Yesterday, August 2, 2018, I took a day off work.

I know, it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but look, I work my tail off 6 days a week, and with a family and a lot of responsibilities, I actually don’t get a lot of time to myself to enjoy this hobby that I blog about. So I decided to give myself a day off, and hit the road on a day trip that I have had in mind for a long time.

Of course, it revolved around video games.

Specifically, three arcade establishments that I’ve been wanting to visit (or re-visit, in one case) for quite a while.

I’m located in Wisconsin, and two of these places were located in the Chicago, Illinois suburbs: Galloping Ghost in Brookfield, and Level 257 in Schaumburg. Rounding out the trip, on the way home, was The Garcade in Menominee Falls, Wisconsin.

A fun day, to be sure; I took to referring to it as my “arcade bender,” and it was most certainly that. But it also turned out to be a really interesting look at three very different approaches to arcades.

Back in the ’80s and ’90s, when the arcade games were a current business, arcades were everywhere, and they were largely all pretty similar. Now, arcades are a niche, a throwback, an specialty endeavor, and everyone has their own take on how it should be done, making them all very different in content, presentation, and atmosphere.

So my trip wasn’t just about spending the day playing video games, although I did plenty of that; it was also about documenting these places, because of course, I went in thinking “oh, I can get some blog posts out of this.” And that’s true; these will all be entries in the Arcade Pilgrimage series of articles, which are some of my favorite to write. But I’d like to present them not only as three individual articles which will stand on their own, but also wrap them all up with a fourth article comparing the three arcades and maybe a few musings on how they all fit into the framework of this pastime that we love and where it might be headed in the future.

I had a ton of fun on my trip; please look forward to the writeups in the coming days and weeks. Thanks!

The first post is up now: Arcade Pilgrimage: Galloping Ghost, Brookfield, IL
The second post is up too: Level 257: Om-Nom-Namco
And the third post is now online: Arcade Pilgrimage: The Garcade, Menomonee Falls, WI