By Mike Stulir • Vice President, The American Classic Arcade Museum
The American Classic Arcade Museum (ACAM) is proud to announce that we are returning to PAX-East. As in past years, we will be providing PAX-East with a retro arcade full of classic 1970's and 1980's arcade video games.
In 2010, the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) held their first East Coast event in Boston after running a hugely successful event for many years in Seattle. Gary Vincent, President of The American Classic Arcade Museum, had first been approached by the promoters of the Expo in late 2009 to help create an exhibit of classic arcade games at the first PAX-East. The American Classic Arcade Museum had become a powerful presence, and having the Museum create the exhibit for PAX-East seemed logical to the event organizers. Gary and the ACAM crew took 21 video games to the Expo in 2010 and set up a small arcade in a private room off of the main Expo floor.
Over the last few years as the PAX-East event has grown, the ACAM presence has grown along with it. This year, ACAM will have two 24-foot trucks & a panel van stuffed with close to 50 arcade games & a small army of staffers. ACAM will also be holding two panel sessions with video game industry insiders and former arcade game developers.
Mike Stulir, Vice President of The American Classic Arcade Museum, couldn’t be happier with the ACAM & PAX-East has collaborated throughout the history of the event. “We love working with the PAX-East staff to provide a glimpse into the arcade gaming environment of yesterday. PAX-East has become our annual time to pull out all of the stops and recreate the feeling of the late 1970’s to early 1980’s with a darkened room complete with disco lighting and booming with era-appropriate music."
Stulir says that the Museum is able to participate in events like PAX-East, MAGFest and Escapist Expo due to the notoriety and respect the Museum has earned since its founding. “Our position as the leader in arcade game historical preservation is due to the hard work of Gary Vincent, Bob Lawton, our Board of Directors and our volunteers. We have built a strong reputation not just with the gaming community, but with the game developers as well. We are especially proud of our close relationship with the PAX-East staff, and we expect to be part of this show for many years to come."
The concept of the Museum came almost by accident. ACAM is located within the Funspot Family Entertainment Center in Weirs Beach, NH. Having been a manager at the Funspot for many years, Gary and Funspot owner Bob Lawton were looking at all of the old video games they had back in 1996. Many of them were not in use on the floor anymore. Gary said “We have so many, we should start a museum.”
And that’s exactly what they did.
ACAM was founded and established as the first 501c3 non-profit facility dedicated to the preservation, history and play of classic arcade games. Today, The American Classic Arcade Museum encompasses almost all of Funspot’s third level. It also helped Funspot become the recognized as the largest arcade in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records. Over the years as more machines were added by being purchased or donated, the American Classic Arcade Museum soon became the Mecca for arcade game enthusiasts, and the merely curious. It is now the largest collection of fully operational video games from the 1980s in the world. In fact, every year players from around the world come to Funspot to play in the Museum’s International Classic Video Game Tournament. The museum has gained national and international recognition being highlighted in ESPN: The Magazine, MSNBC, EDGE Magazine, Retro Gamer, The Escapist, Yankee Magazine, in-flight airline publications and locally in NH to DO magazine & The Boston Globe. ACAM has also been the backdrop for several feature films, including the critically acclaimed “King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.”
To learn more about The American Classic Arcade Museum, or to find out how you can contribute to our preservation efforts, visit http://www.classicarcademuseum.org
ACAM Panel Sessions For PAX-East 2014
Photos From PAX-East 2014
Courtesy of Chris Whiteside
PAX-East Show Floor