Today’s comic strip is another one taken right from real life. About a month ago I decided I wanted to turn my garage into a classic arcade. I spent huge chunks of my youth in places with names like Electron Palace, Tilt, and Wonderland. I imagine the same desire that drives another 35 year old man to buy the car he could never have as a kid is the same one that made me want to fill my garage with games from 25 years ago.
After securing permission from my wife I got to work. I’m not a “handy” person. I don’t do work around the house, I don’t fix stuff or build things so I was a little overwhelmed at first. I’ve never done anything like this but I decided to just dive in and take it one step at a time. Job one was actually cleaning out the garage. In the five years since we moved into our current house we’ve been using the garage for junk storage. It seriously looked like an episode of hoarders out there.
It was full of baby stuff from when the boys were little, old furniture, toys, boxes of clothes, christmas decorations and tons of other junk.
The first weekend I spent just organizing it all. I was able to donate a lot of it and the rest went to the dump. Once I was finished it looked pretty good but it still had a long ways to go before I could call it an arcade. I started putting together a list of the machines I wanted and doing lots of research online. I ended up with a list of seven games that I knew I had to have in there.
-Pac Man -Dig Dug -Donkey Kong -Super Mario Bros -Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles -Gauntlet Dark Legacy -A Neo Geo
These were games that had special memories for me as a kid. I started hitting Craigslist, ebay and various online retailers looking for them. In the meantime I still had a lot of work to do in the garage. The next step was to paint the walls. I ended up going with a midnight blue rather than just black because I thought it would be good to have a little color in there.
I installed some black drapes to cover up the shelves and decided to move my rock band setup out there.
While I was at it I dug out all my old consoles and games. I had a good time showing my son some of my favorite Dreamcast games and blowing his mind with what games looked like on the Atari.
Next came the carpet.I got a nice blue indoor/outdoor style at Home Depot and installed it myself with a lot of help from my Dad. I also installed a large black light that I hung from the ceiling along with a little disco ball.
My first machine arrived on Sunday and I got it situated.
I've had a lot of fun working on it and I'm actually really proud of the results so far. The six other machines have all been ordered and are on their way to my house now. I should have them all in another week or so. I’ll post some more pictures once it’s all finished.
Right now I’m trying to figure out a good name for it since I’d like to do some cool signage. I could take a hint from Tron and just call it “Gabe’s” but I always liked the ridiculous arcade names so I’m also considering “ZAP and “The Hyper Zone”. If you have any good ideas shoot me an email.