The arcade once was part of growing up. I remember a time when the shops were not open on Sundays and as a teenager I would head to the couple of arcades that were around regularly. I always enjoyed pinball games and I can’t even imagine how much money I spent on playing Sega Rally. It was a time when home consoles were popular, but as they became more powerful and the differences with the experience you could get in the arcade became smaller, the need to go to them decreased. It was inevitable for the arcade cabinets to disappear, only to be replaced by slotmachines. Although I might not have visited them anymore I always enjoyed the bombardment of sound and color, a place where you would forget about the outside world (just like in a cinema). Currently I only know of one arcade in The Netherlands so they have gone the way of the rental store.
There is a place where the arcade still is part of the culture and that is Japan. I remember visiting the country some years ago and with a huge jetlag visiting some. They overwhelmed me and it was almost too much to process, but I enjoyed experiencing such a place again. This documentary takes a look at the Japanese arcade culture from its humble beginnings where whole arcades would be filled with only one game up to the current arcade landscape. Continue reading