Being a Kid in the 70s & 80s

My first “arcade” memories are with my dad, hanging out in bowling alleys playing pinball and electromechanical games, and then games like Tank and Pong in the late 70’s. Pretty soon thereafter, during the video game boom, games were everywhere. Bowling alleys…toy stores…grocery stores…hotels…airports. Then came the chain “pizza” arcades like Chuck E. Cheese, Major Magic’s and of course, Showbiz. I remember playing video games almost everywhere I went.  I have fond memories of a few special places, and I used to keep a paper list in my pocket with my favorite games, and where they were all located. To this day, a certain video game will bring back memories of certain locations around my hometown.


  • EM games (shooters/puck & ball bowlers) and pins – Reminds me of hanging out in the bar with my dad after bowling.  Lol — that sounds bad……I think kids in bars were more socially acceptable back then…and I always went with my dad bowling, just because I loved bowling so much!  Man, the 70’s were a different time…
  • Black & whites – Reminds me of my local bowling alley of choice, “Bonanza Lanes”, as well as lots of other bowling alleys & bars.  Probably right about when I got serious about bowling (did I mention I loved bowling?)…and of course I always sunk lots of quarters into the games afterwards, usually with my dad.
  • Early 80’s – Arcade heyday – Reminds me of early/mid teens and the local arcade scene, Razz-ma-tazz, Serendipity, Chuck E. Cheese, Major Magic’s, and Showbiz.  Also the time I started hanging out in lots of local arcades, flirting with all the girls playing Centipede.  I always loved the obscure game companies (Taito, Universal, etc) and the bootlegs the best.
  • Mid 80’s – By then I was big into computers & console games – lots of tie-ins between consoles and arcade games really made gaming fun.
  • Late 80’s – Some cool driving games were out by then…Out Run, Daytona USA…


My first game purchase

Fast forward 10 years or so to the mid-90s, and I’m working in a small office on Woodward (home of the Woodward Dream Cruise). Occasionally on my lunch hour, I would walk up to a place called Freeplay Coinop to play pinball & video games. I got to know the 2 guys running the shop, and one day, there appeared my favorite game of all time, the best game ever made, Robotron. For weeks and weeks those guys tried to sell me that game, coming down in price a little bit more each time. Finally, on a Friday when I was there after work, they locked up the shop, sat me down, and gave me the sales pitch that would change my life. They said, “look, we know you want this game, and we really want you to have it.” We went back and forth on a price until we agreed on something that was fair for both of us.

That night, I drove home with a Robotron.

I quickly discovered RGVAC, the VAPS registry, then KLOV, which is now home to the forums that most collectors frequent. Much to my shock and surprise, I not only found replacement parts, but other people out there that owned games, and some with home arcades. My interest skyrocketed at that point, and I made alot of friends, both local and online. Over the years, I learned tricks of the trade, the ins and outs of certain games, certain manufacturers… Then my repair skills took on another life, and learned a ton of stuff about electronics.



After feeling comfortable enough to own a few of these temperamental beasts, the hobby eventually became to me what it is today — recapturing the memories of being a kid growing up in the 80’s. With every game I play, I’m reminded of all the time (and allowance money) I spent playing. Recalling the music, the sights, sounds, and even smells of those days has all but consumed this “second life” of mine, collecting everything coin-op.

It all started with 1 videogame, but now over time my collection has taken on other coin-op acquisitions like a pinball, Megatouch bartop, a Valley Cougar dartboard, a slot machine, and an awesome Rowe BC-20 change machine.

For me, taking that first game home rekindled the feeling of being a little kid on Christmas day. And 15 years later, I still get that feeling whenever I bring a new game home. And now, with the game room finally completed, with every quarter I drop, I’m transported all the way back to a time where things were just a little bit simpler…

My Usernames



My Twin Galaxies Records

None yet! Stay tuned, I’m working on it!

Other Listings

VAPS | GGDB | ArcadeCrusade | IPSND

2 Responses to “About Me”

  1. Michael says:

    I am from Macomb MI, 19 mile and schoenherr. I have a 1981 Mars game in good condition. Play it all the time please let me know if any interest.

  2. jason says:

    not sure if your still looking for a “mars” cabinet but saw that you were at one point and i recently just picked one up that still has the side graphics and monitor surround.would make a good start.