One of the things that I have always wanted to own was a full-sized arcade cabinet. It’s driven by nostalgia, of course: I spent countless hours of my youth shoving quarters into Defender, Pac Man, Frogger or Star Wars… and I’m pretty sure if I had dedicated that time to more productive activities like, say, studying, I would now be that doctor or lawyer my mom always wanted.
Before now I’ve looked at many differnet options: buying plans to build my own, used cabinets I could gut and refurbish… I’ve even looked at buying one of those “new” cabinets that comes pre-loaded with dozens of games. Finally, last month, I found a solution. A local Georgia company (actually less than a ten-minute drive from my house) called Rec Room Masters has started manufacturing arcade cabinet “kits” that work with any computer and the high-end X-Arcade joystick. Just load your favorite MAME (multi arcade machine emulator) files onto the computer, setup the joystick, put it and a 22″ montor in the cabinet and you’re ready to go!
Since I was so close to where they were located, the owner Wayne called and asked if I wanted to pick it up after work. “Of course!” I replied, and Wayne also gave me a tour of his showroom and warehouse. Pretty cool. Not only do they sell different versions of the arcade kit they even will print custom artwork for the cabinet for you (which is what I’ll be doing next).
Three hours of construction and configuration, and I had my fully-working arcade machine. And three hours after that, I had severe carpal tunnel on my joystick hand… along with a smile on my face. If you want a boss setup like mine, drop by their website and order today. Tell them Joe sent ya!
(Oh, and if you attend DragonCon in Atlanta over Labor Day weekend, drop by their booth in the dealer room to say hi and play a few free games…)