Wednesday, 6 November 2019
Tonight I went out for dinner at the TonTon Club West, a relatively small restaurant in Amsterdam’s Westerpark that distinguishes itself through the inclusion of various coin-operated classic video games and arcade machines on its mezzanine floor. Alongside classics such as Street Fighter and Pac-Man, they also have imported Japanese machines like Dance Dance Revolution and a rhythmic drumming game (that we could neither figure out the instructions for nor hear, but was still a lot of fun), and physical games including air hockey and various electronic Whack-A-Mole derivatives.
I’ve occasionally thought that — were I ever in a position to make an enormous, risky life decision — one of the things I might want to do in the future is own and operate a video arcade. I’ve long believed that playing games is a fundamental source of enjoyment that everyone should get to experience, and that despite the prevalence of home-based entertainment nowadays there still could be a market for communal, shared, social interaction via the medium of video arcade games.