Welcome to the Zencade!

Hello, and welcome to the online home of the Zencade, my classic home arcade!

The purpose of this blog is to document the progress and process of building and maintaining a collection of classic coin-operated video games.

I grew up in the 80’s, and some of the most fun-filled memories I have from those days involved stepping into dark rooms, lit only by the glow of CRT monitors and brightly colored backlit marquees.  A good game room was filled with a symphony of electronics beeps and 8-bit MIDI music. A pocket full of quarters guaranteed a few hours of delicious escape from the realities of life in grade school. It didn’t even have to be an arcade.  Every convenience store, drug store, or even grocery store had at least one arcade game, ready to challenge a player to save the universe at a moment’s notice.  Those were fun times.

What followed shortly after that golden age is known among arcade aficionados as “The Crash”. Suddenly, arcades were gone, video games in stores just vanished from the spot between the coin-operated horsey ride and the gumball dispenser, as if they’d never been there.

Of course, coin-operated video games did not disappear completely.  Many games were painted over, had their innards stripped and replaced with other games, and put back out there to pull more quarters from more people.  Eventually, of course, the games had produced all the revenue they ever would.  Many were tossed into landfills, or just disintegrated where they sat.

Others, though, ended up in people’s homes, basements, and garages.  Arcade collecting became something people actually did.

My start as an arcade collector came in the summer of 2015, when I found my first real game.

But that’s another story!