games there. Berzerk, Tron, Punch-Out, Track & Field, etc. I need to hit that up this summer when it opens!


Come on over to Adventureland your going to have a fun filled day! (or take it to the extreme) depending on which season's commercial you preferred the most! (It's what passes for an Amusement Park for the Des Moines/Altoona area in Iowa :) )

#9 Dauber OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:03 PM

acelkin -- the Sears at Meadowview Shopping Center in Kankakee, IL had a small game room, too! I remember once my mother told me that they closed it, and there was a sign posted saying that it was closed because a kid got brain damage from playing the games too much. ("Brain damage" was a VERY common warning I got from my mother. She even told me that a weird thing I noticed with my finger -- which I found out was actually normal -- was a condition that was known as "video finger," from playing video games too much in one day. sigh....) Of course, OVER A YEAR LATER, when I was in that Sears I saw that the game room was still alive and well! Aaaaaaand...I found that the Robotron 2084 machine somehow was set for unlimited credits. :)

Strange as it was, because back in the day I was a little kid and didn't make it to the arcades very much (just the monthly trip to Lincoln Mall and my dollar allowance for Aladdin's Castle), most of my game playing, outside of the Atari VCS, was at the Kroger in Bourbonnais, IL. (Weirdsies -- a few years ago I went back there after having not been in that store since 1986....I swear to God, they didn't change AT. ALL. It was like being in a living time capsule. Very bizarre! They've since moved to a new location though.) I remember when that Kroger store opened they had two games up front: a Deep Scan/Headon II twofer, and a Crazy Kong machine. Eventually they got a bootleg Pac-Man machine. (Basically a generic cabinet with the Pac-Man ROM, and a hand-drawn sign a tthe top.) That's also where I was exposed to Ms. Pac-Man, Super Pac-Man, Exciting New Pac-Man Plus!, and Popeye...I remember one day when I was playing Ms. Pac-Man there I lost my last life right before I had a chance to eat the last few dots on a board, and I got pissed and pounded my fist on the board. My dad got pissed at me and banned me from playing video games for two weeks...took it seriously, too -- if my brother was playing video games while I was outside, he was ordered to close the blinds so I couldn't see through....but yeah, weird that most of my arcade game playing as at a grocery store!

Weirdest place I ever played a video game? A small Pac-Man coin-op....inside the hallway outside my school's main office! They brought in a couple of games for a fun fair once.

#10 7800Lover OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:30 PM

The strangest place I've ever played video games...that would be the high school I went to in freshman year.

*record scratch SFX*

Seriously, I am not making this up! My first high school down in NC actually had a Mortal Kombat 2, Art of Fighting and D&D: Tower of Doom. I'd never thought I'd see a video game machine in a high school!

#11 retrorussell OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:11 PM

I somehow always felt arcade machines were a weird idea in a laundromat. I mean yeah, you don't really have much to do while your clothes wash/dry unless you have a book or crossword puzzle, but that's what most people seemed to do as they waited, not want to play arcade games. Saw a Choplifter and Dig Dug there once.

#12 SoulBlazer OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:50 PM

I somehow always felt arcade machines were a weird idea in a laundromat. I mean yeah, you don't really have much to do while your clothes wash/dry unless you have a book or crossword puzzle, but that's what most people seemed to do as they waited, not want to play arcade games. Saw a Choplifter and Dig Dug there once.


And that's ironic that you say that cause nowadays, laundromats are the only places one can still find arcade machines. :lol:

#13 heberts811 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:40 PM

I once played Granny and the Gators (pin-vid combo) at a laundromat.

#14 mike99mccarthy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:19 AM

Being born in 1984...... by the time I was able to drive(2000) arcades were virtually extinct. I found myself many times "sneaking" into hotel gamerooms alot. Also laundromats, skating rinks, etc... The only arcade was in the oaks mall in gainesville, FL. Probably the 1st or 2nd time I drove there all the machines had price tags on them :_(. Oh well my home arcade is looking pretty good lately :-D

#15 Chuck D. Head OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:27 AM

Four words: White Kid - Black Barbershop.

And the game was Space Invaders.

#16 IAMAMRA OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:18 AM

Mens restroom at a truck stop....was pacman if I remember.

#17 acelkin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:44 PM

@ cpparsley=Come on over to Adventureland your going to have a fun filled day! (or take it to the extreme) depending on which season's commercial you preferred the most! (It's what passes for an Amusement Park for the Des Moines/Altoona area in Iowa :) )
You've seen/heard the commercials-are you from Iowa or a surrounding state?


@Dauber-that's cool your local Sears had the same small arcade room setup as well!
There was a laundromat near me as well in DSM that had Frogger & a couple of pinball games too.

#18 retrorussell OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:51 AM

I am entertaining thoughts of putting one up in my attic.. a cocktail and maybe find a way to shorten the legs, because there's not much room in the attic (just a small space over the garage). It's tough to stand all the way up so they'd have to be really short. It'd be worth it though. First, I have to get some plywood and mattress foam on there to have something to sit/stand on (there's just cross boards right now) to cover up the nails that are sticking up through the floor (yeouch!). Maybe Bosconian so I can switch the pcb out with other Namco goodies (Ms.Pac, Pac-Man, Galaga).

#19 lushgirl_80 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:14 PM

Strangest place I ever saw a game was back in the 80's ,the Walgreen's near my house had a Popeye machine near the entrance.


Also there was this fast food place where I grew up near my school called El Taco and they were alot like Taco Bell and I remember they had Centipede and Joust.And there was an old A&W Family Restaurant in the 80's that had Kangaroo. One of the reasons why I didn't like Mcdonald's growing up is because they never had any video games like A&W.

#20 lushgirl_80 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:15 PM

Strangest place I ever saw a game was back in the 80's ,the Walgreen's near my house had a Popeye machine near the entrance.


Also there was this fast food place where I grew up near my school called El Taco and they were alot like Taco Bell and I remember they had Centipede and Joust.And there was an old A&W Family Restaurant in the 80's that had Kangaroo. One of the reasons why I didn't like Mcdonald's growing up is because they never had any video games like A&W.

#21 retrorussell OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:55 PM

A tiny buger joint with limited seating space doesn't seem like the kind of place that should have an arcade game, but a Tastee Freeze close to where I used to live in Portland/Tigard OR had a cabaret Pac-Man. It's now a Hookah Lounge. I used to call it "Sushi Freeze" because most of the Tastee Freezes turned into a Japanese restaurant, including that one before it became the hookah lounge.

#22 jhd OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:16 PM

The Sears store near where I grew up briefly had an original Space Invaders machine around 1979. All of the signage/instructions was in Japanese! I think that there was one or two other games, but I cannot remember clearly. They did not last very long; perhaps a few months at most.

A bit later, the nearby Eatons store had two arcade machines in their front entrace -- Ms. Pac Man and Space Duel. These lasted for a few years. The same store also had a Colecovision and (much later) a Genesis store demo kiosk.

The bowling alley located in the same mall had what was probably the largest arcade in the city; though there was a much larger arcade in a neighbouring municipality.

(For the non-Canadians here, Eatons was a major Canadian department store chain until it went out of business around 2000. It was a bit higher-end than Sears.)




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