Archive for April 26, 2008

Dig Dug: The Untold Story by the Duo Group

April 26, 2008

I saw this linked on the KLOV forums and had to share it. It’s a couple of months old but if you haven’t seen it, it’s rather funny. There is some violence in it so depending on how your workplace looks at such things, you might want to keep that in mind.

[Discuss on the Forums]

Eighth Annual H. Betti Industries Golf Outing Charity Event

April 26, 2008

Betson has announced the eighth annual H. Betti Industries Golf Outing, a charitable event whose proceeds typically go to the Tomorrow’s Children Fund but this year will be going to help out one of their own who is on disability leave and may not be able to return to work. Last year’s event also went to benefit another Betson employee who was disabled. The event will occur on the 4th of June at the Beaver Brook County Club in Annandale, NJ with registration at 11:30AM, a shotgun start @ 12:30PM with cocktails @ 5:30PM followed by dinner.

Personally I stink at golf but I think it’s great to see events like this. Maybe I have just been paying more attention but it seems like there are many more charity events happening this year and it also appears that they are doing well.

[Discuss on the Forum]

The Asteroids Lamp

April 26, 2008

Even though Atari never created many memorable characters they created plenty of icons and symbols that people easily recognize. One of those would be the rocks from Asteroids, which have been brought to the 3D world as a unique lamp. According to the website:

An angular plastic encased light, the Asteroid is a unique floor, or table light, designed with 24 facets — each with its own unique geometry. The lamp can be placed on several of the facets, to display as an individual, unique piece, as you like.

If they weren’t listed for only $176 I’d probably pick one up. That and if they were in stock. Either way it’s a unique lamp and would make a cool prop for an arcade or game room. Asteroids lamps by Innermost Ltd.

[Via Retro To Go] [Discuss on the Forum]

Noise levels studied at arcades in Maine

April 26, 2008

Some grad students at the University of Maine have conducted an informal survey of noise levels in four arcades in the vicinity of the university and have come to the conclusion that arcade noise may be detrimental to your hearing if exposed to a certain level of noise for a certain amount of time. So this is no big surprise, especially to those of us who have worked in arcades. Of course the damage that can be done depends greatly on the average volume levels of the arcade and those can change dramatically from one moment to the next due to factors of what games are being played, which aren’t, what the volume level is set to when a game is in attract mode and when it’s being played, how many people are in the arcade and how loud they are. Of the four arcades surveyed, two arcades had acceptable levels of noise but one of the four actually had levels that ranged between 93 db and 114 db which could cause hearing problems after about an hour.

Fortunately the article isn’t suggesting that arcades close but it does suggest that they might need to adjust the volume (which could be a problem for some as there’s a nostalgia that comes with the ambient noise of an arcade – and speaking of that if you want some pre-recorded arcade ambiance there is a website dedicated to such a thing which I’m sure the people who made this study wouldn’t appreciate me pointing out). Also of interest from the article is something that has nothing to do with hearing loss but of arcade attendance:

Arcades were chosen because of their high volume and young customers. The UMaine graduate researchers surveyed 95 local children ages 11-15 and found that 77 percent of them go to arcades an average of one hour a week.

77% regular attendance to an arcade is pretty good, especially since according to some media outlets “arcades are totally dead”.

But getting back to the subject for a brief moment, one thing I would love to see become more common on arcade machines (I have seen it before) are headphone jacks with a volume control so if players want to they can hook up to a game with their own headphones. I think that would be one thing that could help.

[Via University of Maine News] [Discuss on the Forum]

(Image above from Hearing Informed)

SingTel's Formula One Simulator

April 26, 2008

If you ever happen to drop by Singapore (or if you live there) and have a thing for F1 racing then F1 sponsor SingTel has unveiled the simulator game for you. The game will be showcased around the island nation, giving those who want it the F1 racing experience without the danger of crashing. There are two machines available which make use of an F1 race car shell, three LCD screens and of course the software which was developed by Bell Racing Developments, a UK company. The software is actually available as a free download for any PC via the SingTel website but unless you have one of those fancy home racing setups that you built yourself (or maybe bought for a few thousand dollars) then you’ll be missing out on the full experience. You have to love the steering wheel, I admit that I’m not terribly familiar with F1 racers but that is quite the complex looking controller.

[Via CNET Asia] [SingTel Website] [Discuss on the Forum]

SingTel’s Formula One Simulator

April 26, 2008

If you ever happen to drop by Singapore (or if you live there) and have a thing for F1 racing then F1 sponsor SingTel has unveiled the simulator game for you. The game will be showcased around the island nation, giving those who want it the F1 racing experience without the danger of crashing. There are two machines available which make use of an F1 race car shell, three LCD screens and of course the software which was developed by Bell Racing Developments, a UK company. The software is actually available as a free download for any PC via the SingTel website but unless you have one of those fancy home racing setups that you built yourself (or maybe bought for a few thousand dollars) then you’ll be missing out on the full experience. You have to love the steering wheel, I admit that I’m not terribly familiar with F1 racers but that is quite the complex looking controller.

[Via CNET Asia] [SingTel Website] [Discuss on the Forum]

Article: Arcade Perfect

April 26, 2008

One thing that we have been preaching about for a long time is how arcades can and need to progress beyond the typical fare of racers, light-gun games, dancing titles, etc. That is a major reason why I have written the “Missing In Action” articles, because for arcades to thrive again they have to bring us unique experiences in other genres too. And now we’re not the only ones saying this, as Rob Fahey of GamesIndustry.biz has written an excellent article discussing the differences between the arcade market in Japan and in the West. He also discusses one thing that has become quite obvious to the industry as a whole – that casual games is where the money is at. Here is a brief excerpt from his article, hit the link below to read the full story.

Travelling around Japan in the last couple of weeks, I’ve been struck again by this contrast. Perhaps the most important aspect is not even the fact that Japanese arcades are plentiful and bustling with customers – it’s the fact that they represent the fruits of continual investment and evolution.

They have moved with the times and created whole new categories of game to draw in consumers – while at the same time, western arcades have for the most part declined into a depressing landscape of outdated machines and gambling games, interspersed with occasional recent Japanese imports which simply feel out of place.

Despite the sorry state of arcades in the UK and elsewhere in the west, however, I can’t help but wonder if the time isn’t right for some clever entrepreneurs and investors to revitalise arcades – taking some inspiration from Japan’s success, and some from the unique social and cultural demands of their home nations.

This is absolutely what is needed for arcades to thrive and I hope that soon we’ll start seeing such progress.

[Arcade Perfect - Gamesindustry.biz] [Discuss on the Forum]


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