I was looking back at my site the other day and realised my last post was the 22nd March 2020, the day before we were all instructed to “stay at home”.
The UK lockdown was different for everyone. I work in education where I’m responsible for student data and exams for a couple of dozen secondary schools. What I thought may be a quiet few weeks for me and my team, ended up being the most work intensive few months I’ve ever encountered. I can’t complain too much as I still had a job and an income, but I was working 12-15 hour days, 6 days a week. With the ever changing decisions from the government and the Department of Education, we found ourselves having to adapt and react for 6 months straight to ensure all of our students got the qualifications they deserved. As you can imagine, this had a massive impact on my “work/life” balance, and as such, all hobbies took a back seat. Well, I say this, I still bought arcades, which I think is where my trouble began.
I think I’ve fallen foul to the issue a number of arcade collectors hit, and that is becoming swamped with projects. I was just about getting on top of the collection pre-lockdown and was happily working through any arcades that needed it. When lockdown came, all arcade work stopped, but things still kept popping up.
I added some real treasures to my collection, but also sold a few cabs. I’ll try to list below:
- UK Space Firebird Upright
- US Mario Bros Widebody Upright
- US PunchOut Upright
- Mario Bros Conversion PCB (Converted from a DK Junior)
- 2 x Space Launcher Upright Control Panel Overlays (1x UK and 1x JP)
- US Popeye Upright – Converted to a Poker machine
- JP Othello PCB
- US Popeye Cocktail
- UK Sheriff marquee
- 2x Restored Donkey Kong Uprights
- Restored Space Fever cocktail
I’ve got a few more cabinets up for sale at the moment, but things aren’t moving as fast as they did a year or so ago (understandably!).
Despite all of the purchases, this year has taken the love out of arcades for me a bit. Whilst I managed some tinkering (I did my first monitor re-cap this year, which felt very rewarding!), everything just seemed too much effort. This is probably due to my work, and any spare time I had I just wanted to sit and not have to do anything. I moved back more to my console gaming as they were in my office where I was working during the day, so I could just pick up and play without even having to leave my chair.
I just wanted to post here to try and explain, well, why I hadn’t been posting here. I still have my arcades (minus a few, but plus a few more!), but I’m just taking a step back at the moment. I’ve got a few more arcades to sell (ones I’ve finished restoring), but I will be keeping majority until I’ve worked out where I’m heading with them.
I think the one thing I’ve discovered this year is that I really enjoy the restoration and preservation, but I never find myself actually playing the games. I described it to someone last year that I feel like I’ve become the retirement home for arcades. Which is nice in one respect, but they are designed to be played. That is their purpose.
Apologies for the slightly sombre post, but I needed to explain where I was at. Hopefully, this next year will allow me to find my feet and work out what direction I’m heading in with this amazing collection that I’m so lucky to possess.