An Arcade Book “Sequel”
Passion for Games & Teaching Leads to Game Alamanac
by Adam Pratt, Game Grid Arcade & ArcadeHeroes.com
One of the motivators behind my blog work (Arcade Heroes), has been one born of a desire to teach. While I have never served in a public education setting, I was a trainer for several years at a call center that handled technical support for eMachines/ Gateway and Costco. It was a lot of fun teaching people how computers work in a classroom setting. I was able to blend my love of gaming into the classes for slightly more entertaining instruction than you would get from just trudging through slideshow presentations.
In this business, I have always wanted to blend the motivations behind teaching and finding success into what I write. By spreading positive words about our craft, my hope is that it will bring more people into the fold.
Around the end of 2016 and with an eye on that goal, I began to work on two new writing projects. The first was related to arcade artwork, but involved a lot of original art. The second began as I ran into trouble with the first in getting certain ideas commissioned. While I hold an affinity for both writing and drawing, the former comes easier to me, so that’s the project that began to progress in a way I found to be more satisfactory.
What eventually unfolded was a kind of blend between that art project and my first book that I launched in March 2013 called The Arcade Experience: A Look At Modern Arcades And Why They Still Matter. In that book, I spent a few chapters detailing the companies and products that make the modern arcade industry what it is. I decided to take that concept, update it for today, and put some of the artwork to good use.
The result was an almanac, a guide to our industry that focuses more on the now than the past, and something that I can update annually to help keep readers up-to-date on what is hot with the amusement machine business. The title of this new work: The Arcade Heroes Arcade & Pinball Gaming Almanac, 2018/2019 Edition.
The book was designed for the lay person who knows nothing about arcades, but is also a help for those familiar with the business who might have missed something along the way, be it indie developers with a game that went under your radar, up-and-coming companies with exciting new ideas to reinvigorate your business or perhaps a term you might have missed.
Speaking of that, the Almanac has a glossary, a state of the industry report (given from my operator and blogger perspective), a look at present manufacturers, sections for video arcades, pinball machines, video redemption, and AR/MXR/VR and other technologies that are looking to shape the future of our beloved craft.
The initial release is media heavy – every page was designed as an image, not a text file – with a background and shaded text. This was done to bring it in line with other “fact books” I’ve come across, and to make it a little more interesting, but it made for quite a headache on the editing side of it. I also attempted to contact every manufacturer/game developer to get information on the titles, to ensure accuracy. (My thanks to all of you who responded, making the book better by your efforts!)
My hope is that the book will reach a wide audience of readers who have an interest in arcades, but don’t keep up on all the news and realize the magnitude of developments going on within our sector.
Some have asked about a print version. As of this writing, we’re working on it and will hopefully be ready to launch soon. If you have already grabbed a digital copy, or plan on getting one, you have my sincere thanks.
To grab a digital copy, you can find it at this direct link: www.amazon.com/dp/B07FXXFS13 (or type Arcade Heroes into Amazon search and it should be the first item to appear).
I am looking into other digital platforms, but so far, none have been as easy to work with for such media-heavy content as the Kindle platform. I’ll update readers as new ways to get the book come along.
Adam Pratt is the owner and operator of the Game Grid arcade near Salt Lake City, Utah. He also publishes the Arcade Heroes blog site and serves as an advisor for the web-based game supplier BMI Worldwide. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.