Alan Brady of Joplin, Mo., was featured in the Joplin Globe last month because he has an arcade in his basement. Started as a hobby more than a decade ago, Brady has restored nearly two dozen vintage games that were mostly on their way to a landfill.
“Right now, I think I own about 22 or 23 arcade games,” he said. “It’s taking someone’s trash and making it something that’s desirable. Many of these games are just old and forgotten by the time I get my hands on them, but with just a little bit of elbow grease, you can make them attractive and fun again.”
The hobby was sparked for Alan on Christmas 2008, when he said his wife Stephanie gave him a 1981 Donkey Kong. Then he took on new projects – 1943: The Battle of Midway and Street Fighter II: Champion Edition. Today, his collection includes mostly 1980s and ’90s machines like Pac-Man, Dig Dug, Robotron and The Addams Family pinball machine.
Alan’s 12-year-old son Alex benefits just as much as Dad enjoys the nostalgia. “All of my friends say this is the best basement in Joplin,” Alex said. “They love all of the games, even though they’ve never seen them or played them before.”
It’s a hit among the adults, too, of course. Added Brady: “My wife and I will tell friends that we have an arcade collection, but I think they’re still kind of amazed when they come down here and see it for themselves. It takes them back to a different time. It’s pretty cool to see their reactions.”