Priceless Arcade Machine for Japan Tsunami Appeal


The origins of coin-ops can be traced back as far as 1920’s America and early amusement park midway titles like ball toss games and fortune tellers (such as the one made famous in the classic 80’s movie Big). With that being said, Japan is really the country most responsible for the global explosion of gaming.

Ever since the launch of Taito’s Space Invaders in 1978, Japan has dominated the arcade market. All of the major games companies like Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Namco etc… have their roots in Japan. Japanese culture has fully embraced all things videogame – people of all ages frequently go to the arcades to socialize, play the latest titles and relive their classic arcade memories. It is the cultural aspect of videogaming which never fully made it out of Japan, where going to the arcades with your friends is more popular than the cinema!

help japanIn Europe and North America, the constant evolution of home consoles means that actual arcade machines are far less popular than they once were. Why pay for every play when you can rent the game for the equivalent of a few credits?! That being said, the older generation of gamers are often left confused and bemused by the complicated gameplay of the latest next-gen titles and yearn for the simplicity and fun of the classic arcade games of their childhood / adolescence.

When the earthquake and tsunami occurred in Japan, we knew we had to do something to help. Japan has a special place in Bespoke Arcades’ heart for a number of reasons; not least as we owe our livelihood (at least in part) to Japan. Ever since we were kids, our common bond has been our love for arcade machines. It is this mutual interest which has cemented our friendship and inspired us to launch our company.

Japan by Darren Ruane

We want to try and raise as much money as possible for the nation which has brought so much joy to gamers everywhere. Just think of some of the seminal arcade classics Japan has given us; from Space Invaders to StreetFighter, the list is endless.

We realise some people may be saying this is a bit late, but Japan is still being rocked by earthquakes on a daily basis. This charity effort has been in the pipeline since the day of the tragedy, but we decided to hold back our sale to help highlight the end of the British Red Cross Tsunami Relief Appeal on 30th of this month, and to encourage generosity from those yet to give.

On a personal note; I have close ties with Japan and have visited several times. My missus is from there and her family keeps us updated on the continuing situation. The media glare might have dimmed as new events take precedence, but it’s far from over…

Over the next couple of weeks, we will bring you a very special one-off Art-cade machine designed by one of the world’s most renowned graphic artists. We intend this to be incredibly desirable as it is the only one of it’s kind in the entire world. Our aim is to auction this off and donate all the proceeds of the sale to the British Red Cross Tsunami Relief Fund.

Watch this space……

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