Recently I picked up both a Sinistar and Terminator 2 arcade game. Both were high on my want list. At this time, I'm pretty much out of floor space in the arcade and low on funds. That's not a good thing as I still have my eye on a few more games on my wanted list. What to do?

The only solution is to sell off a couple of games. For the most part every game in the gameroom has a good memory for me, so I have to pick something that neither myself nor my guests play very much. With that, I had to settle on the Sega twins. Ever since I picked up a number of driving games, the Outrun has been largely ignored. Although I like Afterburner, it tends to get repetitive. What sets those games apart is that they have shaker motors that shake the steering wheel or flightstick when you crash. Unfortunately, they were both chosen for the chopping block. I put them up for sale, and a single buyer bought both of them. Pictured are the games as they leave my arcade.

In honor and memory of these two champions, I am providing a link to the Outrun roadtrip and another link to the Afterburner warehouse raid.

For those that might not know I am a childrens pastor. I decided to invite the kids out to my house for a Saturday gameday on 2/12/11. This was the first time that I had this group out to my house. We ended up having a record attendance for a gameday with 40 people showing up. These kids enjoyed this gameroom more than anyone yet to date. After 6 hours of non-stop play they finally had to go back home. I really enjoyed doing this and will definitely be doing this again in the future.


I absolutely love my 80's soda machine which sits at the entrance of my arcade. The retro-style Pepsi all metal machine kept my sodas nice and frosty...UNTIL NOW. I say that because it had been on the fritz lately. Soda machines are rather simple refrigeration units, at least the older ones are. To keep the soda cold, there is a compressor (pump), freon (liquid), condensor coils and a thermostat.

My soda would either get iced up and bust the cans, or else get really, really warm. Mostly, they just got warm. To test, I took the thermostat out and hard wired the compressor to be always on. It pumped just fine and everything got really cold. Thermostats are basically temperature controlled potentiometers. From my experience with arcade machines, potentiometers can and will always go bad over time. I decided to order another thermostat and replace it. The one in there was probably the original 30 year old thermostat. It is shown in the lower right picture. After replacing with a new one, I dialed in the temperature and my sodas have been at a nice, steady cold temperature again. Now pass me another Mountain Dew, I have to go play some more Robotron.

I was honestly beginning to think it wasn't going to happen. I bought and sold so many games in 2010 that it seemed like it was time for a break. All the Ebayers and Craigslisters made it easy, as they seemed to think these little painted wooden boxes were made of solid gold, at least that's what everyone's price tags seemed to show. Yes, people have been watching too much of these reality shows, American Pickers, Pawn Shop and Storage Wars. Everything is worth $1,000 and you won't convince them otherwise. It seemed like my buying days were limited in 2011. Then comes the snow storm. Ten inches of snow and a major interstate highway shut down because of white-out conditions meant I would be hibernating for a while. I spent the next day shoveling out my driveway after this blizzard.

Then it happened. Night began to fall, I checked Craigslist (like I regularly do) and there were 2 collectible games up for sale at a decent price. Same seller, same price. The games were a Sinistar and Terminator 2. I was wanting a Sinistar to complete my Williams collection, and Terminator 2 is just a way cool shoot em' up game. No, I must be seeing things. I called the number and the guy said I was the first one to call. I normally fly right out the door to scoop up these little beauties before someone else does but it was already late and the highways were still dangerous. I make arrangements to pick up the games the next day and the seller agrees.

I have a new Dodge Durango Hemi, a freshly rebuilt game hauling trailer, and it was time to break them in. Yes, this was going to be a "twofer". That means 2 for 1. With that and a few snow covered highways, the stage was set. Click here to read about the Sinistar and Terminator 2 road trip.

For many of us who grew up in the 80's there were no videogaming consoles at home, short of a nasty, pixelated Atari 2600. There was also no satelite TV, no Cartoon Network and no Nickelodean. That meant on snow days, rainy days and generally boring days, kids kept themselves entertained with board games. Yes, you just don't see that anymore, but we played board games. Monopoly, Life, Clue, and Yahtzee were staples in the household.

Now believe it or not, some executives at Milton Bradley decided to license the video game logos and make a board game out it. What you have is a board game like what is shown below. Did I play these types of board games? Yes I did. If it had a Pac-man, Donkey Kong, Galaga or Q*bert logo on it then I was going to try it out. However, if you look closely at the front of the box in the lower left corner you will see the words "AS MUCH FUN AS THE ACTION-PACKED ARCADE GAME OF THE SAME NAME". Guess what? It most definitely was not. Epic fail. How can you compare a $10 board game with a $2000 arcade game? Yes, a brand new Pac-man back in the day cost 2 grand. Would you rather ride a bicycle or drive a Lamborghini? At least this little piece of history lives on as my lovely wife picked this board game up at a local thrift shop. It now resides in the Vintage Vault arcade and gameroom along with my other Pac-man collectibles.

These are just a couple of the reactions from a few new visitors to the Video Vault Arcade and Gameroom. My wife and I were out one evening and my teenage son had a few friends over who have never been out to the house. He decided to video record his friends reaction to the arcade. The games aren't turned on in the video but it's still cool to watch. Their reactions are priceless. Its nice to know kids are still impressed with these games even with their Xbox's, PS3's and Wii's at home. Click the play button below to watch the video.

Best comment ever by the guy in the red shirt: "I've seen the Great Wall of China and the Pyramids of Giza; and nothing... compares to this."

At the end of November I purchased this lovely 40 inch LCD screen in 1080P goodness for the gameroom, something I have been wanting for a long time. The purpose of this purchase was to showcase the Video Jukebox, as well as provide satelite programming for those hanging out at the bar. I wrote the video jukebox years before I had a gameroom, in anticipation of having a real gameroom. Since moving into this house 2 years ago the video jukebox was set up using a 19 inch LCD computer monitor until I installed the 40 inch screen.

I have to turn back to the end of the century to explain the video jukebox. For the last 10 years I have been collecting my favorite music videos. The collection now exceeds 2000 music videos and 5000 audio files. Like many, I grew up in the 80's and as a product of such I was part of the MTV generation. Now I'm not talking about the pathetic excuse of a cable channel that MTV has now become running Jersey Shore, Real World and Road Rules. I am talking about when MTV was all about showcasing the best of rock and roll in the some of the most inventive music videos of our time. That is why I started collecting these videos. Years later, I couldn't find a video jukebox program that I liked so I wrote one using Visual Basic. This program allows you to play videos, while still looking for new ones to add to the music queue. Then when you are finish you click a button to present the videos full screen in 40 inch splendor.

Lastly, the computer that runs the video jukebox is tucked away underneath the bar area. I had a cabled mouse attached to it which did the job with the 19 inch monitor that sat right in front of you but did not work well with the new 40 inch screen. Over Christmas I picked up a super bargain on a wireless mouse which allows you to queue up the video jukebox while sitting any where near the bar area. The range on this is over 30 feet, and I tested it and was even able to run the jukebox by using the mouse on the pool table much farther away.

So there you have it for what I use for entertainment purposes. Also for those out there who keep telling me that now all I need is a jukebox with a VERY limited 100 CD setup, I believe I'm one step ahead of that old dinosaur.

With the new year beginning, it's time to reflect on the last year of collecting. The year 2010 brought in a seemingly endless march of new games into the Video Vault. The year's totals leave us with 15 new games that have made their home in the arcade. That is more than 1 new arcade game a month. Probably the most memorable moments are the Punch-out picked up on Valentines day in a snow storm , the Sega Rally Championship Deluxe plucked out of a mobile home kitchen and the Emergency Call Ambulance I bought sitting in a hospital bed right after surgery under heavy medication. Ah....memories....

Starting with the beginning of last year, we have Baby Pac-man, VS Super Mario Bros, Vapor TRX #1, Punch-out, Robotron, Rush the Rock, Sega Rally Championship, Vapor TRX #2, Megatouch Jade II, Emergency Call Ambulance, Rapid Fire, Rampage, Crazy Taxi, The Challenger Candy Crane, and Golden Tee Fore 2005. I literally gained an entire drivers row this last year, and currently the arcade is now busting at the seems. Yes, the year 2010 has been good. So on that note, Happy New Years everybody!