New York City's Chinatown has one last, die-hard grungy video game arcade, a dungeon of a place with wheezing coin-ops and signs from its glory days, when it offered the dubious pleasure of watching a chicken perform on an electrified tic-tac-toe board. Scouting NY has a great collection of photos and observations from this place, which seems like the Platonic ideal of all those places I spent my adolescence smoking and giving myself RSI in.
This is the real thing. Not a Hollywood set, or a nostalgia-fueled attempt at creating a Tron-like arcade. The letters on the store's sign are missing not for aesthetic value but because they fell down with age or were stolen, and haven't been replaced because the owner doesn't feel it's worth the trouble...
Like a storybook magic store that's larger inside than appears possible from the street, the arcade seems to stretch farther back than it should - and then takes a left hand turn to go even deeper into the bowels of Chinatown. Here you'll find more modern fare like Dance Dance Revolution and others.
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