Saturday, June 27, 2009

Snapshots From Abroad

Sorry for the lack of updates recently -- I am taking a vacation with family and am on the lookout for videogame-related items to share, but my Internet access has been unexpectedly limited on the road so far.

It's interesting to realize how specifically our interests affect how we view the world. The sights I have chosen to document in my travels bear this out, I'm sure.

The first thing I discovered was one of the last viable bastions of the old-fashioned arcade -- airports! The St. Paul-Minneapolis airport has at least two arcades, Lucky Lindy's and Aurora Borealis. No ticket machines or family atmospheres here, just a room to the side stuffed with as many cabinets as the space can accommodate. Our stopover was brief so I only had time to snap a few quick pics at Lucky Lindy's. I was pleased to see they had the Namco Ms. Pac-Man/Galaga Class of 1981 reissue, and several recent pinball machines, as well as Sega's OutRun 2, sequel to the classic 80's coin-op. The Aurora Borealis was in a larger space, dominated by Guitar Hero Arcade, a game I did not know existed prior to seeing it there. Konami may have failed to see the potential of their Guitar Freaks coin-op guitar game early on, but they've teamed up with Activision to bring the hit home game back to the arcade.

In Vancouver, we turned out to be spending the night across the street from the Canadian Electronic Arts studio, where EA has developed titles including EA Sports Active and Need for Speed Undercover. There's always something Oz-like for me about realizing these places actually exist in physical space.

Plus, my ever-understanding wife bought me a new pair of Super Mario Brothers pajamas for the trip. No photo, you'll be happy to know, but it did happen. And as a related item, I spotted this great window display at the Choco boutique in Juneau, Alaska.

I am SUCH the geek.

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