Last night marked the launch of Insert Coins, a new regular gaming night that combines arcades with new games, music, art, and beverages. Kotaku reader Jess Hodgson went along and exercised his thumbs on Kotaku’s behalf.
So what did Jess think of the event? Here is his review!
As a kid, I remember hanging out at the local milk bar, dropping coin after coin into the tabletop Pac-Man machine, sipping on $5 shakes. Last night, as I walked down the stairs at The Oxford Art Factory with my friends, I was hit by the familiar nostalgia of beeps and flashes, 8-bit tunes and dancing sprites.
Oxford Art Factory head-honcho Mark Gerber, and former IGN AU editor Patch Kolan, had done an amazing job converting the venue into an amusement arcade — the glass room separating the two sides of the Oxford Art Factory even sported its very own Alcoholic Milk Bar. Pinball and upright arcade machines lined almost every wall, while DJs span tunes from the late 80s (we even got Rick Rolled which, instead of being annoying, fit the theme perfectly), and graffiti artists created retro game art in front of our very eyes.
FIFA 12 and Resistance 3 were on display, giving the public a chance to play both before release, and created their very own discussion rings. The place filled up quickly, and it was almost difficult to move after the first few hours, but it didn’t matter. We were all there for one reason: our shared nostalgia for the old school. Every single pinball machine or tabletop game had people crowded around it to watch the masters of the arcades in action, and to throw down the next challenge. The rules were as they should be, level by level, life by life, or winner plays on.
• The $10 cover charge made it one of the cheapest events in the city.
• All games were free to play once inside, no pocket full of change necessary!
• $10 Alcoholic Spiders!
• The music seemed lifted straight out of the GTA: Vice City soundtrack, with some of the best (and worst) songs from the 80s, including Cutting Crew, Yes, and old school Michael Jackson setting the tone perfectly.
• Well-known members of the games industry, such as the Good Game crew, Xbox ANZ’s Jinx, and even James Mathison bonding with fans over a shared love of retro gaming.
• The drinks were expensive, but nothing out of the ordinary for the city. $6 for beers, around $8 for wine and spirits, but the $10 alcoholic spiders were the biggest hit.
• Queuing for the one PS3 displaying FIFA 12, or the two previewing Resistance 3. Neither were unoccupied for more than a few seconds the whole night.
• Realising my Pac-Man skills have seriously decayed over time…
Jess Hodgson writes for Guide To Awesome Living. We would like to thank him for going to Insert Coins on Kotaku’s behalf.