(First off, yeah I am new here but have been lurking 'round this here forum for quite awhile now, too long I should say before I went about registering or rather was able to register. I sure as hell know how to behave and act so take it easy on the newb)
I’ve lived in NYC my entire life (20 years) and have seen a lot of things change and come and go, etc.
As it has been the case across the entire US for more than a decade now, the NYC arcade scene is more or less dead, with only a handful of arcade spots (if you could even call them that) and of course “Chinatown Fair” left. But still up until a decade ago when the scene had already been in decline all over for awhile (more powerful consoles, improved arcade ports and other known factors blasi blasi etc.) it was an almost entirely different situation, only that you had to look harder to find some arcades and comp…like the various NYC hoods if you were willing to take the risk. (In all seriousness, you would’ve been surprised what you’d find in some hoods back then) The Flushing area still had that nifty arcade (obscured by posters on the outside) along with probably others and some great game stores (another dying breed in NYC) before (from what I’ve heard) that whole area got completely yuppified. (Man, I haven’t been up there in 6-7 years…) CTF was still around of course, and the Times Square seen had already been on it’s death knell as it was around a decade ago that the “Disneyfication” began. The first of the money-grubbing, flashy “arcades”, the ill-fated “XS” went up around this time.
As for me, I regret to say that I rarely ventured outside of my neighborhood as far as arcades go as I was still young. But around my way there were still plenty of indie arcade rooms and spots. One of the great (and funny) things about NYC arcades (or at least the ones in the hoods) is that you’d often find them in the most random, remote or oddest of places. Laundromats and rented arcade rooms were always common, but finding and playing a group of coin-ops in a grocery, florist shop,diner, street corner ,some hole in the wall and a SHOE STORE (whose coin-ops generated more sales and visitors than they did) was always a trip. Walking on a cold, dark-as-hell Winter morning and seeing from across the street a lone Marvel Super Heroes Vs. Street Fighter cab, standing outside of a closed shop and shining brightly as the only light on that street is a sight I’ll never forget. Would’ve been better if the sound was on and that booming intro blared onto the street It was always fun and cheap to play in these aforementioned arcade spots back then, none of that overpriced crap.
Of course things didn’t last that long a decade ago, and as a kid playing in these aforementioned arcades I was oblivious to a whole lot of shit that came with these arcade spots. I’d say one of the main reasons why the NYC arcade scene died out is because many if not most arcades attracted delinquents, drug activity, violence and overall just a whole lot of undesirable people and shit that marred the experience and put arcades under scrutiny. When the Giuliani Administration finally started kicking into full gear and changes were occuring, arcades were one of the first things to go as they were seen and considered DDD (dirty, dingy and dangerous) and unprofitable. It happened all over in NYC, and fast. By the beginning of this decade a whole lot of arcades were shuttered and removed in favor of other fare, and only a handful of those flashy, expensive arcades popped up in their wake and nothing else. Before I knew it, BAM!, the NYC arcade scene was dead.
Even though I wasn’t aware of the delinquency, drug activity, money laundering or other shit that occured at these arcades that I played at and in the end it was for the best of the surrounding communities, I still miss the NYC arcade scene of yore (even if I was coming up during the tail end of it). Yet I’m also glad that I came out of those days unscathed, in one piece and alive. :lol: So for those of you former/current NYC’ers or anybody who played in NYC back in the day, care to reminisce and reflect on those days gone by???
I’d really like to hear some stories and memories of what was probably NYC’s most famous (and infamous) arcade, the long-gone “Playland” and all those others in the Times Square area. I never did get around to visiting or playing in it before it was closed, yet have heard so much infamy from it. Where were they located and what’s there now???
How long has CTF been around??? And how about some stories of the CTF of yore???
For those of you who watch NYC public access TV (specifically in Manhattan), anyone recall the various video game/anime shows aired on them back in the days??? I grew in Manhattan and later moved to Brooklyn, and Manhattan has MNN (Manhattan Neighborhood Network). They had shows on dealing with the latest and popular games and anime and many fighting games. Those shows while crude really contributed to my love of fighting games (even though I still suck at them…control pad player here care to donate a stick???) and to a lesser extent anime. Shows that come to mind are “The World of Video Games”, “Kamikaze Fly”, “Anime & Games”, "Animation & Games and "Game World. I was wondering if some of the dudes behind those shows frequent or frequented SRK…