If you were like me growing up in the 80’s, quarters were for one thing: Video games. A few years ago my wife bought me an old Ms Pacman arcade game, but the monitor blew out shortly after getting it. While I was googling the internet looking for a replacement, I stumbled upon MAME. MAME is a software emulator you can use to play the old-school video games on a PC. There are people all over the world that have taken to archiving the old software from these arcade games to use on your PC with an emulator such as MAME. I had Ms Pac-man on my computer in short order, but that was not enough.
I needed the feel of those buttons, the sounds of the credits being added when you inserted a quarter, the horrible curved low-resolution graphics and those arcade joysticks!
Fortunately they still make all of these items and you can order a nifty wood kit to make your own cabinet. Toss in an old beater computer, monitor, wire it all up and enjoy the arcade again with no quarters!
The wood kit comes completely un-assembled, and you have to drill out your own button and joystick holes in the metal control stations. A little device simulates the keyboard, and you wire all the buttons to it. Each button is a ‘key’ as far as the computer can tell. Mame runs the old game ROM, and with a few software settings, you can play the games in your own little arcade! Did I mention the machine plays every video game? Maybe you didn’t hear me… .don’t ask if it has Zaxxon, don’t ask if it has Raiden……it has all of them. Also, don’t ask if this is legal, Im pretty sure using the game ROMs is not. The people that wrote those games still own the copyrights. **wink wink**
So here’s our little arcade game. We ordered the buttons, the cabinet wood, old school round fronted monitor, butchered up an old 2.4 GHZ computer, and after about 20 hours of labor putting it all together: instant arcade!