Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What This City Needs is an Arcade

Inside Portland's Ground Kontrol
Working at Kings Dominion, during my youth, most of my paycheck was spent at the arcade. Way in the back of the park, near the Rebel Yell, was a massive arcade and I could be found there daily after my shift playing other fanatics in mini-tournaments for Mortal Kombat, TMNT, X-Men and of course Street Fighter II, the best game ever created; by the mid-90s anyway.

So, imagine my surprise when I walked into Old City Cafe recently to find old trusty, a stand-up, coin operated console of Street Fighter II. Old City is a falafel and Middle Eastern restaurant at 1773 Columbia Rd NW. I'm guessing they put the game in to draw in and entertain the late night hungry crowd. They also arranged a little lounge-like area and installed a flat screen TV near the entrance.

Anyway, that got me thinking: DC should have an arcade. An old school, stand-up console arcade. Portland Oregon has Ground Kontrol, a downtown arcade and bar with video games, pinball machines, and beer holders at every console. Pretty sweet. Can we please get one of these in DC?

Bored on a Tuesday night? Sure you can join a skeeball league or kickball or play mini golf during happy hour. But, how sweet would it be to grab a cheap beer and play the Simpsons or Bad Dudes for a quarter? Very sweet. Make it happen someone with a lot of disposable income and an imaginative streak. I'll even consult on game choice, for free. As long as you have Street Fighter II, I'm happy.

Coin-op game in Old City Cafe