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August 2020 Retro Gaming Article


August 30, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Arcades are not part of reopening plans because they don't fit into politicians' narrow-minded “categories”

Neon Retro Arcade merch
Arcades are businesses that preserve a wonderful history by letting people relive a slice of childhood and enjoy smile inducing fun. That sounds pretty damn essential to me!
Arcades are suffering and many have gone out of business as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Not as a direct result of it, but rather arcades are collateral damage in the wake of re-opening plans. I say this because even though we may apply science to decisions about capacity, distancing, infection rates, and so on - the actions taken as a result are highly politicized by "leaders" who don't have a clue about anything!

Those in Federal and local government. Those developing reopening strategies. Those who are trying to get the economy back on track. All these people suffer the same problem. They are dumb. Don't take this lightly. Being dumb is a considerable malady and it's one that is having a widespread effect on many small businesses. I'm focusing on arcades because I grew up in arcades and love the ones that are here today offering the games I loved as a kid. These amazing arcades now let me play many of the amazing games from my childhood, with my son.

I believe the primary requirement of holding political office is an above-average level of stupidity. Smart people are entrepreneurs who own and run their own businesses, contribute to the economy, and provide jobs - amont many other things. Politicians are bound by greed, stupidity, and inadequacy.

This is why I can go to a barbershop, see a movie in a theater, dine inside a restaurant, shop at a bookstore, go into shoe stores, buy booze and cigarettes, and have service personel come into my home to repair things. However, I can NOT go to my local arcade. It is CLOSED! How can all these close-contact businesses be open while arcades are told to wait. Barbershops? A haircut? You have to be kidding!

Supporting Arcades During the Pandemic

Just because your local arcade is shut doesn't mean there's nothing you can do. A majority of retro arcades are small businesses that may not qualify for federal aid (if there is any). In my area, we lost one of the best retro arcades I've been to in years. Businesses are suffering! Many arcades have websites and sell merch and gift cards. If it's a local arcade, buy a gift card to help them out. Pick up some hats and t-shirts. this is a time to get creative and everything helps.

For myself, the resurgence of retro gaming and retro arcades over the last decade is amazing. But all the hard work they put into creating successful businesses has been wiped away in mere months due to mandated shutdowns. Make no mistake. There's a crisis going on in the small business community. When Trump says the economy is doing great, he means the stock market is up... which has little to do with small businesses that are still at great risk... like arcades.

My local arcades don't sell merchandise, but I've been following the Neon Retro Arcade in Pasadena on Instagram. They've been hit hard by the closures, but have been pretty busy devising other revenue streams. These are definitely folks who are in this fight to win. Check out their arcade merch - t-shirts, hats, face masks, pins and more! All there stuff has a great retro 80s style.

Arcades Around The World Need Help

During hard times, I feel it's important to help out retro arcade businesses because they represent a great part of my life and I'm eternally grateful for arcades that let me enjoy a bit of childhood and share it with my son. Locally, we've lost one arcade so far, while another has just closed for the winter - hopefully they'll reopen next Spring. If you have a retro arcade nearby, go buy a shirt or gift card. But remember, it's not only about YOUR local arcade. This pandemic is hurting the preservation of retro gaming world wide!

If you can afford it, also buy a shirt from an arcade you've always wanted to check out. Maybe it's too far away. Maybe it's in another country. Retro gaming is global and everyone is hurting from the pandemic. If you can help support your local arcade, that's awesome. If you can also help out another one, that's cool too. There used to be an arcade or two in every town, now you're lucky to have one within a few hour's drive. Helping keep arcades afloat during hard times benefits everyone. I really dig the merch designs at Neon Retro Arcade even though Google Maps says I'm 3,000 miles from them. If you have the means, reach out and support a far-away arcade that strikes your fancy.

Do what you can. Help keep retro arcades alive.

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