Reader Review: Insert Coins

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!

Insert Coins 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.

Hits: • 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.

Misses: • 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.


    I'm sure if they did require change to play we'd have to put in two gold coins if they were converted to Australian games.

      nice :)

    It really was an awesome night. And like you said, *fantastic* value for $10.

    I really couldn't keep my eyes off the second band, camden.

    Jess is a girl's name.


        sounds like it was fun! yet another reason living in the sticks sucks!

          Depends how far out, i live in Bangor in the sutherland shire, and i went.


    Seems like a cool event. But, one query, why was it on a Thursday night? Most people work on Friday. Does anyone know if future events will be held on a more appropriate night of the week?

      I'll ask Patch when the next event is on and we'll give it a plug next month so people who couldn't make it this month will have it on their radar. As for it being on a Thursday night... my guess is that the Friday may have been taken because the Oxford Art Factory is a fairly popular venue.

      It was a very cool event, but yes I for one am struggling today. Too many Spiders =/

      Because the oxford arts factory is one of the most popular venues in the city. They don't need the business. Frankly, I was surprised they gave it to them on Thursday.

    Awesome night. Good to see the GOOD GAME SPAWN POINT GUY AND GAL - Robot there. Lets hope for a good night when Gears of war come out. !!! Or even a buck hunter sudden death matches?

    BRACKETS were playing. Great band.

    That's it, screw you [HOME CITY HERE][HOME STATE HERE], I'm MOVING.

    I gather since alcohol was involved this was an 18+ event. It would be totally awesome to see a daytime/early evening event for teens - maybe in the holidays. My son would be dead keen to go try some old school gaming!

    My hangover passed at about 3pm today.... was worth it :)

    Massive thanks to Mark Gerber & Patch and everyone else who helped put this on. Like most people we only need to know 1 thing -> When is the next one???

    Oh and my Pac skillz need serious work too...

    Dammit, missed it!!

    Will definitely keep my eyes out for the next one...

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