The arcade but like a comic book store

Just read that article on Why the Comic Book Store Just Won’t Die. I kind of extrapolated to computer games stores. Both thrive on niches and fandom. Computer games culture is 90% online now and there are many reasons to make that culture more of a local, real life thing.

So we had arcades back in the day. They were cool but dirty and exclusive, the business model doesn’t work with today’s world.

NY in the 80s 355
Bros and sticks

There has been a resurrection of arcades as barcades, which are pretty fun. I went a couple times to the one downtown LA and it’s great but in a way it doesn’t cover all computer game activities. It’s not centered around game culture, it’s using it.

What’s so great with comic book stores it’s their diversity in content. Anything for anyone, curated by unique humans. I think we need to make computer games something we can discuss and try outside our devices in our living rooms, browsing the internet while machines stupidly try to understand what game we would like to play.

Computer games shouldn’t be only played drinking beers in the evening. We play anytime. We should have computer game stores where we can chill and try out games with headphones on, really enjoying the process of trying something new, sharing impressions with other players directly and not through a text box and threads.

It shouldn’t be about finishing games so much than it is about enjoying playing games and ultimately buying them. Tons of comics and books are read and not finished by people all the time. Some games are way better once you’re invincible. What I’m saying is, to get a “better” computer game culture we need to focus on play more than win, hardcore punishment, twitch reflexes, etc.

If I could have a computer game store here in LA… The main floor would be dedicated to discuss and play games casually in bean chairs and classic desktop settings. Downstairs would be the action room: a 10 seat LAN setup (CS:GO), a big console setup for AAAs and a couple of MAME arcade machines meant to be brutalized like in the good old days (standing up and mashing those buttons is part of computer games DNA to me), maybe a couple pinballs because those are the shit.

This way I could talk Minecraft mods with a son, install that Contraption Maker game on a mom’s laptop, recommend Snakebirds or Gunpoint to a daughter, talk LAN games strategy with teenagers or what it takes to make that AAA game look like that or how the demoscene in Europe influenced tons of developers in the 1990s hey come back, I’m not done!

Now that’s culture. We need real, non-digital stores like this.

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