Raiders of the Lost Arcade
Every so often, we hear of astonishing finds in the gaming world, the sorts of discoveries that collectors dream of and that occasionally make ordinary people a fair amount of coin. They include the Atari E.T. desert landfill; the most-valuable NES game showing up in a Goodwill bin; or a discarded prototype arcade cabinet resurfacing. But to find an entire arcade, filled with classic machines in near-mint condition, untouched in decades? That’s the sort of thing that’s too incredible for even an Ernest Cline novel.
Naturally, this story takes place not in a single instance, but over several years and strange circumstances: a luxury cruise ship, run aground and abandoned; urban explorers, trespassing and failing to realize the value of their discovery; an internet sleuth; price haggling; and the Herculean efforts of arcade collectors and game enthusiasts from around Europe.
This all unfolded between 1983 and 2012, but the details only became known to the general public last month. Head over to Arcade Blogger for the full story and many more photos and videos. It’s a great read!
For another, similar discovery on the other side of the planet, check out this International Business Times write on the ghost arcade of Chiba.