Disclaimer: I am not a professional/top-seeded/world record-holding gamer… but I can surely hang out with the guys that are!
I find that having a bucket list for this hobby (as well as other parts of my life) helps to keep me focused on what I should be striving to accomplish. Fortunately, I ‘m now able to cross one of the items off my arcade list.
Louisville is a neat town for the arcade/pinball/retro hobby. We have our own arcade and pinball expo, we have our own classic arcade/pinball bar and restaurant, we have lots of local collectors that are part of a pretty tight-knit group and we also have Mark Alpiger. If you’re not familiar with Mark, he’s one of the co-stars of the 2007 documentary “The King of Kong”.
What most people don’t realize is that Mark lives in this area and sponsors a yearly tournament that brings people from all over the country to compete against each other for top-billing and bragging rights for the year.
You might think “what’s so special about this tournament…especially compared to all the other tournaments out there?”. Well, that’s where the details make the difference…
Now that the lights, sounds and crowds of the 2012 Louisville Arcade Expo are behind us, this presents the perfect time to revisit for those who didn’t get to attend. There was so much going on this year, that it was kind of hard to take everything in and make sure that all aspects of the show were captured. Hopefully this summary will give a good recap of the overall experience and show just how much has changed from last year’s show.
Much of the story for this post comes from something that everyone in the collecting/playing/restoration community will likely experience from time-to-time: a greedy seller. At the time, I didn’t realize that it would have such a great ending, though. I was prepared for the worst and wound up getting the best.
The back story on this starts where many an arcade acquisition begins…. Craigslist.
Lonnie McDonald was recently in Louisville to promote the latest leg in his journey to score 10,000,000 points on every upright Joust machine listed in the Aurcade game tracking database. I was fortunate enough to be onsite the night that Lonnie was at Louisville’s Zanzabar and was able to spend a little time talking to him before he settled in to begin the process of posting another 10 mil’ score.
Here’s what he had to say:
This is the first of what I intend to be a series of “Retro Spotlight” interviews that focus on local collectors and industry alumni.
For the first foray into honing my interview skills, I had the pleasure of sitting down for a couple hours with brothers Jeremy & Matt Fleitz and business partner/Luigi impersonator extraordinaire, Joe Stith. These guys are the brainchild (and strong backs) behind the Louisville Arcade Expo and also own the Expo’s parent company, ArcadeRx.
The guys were very gracious to invite me over to their shop and allow me to ask those ‘hard-hitting’ retro questions that we all want answers to.
And they offered up free beer.
Between all the discussion and the shop tour, I was able to get my version of almost “20 questions” answered up..