Reclaim Remix ‘n’ Match: a Visual Thinkery Production

I do love myself some Visual Thinkery creativeness, and I’m not gonna lie, when it invokes Reclaim Hosting I am a complete sucker 🙂 Bryan Mather’s latest twist metaphor for the Remix Machine is the Flip Book, and it is oh so good! Reclaim Your Domain indeed! And Reclaim the awesome sense of artistry, inspiration and just plain fun! So, I couldn’t resist a quick riff on my last post!

The Remix Machine runs on support from folks like you reading this, so if you have the means and are so inclined, support some local web art!

Posted in art, fun, reclaim, Reclaim Arcade | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A Banner Week for Reclaim Arcade

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Things are starting to get real around the push for Reclaim Arcade, I mean Timmmmyboy is producing marketing material, we’re both deep in the budget spreadsheets, and the OG arcade cabinets are flowing like wine in Trentino on a crisp Autumn afternoon. Life is damn good! “But talk is cheap, Jimmy, show me the money!!!” you say. Well, I hear you, baby, and I am on it.

In the last week we have secured five arcade cabinets that will give any 80s brat just a small taste of how sick a nostalgia rush Reclaim Arcade will be. Running up to my birthday Tim pointed me at a sale that included Elevator Action (in a Jungle King cabinet) and Dig Dug. I loved playing Elevator Action at Top Roller back in the day, and while it was not on the top 20 list, and while Dig Dug would not make the list, I recognize it’s a staple and this one just looked so damn good that we just couldn’t resist!

So those two are on their way to us (along with a few we ordered a few weeks back like Mario Bros., Karate Champ, and BurgerTime) but we have also hooked up with an amazing local connection and in just the last seven days we have gotten Crystal Castles, Robotron 2084, and just last night Donkey Kong delivered to Reclaim Headquarters. 


And that’s five, which means we’re only 5 or 6 cabinets short of 40 classic OG arcade games. Damn, the 10 year ds106 anniversary party is going to be off the hook!

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48 Divided by 12 is a Quarter

I’m in a kind of reflective mood these days, I turn 48 tomorrow, and for me that is a kinda a strange numerological milestone. I often think of my life in batches of seven years, it seems to be a rough segment of time I have traditionally made major changes, such as staying in LA for seven years during and after undergrad, seven years in NYC for grad school, a bit more in Fredericksburg (almost 10 years) but close enough for my edtech career, etc. But on a recent walk I realized that as I get older I have to widen the seven year itch net. Turns out cutting my life into 12 year chunks (that can pretty neatly be sub-divided into 6 year bits) might make more sense now. Here’s roughly how it breaks down:

  • 1-12 years old: No real memories of the first half of this period (1-6) just some shadowy impressions, but for brevity’s sake I’ll assume I was relatively cool with things. Also, no real documentation of me as a baby, so I’m also going to assert I was a cute baby. From 6-12 I was forming the interests I seem to be returning to now: video games, movies, and family (I also played football, but that interest hasn’t aged well with me).
  • 13-24 years old: I would say this was the great formative period. Identity totally in flux, but video games and movies remained consistent, music got thrown in the mix, and school/college became a kind of self-help obsession of sorts. The first part of this was marked by my parents divorcing, but had a big enough family with 7 brothers and sisters that I didn’t feel it too bad. And the later part of this period was when my own manic depression started to really have noticeable impacts on my relationships, etc. This is the period I finished high school in Long Island, then went to Virginia (George Mason University) for a quick year before heading out to California. The LA years were formative for my sense of self, went to UCLA, got a decent job in Audio Visual Services there (the beginning of my long career with public universities), also pretended to be literary, etc.
  • 25-36 years old: Held on in LA for a couple of more years before traveling in Eastern Europe and then heading back to NYC for graduate school. Grad school and NYC were  eye-opening, pretty much always broke for this entire period of my life, and realized the road to a professorship was strewn with the bodies of countless adjuncts. That said, I loved CUNY for all the amazing people I met and remained friends with, and was very useful to finally come to terms with the fact that I was a shit researcher and writer, but a fairly decent teacher. That was a crucial lesson, and one that helped me later on. This was also the luckiest period in my life, I met Antonella through the CUNY mafia, soon after we got married and had kids, you know the drill. The second half of this story, beyond a brief stint as a high school English teacher in Brooklyn, saw us being pushed out of NYC with the birth of Miles. The many years of making no money in the big apple finally took its toll, but I got lucky enough that CUNY provided me with an Instructional Technology Fellowship that was not only my introduction to WordPress (which was effectively the start of my career as an edtech) but soon after proved to be my ticket out of the big city. We moved to UMW where I took the job of instructional technologist with an extraordinary group of people, a fortuitous event in my life. The last part of this period saw me re-living some of my manic energy from my 20s—a period that can be pretty cleanly bookended with the birth of our second child, Tess, the loss of my mom, and a full edtech career immersion with UMW Blogs and EDUPUNK. 
  • 37-48 years old: These are a continuation of the great “productive years.” A lot of fun work with UMW, but also getting deeply tired of straddling the poverty line for almost 15 years. The start of this period saw the birth of Tommy, home ownership in the wake of the recession, and the start of my ds106 years (2010-2012)—which were by far the most productive I’ve had in terms of sheer communal insanity. The work around ds106 seamlessly lead into UMW Domains and then Domain of One’s Own, and when that resonated beyond UMW the groundwork for Reclaim Hosting became possible. Which, in turn, made leaving UMW and a much needed change of cultural scenery shift from dream to reality (the partnership with Tim being absolutely key here, this was the period I learned the crucial life-lesson that nothing great is accomplished alone). That said, the ds106 years had their cost, that period was also the time I let my manic depression, and by extension my drinking, spin out of control, and the highlight of this period for me was getting straight and preventing everything from falling apart. That happened about mid-way through, and made all the other good things like Reclaim Hosting, Reclaim Video, and the soon to be realized Reclaim Arcade an ongoing reality. 

I look back on these chunks of time and realize how mixed they are with good and bad, hard and easy, fun and painful. I have been lucky enough to skirt any major health issues to date, but given the the sheer math of time, age, and life, I may not be so lucky going forward. And when I think of the next 12 years I think of the final part of anything resembling a “career.” I will always consider myself an edtech, but I do think the next 12 years will be as much about running an arcade and VHS store, as it is about dreaming and exploring with marginal edtech possibilities with Tim. It will also be about getting to the 30 years married milestone, which will be the greatest accomplishment of all, and will also mean us seeing our kids through high school and even college, if they choose that route. It’s crazy to think all that is just 12 years away. I hope to be slowing down a bit by the end of the next 12, but I do feel like I still have a bit more energy to help create an arcade/bar, shore up the video store, and if things truly align start a movie theater along the lines of he New Beverly Cinema (always room for pipe dreams, right?). I’m not sure I’ll ever retire at this point given I already have felt retired for the last 4/5 years now. It’s not that I’m not working (I’m arguably working now as much as ever) but I am doing exactly the work I want to do all the time, and I am no longer always broke.

I think the last thing worth noting here is that I have been blogging for 14 years this December, which means this space has been a regular part of my routine for more than a quarter of my life, crazy. And I have a sneaking suspicion so many of the good things that have happened over that time period are at least partially a result of my sharing here, which is strangely ironic given I blogged because I was not a good writer and wanted an alternative to just share without the fear and loathing that came with “academic publishing.”  So, all this to say divide your life by 12, and if and when life gives you quarters all you can do is play old gold video arcade games from the 80s, am I right?

Posted in bavatuesdays, blogging, family, fun, learning | 9 Comments

No Fame Like Famous Monsters

Paul Bond just alerted me that he saw the animated cover of a Famous Monsters of Filmland issue featuring some Ray Harryhausen magic on the sidebar of the Destination Nightmare blog. I am honored!

That little animation is hold up the Monster Channel link, and I could not be prouder! here is the animated GIF in all its glory.  Far from perfect, but definitely one I enjoyed making.

Now this is usually where some folks (ahem Cogdog) start getting upset about attribution, but frankly I really don’t care. I take freely from around the web and I sometimes don’t give credit where credit is due, and part of the reason is because the web feels a bit less serious when it is treated as a media free-for-all—which was how it was in the early to mid 90s when I cut my teeth on it. It’s hard for me to shake the sense that discussions around permissions and attribution is driven by the logic of media ownership, but I own very little of what I share on this blog. In fact, it’s the ownership idea of the new web that got my YouTube account deleted with countless takedown notices, and it’s why I have avoided licensing my work on this blog at all. I really don’t care who uses what I’ve written or created here, cause I never felt like it was mine as much as it was a reaction I was having or thing I was engaged in.  I understand the web is more serious now, and the stakes are higher, but then why not abandon the blog and use that fact as the perfect excuse to write a newsletter, or even a book? 🙂  If someone wants to freely take a mashup I did of media I remixed and re-used without permission, than who am I to take issue? I never did the ds106 assignments for credit beyond a comment or two saying “That’s awesome!” That was always enough.  In fact, I am more thrilled to have discovered this is still be found and used in 2019 than anything else, just another thing to make me long for the good old productive years.

Posted in digital storytelling | 5 Comments

“Il mattino ha l’ oro in bocca”

One of the things I have been looking forward to greatly this summer was finally watching The Shining with my oldest son. He’s already a bit of a horror fan junky, but I’ve begged him to hold off on this one so we can watch it together, which we did in August. But, unfortunately, that did not go so well. In fact, we only made it 20 minutes through the film until things went horribly wrong. Let me back up, months earlier I had bought the Blu-ray in preparation, and we even recently got a bigger TV. And while I loathed watching this film for the first time together in the living room, I was also aware the opportunities to catch it in a theater in English in Italy was not availing itself anytime soon. So, between one thing and another we setup a night in mid August to take the leap together. It started well enough, but I thought the interview scene was missing some dialogue, but I was not sure enough to  speak up about it yet. But then it happened…the scene directly after Danny’s first vision of the Overlook hotel featuring the blood gushing out of the elevator doors cuts directly to the title “Closing Day:” 

“Wait, what? That can’t be right, can it?” Was my immediate reaction, and to my son’s great chagrin I stopped the movie. I then proceeded to question everything I knew about Kubrick’s  The Shining (which apparently was not that much). You see this is a film I have probably seen more than any other, I love it. It’s right up there with Carpenter’s The Thing as an all-time favorite.. So, I kinda know it well, in fact I did a video essay about it for ds106 wherein I discussed how the birth of my oldest son dramatically changed my relationship to the film, in that instance it was as if the film had grown-up along side me, and my becoming a father evened deepened the harrowing psychological horror at the core of the movie.

I even created a fun little video of Miles discovering the twins thanks to a Halloween decorations at a Z Pizza we discovered in Washington DC when he was 6 or 7 years old (about Danny’s age in the film), which remains one of my favorite videos from the productive years.

I mean Andy Rush, Serena Epstein, and I even did a swede of the bar scene in The Shining back in 2008?! 

So, all this to say, my investment in The Shining and its direct relationship to my own path to fatherhood (and in many ways blogging) was not trivial. This was a big moment for me, so when I began to realize an entire scene of the film was missing, I was upset. So upset, that I not only stopped the film, but I remembered it was also on Netflix, so to vindicate myself I opened it on Netflix and scanned forward until the 20 minute mark when Danny has his first vision and, wait for it, nothing…just the “Closing Day” title again. “But that’s not right!”, I started yelling, I was literally beginning to lose my shit, not unlike Jack Torrance. Miles was increasingly more annoyed, and I described the entire scene that was missing after Danny’s vision. He wakes up on his bed and a doctor is examining him, after that the doctor and Wendy go into the other room and we learn from Wendy that Jack had dislocated Danny’s arm after having a few drinks for messing with his school papers, and Jack becomes that much more of a murky, questionable father figure. Miles was mildly interested in my aside, but just wanted to watch the movie, but unfortunately that was impossible. There was no way we could watch this, and the experience was then ruined. I continued to rave and then took to the internet, and Miles went to bed disappointed. But I was truly feeling like I was somehow in an alternative reality, and after a bit of research I realized that was, indeed, the case. The alternative reality was Europe! 

Turns out Kubrick had completely re-cut the film for the European theatrical release, removing some 25 minutes of footage (and this in addition to the 2 minutes removed from the film after it was in US theaters for a week—the famous ending shot in the hospital). The European version is 119 minutes, while the US version is 144 minutes. Really?! And I cannot even blame the Europeans, this was all Kubrick’s doing—or perhaps the US box office given the film was not met with a very favorable reception. Which reminds me of a video I saw recently of Tobe Hooper discussing meeting Kubrick for the first time. Besides Kubrick having bought a 35 MM copy of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to prepare for The Shining, Hooper notes that two years after the theatrical release Kubrick was still re-mixing the film, and Hooper chalked it up to getting it perfect.* And in some ways that might tell the story of the textual history of The Shining, with there being at least 3 versions released in theaters, and at least two of those still survive. 

I was surprised to learn that the 144 minute version was not released theatrically in Europe until 2012, which seems crazy to me. Turns out the consensus is Kubrick felt the European cut was tighter and more streamlined, but I have only know the US version and the idea that it was less than perfect is simply sacrilege.

Here are a few of the deleted scenes thanks to YouTube, but there are numerous others:

Along the way to searching about the changes in the film from the US to the European version I discovered Kubrick had the “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” line from the typed sheets translated into an appropriate phrase in the various European languages it would be translated into. For Italy the line was translated to “Il mattino ha l’ oro in bocca” which is literally translated “The morning has gold in the mouth” and is a proverb similar to the early bird gets the worm. And in this case it was true for the theatrical release of the The Shining, because the early US release was truly the gold in the mouth 🙂 I can’ imagine this film without Scatman Cruthers calling the folks up at the Overlook hotel “completely unreliable assholes!”

Which, ironically, is a scene I have blogged about twice with the same title in 2015 and 2019 without even realizing it, the old folks used to call it blog shining 🙂

*Interestingly enough, Hooper also mention that Kubrick reminded him of the state police officer Peter Sellers played in Lolita, and was noting that Sellers was doing an impersonation of Kubrick intentionally, which is wild to think about. 

Posted in film, films, movies, Reclaim Video | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Short, Imperfect History of 80s Media Culture as Told by 3 C.H.U.D. VHS Tapes

The various flavors of CHUD on VHS

Some might ask, “Why buy 3 different versions of C.H.U.D. on VHS? Isn’t that overkill?” The short answer is “Yes,” but the longer answer is and “Why the hell do you care? Are you some kind of minimalist, or worse the VHS police coming to tell me how to live my already pathetic life?” Fact is, I was experimenting with a particular favorite film of mine about various copies and the range in quality. For example, take a look at the differences between the tape to the right and the tape in the center below:

Besides the difference in label color, what else jumps out at you? Well, the fact that this 96 minute movie should have so much less tape in the video to the right versus the one on the left. There is more than twice as much tape on the right, which means that tape was recoded/transferred at a higher quality. This harkens back to recording speeds on your VCR back in the day:

SP = Standard Play
LP = Long Play
SLP/EP = Super Long play (sometimes Slow Play)

The idea here is that you can make a 120 minute tape on SP last for as many as 4 hours on LP and 6 hours on SLP, so the slower the recording the higher the quality, and vice versa, the faster the recording the lower the quality but the more content you can get on a tape. The C.H.U.D. tape to the left is a Starmaker release, and they were known for their cheap copies, whee as the one on the right was by Video Treasures which was also known for their low-budget releases, but Video Treasures is fairly much better in this Pepsi Challenge fo VHS tapes. But these two tapes actually point to an interesting history of 1980s VHS tape distribution, given Video Treasures and Starmaker were competitors through much of the 80s and into the mid 90s before both were bought out and reformed as Anchor Bay Entertainment:

Anchor Bay Entertainment can date its origins back to two separate home video distributors: Video Treasures, formed in 1985,[2] and Starmaker Entertainment, founded in 1988. Both companies sold budget items — reissues of previously released home video programming — at discount prices. Video Treasures started with public domain titles, and later made licensing deals with Vestron VideoHeron Communications (including Media Home Entertainment and Hi-Tops Video), Britt Allcroft (the Thomas the Tank Engine series), Trans World Entertainment, Regal Video, Virgin Vision, Hal Roach StudiosJerry Lewis, and Orion Pictures, among others. Starmaker’s major distributions were films from the then-recently out-of-business New World Pictures and programs previously licensed to their video division. Viacom programs and Saturday Night Live compilations were other notable Starmaker releases. The companies competed with each other for years, until they were sold to the Handleman Company, and formed a new corporate umbrella: Anchor Bay Entertainment, in May 1995.[3] The company also bought out (through the Video Treasures and Starmaker acquisitions) other budget home video and music distributors such as MNTEX Entertainment, Teal Entertainment, Burbank Video, Drive Entertainment, and GTS Records.[3] Both the Video Treasures and Starmaker labels were phased out a few years later.

It’s an interesting media landscape with the gobbling up of independent media distributors by larger conglomerates, and the New World Pictures mention here is interesting because Roger Corman’s company (which produced C.H.U.D.) was in the business in the late 80s and early 90s of buying up smaller, local television stations (changing their name to New world Communications) and their deal with Fox in 1994 to have those stations syndicate Fox (and Fox’s eventual purchase of New World Communications and their various regional outlets) led to the consolidation that cemented the rise of Fox as the shit show of news and media we have come to know and love to hate for the last 20+ years:

20th Century Fox (then owned by News Corporation), controlled by Rupert Murdoch, became a major investor in 1994 and purchased the company [New World Communications] outright in 1997; the alliance with Murdoch, particularly through a group affiliation agreement with New World reached between the two companies in May 1994, helped to cement the Fox network as the fourth major U.S. television network

There is a lot of history in a throw away piece of media like a cheap Starmaker VHS tape. And to finish this off, the third C.H.U.D. tape, all the way to the right, is a 2001 tape released by Anchor Bay Media (at that point the STARZ subsidiary that swallowed both Starmaker and Video Treasures the previous decade) making for an interesting triptych of VHS media/cultural history. I have not inspected the Anchor Bay tape yet, and I know there is at least one other C.H.U.D. tape released by Media (which is identical to the Video Treasures tape), you can see an image I found on Ebay below:

So, one of the things you start to realize when you begin collecting VHS tapes in earnest, which has become the case since Reclaim Video opened, is that the story of media during that decade is written on the jewel cases of history 🙂

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Look Mom, No Support!

You may have to click on the above image for the full effect, but I just wanted to take a moment to recognize that I’m officially off the 8 AM to 10 PM (Eastern US Time) support schedule. I still cover 6-7 hours of support from 1 AM to 8 AM, when things are much slower, but being freed up after that is pretty huge. It’s been over 6 years in the making, but the prospect of liberating myself from a 12-14 hour work day sometime soon is the stuff dreams are made of. I’ll talk more about where Reclaim is going and what got us here, but on this Monday I am just going to enjoy a bit of the afternoon sans support tickets.

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IST 402: Emerging Technologies

I had this as part of my previous post about HAX, but it was getting unruly, so I am exercising my rarely used editorial authority to make this its own post. In addition to all the HAX work, Bryan Ollendyke is also teaching a course this semester about Emerging Technologies (IST 402), you can see the syllabus and highlights using the previous link. For me the topics link breaks down the focus of this class nicely, which is to help students at Penn State’s Information School get a grounding in not only the web fundamentals like HTML/CSS, Git, and a variety of Content Management Systems, but also look at basic server infrastructure, front end and back development (there’s even OER) to get a solid footing in the developments in web publishing.

IST 402 Course Website

It is a wide-ranging overview that helps students dig in on some of these concepts to understand not only how these things work in theory, but by spinning up a server and making he abstract tangible through hands-on labs for each topic. When talking to Bryan about the course he noted the goal was not only for students to explore their online identity through the various technologies highlighted, but also as a way to prepare them to talk intelligently about everything from web components to databases to server stacks. It reminds me a bit of what Paul Bond and I were working towards with the Internet Course we taught at UMW in 2014, but Bryan’s approach provides a wider lens on what the technical underpinnings of current emerging web publishing technologies are well beyond cPanel. I love creative courses like this, and I can’t help but think Bryan’s actually teaching the work he is already doing with HAX will just make the whole thing that much more awesome. 

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HAX the Web @HaxCamp

It is long overdue, but the bava has been busy. I have been wanting to write about HAX the Web and Bryan Ollendyke’s larger-than-life approach to the future of the web since I first met him in January at the University API (uAPI) conference sponsored by BYU. I was blown away by both Bryan and Michael Potter‘s sessions at uAPI. Penn State University has had a long tradition of innovation in edtech, and Bryan and Michael (and I’m sure many more from their group I have not yet met) did that tradition proud. I sat in on a fascinating session by Michael Potter wherein he showcased A-frame, a web framework for creating VR experiences with HTML. We played along with him by using A-fame in Glitch to create 3-D objects on the web in HTML code, simply wild. 

In another session Michale and Bryan co-presented on the Beaker Browser, which is a peer-to-peer browser that re-defines how the browser experience works, here is a bit from their About page:

The Web enabled communication, collaboration, and creativity at a scale once unimaginable, but it’s devolved into a landscape of isolated platforms that discourage customization and interoperability. The Web’s value flows from the people who use it, yet our online experiences are dictated by corporations whose incentives rarely align with our own.

We believe the Web can (and must) be a people-first platform, where everybody is invited to create, personalize, and share.

That’s why we’re using peer-to-peer technology to improve how we create, share, and connect on the Web.

I’s an experimental approach, and by no means widely adopted, but these two sessions confirmed this group is thinking far and wide about the possibilities of the web, and the promise of trying to keep some of its core components free and open, which brings me to work Bryan has done which firs got my attention (and everyone else’s on Twitter :)): HAX the web, or he headless authoring tool he has been developing that is powered by web components. Let me try and break this down a bit, and then Bryan can come and correct any mistakes I make here given the bava is still an open web enterprise, and 100% Gutenberg free 🙂 

So, if I understand the road to HAX the Web right, it started at PSU as part of a LMS-killing project known as the ELMS Learning Network, a project Bryan’s group has been developing in-house for many years on top of Drupal as a means to explore alternatives  to the campus LMS. The project is on-going, but when PSU went to Canvas (like virtually every other school on the planet) ELMS was a bit forlorn, but from the ashes of the new boss LMS (same as the old boss LMS) came HAX, or the authoring tool within ELMS that was abstracted out of that system and brilliantly re-framed as a headless authoring tool that can be essentially be used to author in any system: Drupal, WordPress, Sakai, etc. The vision of removing the authoring experience from any one system is what “headless” refers to, and it begins to smack of the distributed, decentralized promise of the Next Generation Digital learning Environment, which is something Bryan has already written about at length. I just love the way this group’s work with ELMS gave birth to HAX which in turn resonates with the promise of a broader series of system integrations that liberates the use from any one tool for creating, sharing, and archiving their work. It’s a testament to why you want R&D shops in higher ed that are allowed to explore, create, “fail,” refactor, and create again.

I love this story, and secret sauce behind the HAX the Web editor are web components, and Bryan and his group have written a ton of them fo this editor. Now wha are web components, you ask? Well, let’s go to the source:

Web components are a set of web platform APIs that allow you to create new custom, reusable, encapsulated HTML tags to use in web pages and web apps. Custom components and widgets build on the Web Component standards, will work across modern browsers, and can be used with any JavaScript library or framework that works with HTML.

Web components are based on existing web standards. Features to support web components are currently being added to the HTML and DOM specs, letting web developers easily extend HTML with new elements with encapsulated styling and custom behavior.

So, Bryan’s talk at uAPI was the first time I ever got an overview of web components, and I can’t claim to be overly knowledgeable on this front. But from what I understand (and why they’re increasingly attractive to folks like Jon Udell—who is a great barometer for such technologies) is that these components allow you to build custom elements on top of HTML making them to not only web standards compatible and browser-friendly, but also extend the possibilities of working within HTML. Web Components were championed by Google, but then he HAX team took over 🙂 I am completely open to better definitions in the comments.

So, HAX has been steadily gaining recognition over the last few years in no small part because of Bryan’s tireless presentations, Tweet storms, and developing HAX like a madman. Tim worked with Bryan to get a HAX CMS up and running fo Reclaim Hosting, so we do have a one-click installer for  a quick application Bryan put together for the uAPI which is basically the HAX editor with a simple CMS wrapper to publish content.  The possibilities for OER, personal web publishing, app integration, and more are exciting, and that’s why Reclaim Hosting is honored to sponsor the HAX Camp that will be happening at Duke University next week (October 7th and 8th). Tim will be there, and from the looks of Twitter so will almost 60 other folks who are interested in hacking on HAX. That’s a huge turn-out, and major kudos to Bryan and the whole HAX team that have so brilliantly demonstrated that edtech innovation can still be born out of the university, it just takes time, a solid group, endless work, and some love and recognition from institution where its happening. Not an easy formula at any institution, but lightening in a bottle when it all comes together. 

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Reclaim Arcade: More than a Passion Project

Scenes from a Reclaim Arcade

Reclaim Arcade started as a fun idea and then fairly quickly became a passion project (which frankly kind of caught both Tim and I a bit by surprise). At this point, I would argue, it has moved beyond that to a kind of 80s arcade myopia 🙂 We are pretty locked-in to seeing if we can actually get a full blown 80s arcade/bar/maker/gallery space off the ground in Fredericksburg sometime in the next 6-8 months. There is no point in us getting all these games if people can’t play them, and we hope to build upon not only Reclaim Video as part of the space, but also resurrect the 80s vision of UMW’s Console Living Room. Whether or not it will happen depends on a number of factors: securing funding, thinking through a space re-design, and figuring out how a completely different industry works are just a few. But regardless, we are now approaching the idea of Reclaim Arcade as a more likely than not proposition, which is pretty freaking exciting. And all the while we have continued to pick up awesome OG arcade games. As of last night we have secured 28 games, a few of which are still in transit:

  • Centipede

Scenes from Reclaim Arcade

  • Asteroids
  • Kangaroo

Scenes from a Reclaim Arcade

  • Defender
  • Galaxian
  • Q*bert

Scenes from a Reclaim Arcade

  • Millipede
  • Tron

Scenes from a Reclaim Arcade

  • Ms. Pacman
  • Galaga
  • Pac-man

Scenes from a Reclaim Arcade

  • Make Trax
  • Joust
  • Gauntlet

Scenes from a Reclaim Arcade

  • Smash TV

Scenes from Reclaim Video

  • Popeye
  • Track and Field

Scenes from a Reclaim Arcade

  • Battlezone

  • Phoenix

Scenes from a Reclaim Arcade

  • Star Castle

Scenes from a Reclaim Arcade

  • Space Invaders

Scenes from a Reclaim Arcade

  • Outrun

  • Mortal Kombat
  • Super Punchout

  • Karate Champ (in transit)
  • Burgertime (tabletop, in transit)
  • Crystal Castles (finishing restoration)
  • Mario Bros. (in-transit)

We also have a solid lead on Missile Command, which we’ll add the collection one way or another regardless, but here is a partial list of games we still want/need:

  • Donkey Kong
  • Pleiades
  • Robotron 2084
  • Moon Patrol
  • Elevator Action
  • Jungle King
  • Ghosts & Goblins
  • Tempest
  • Gyruss
  • Rampages
  • Discs of Tron (stand-in cabinet)
  • Dragon’s Lair
  • Space Ace
  • Stars (sit-down cabinet)
  • Venture
  • Paperboy
  • Tapper
  • Ikari Warriors
  • Yie-ar Kung-Fu
  • Rush n Attack

If we get all these, granted some are a lot more difficult/expensive to get than others, if we get these I think this would be on par with the best arcade I have been to in the US yet: Portland’s Ground Kontrol (which is arguably the place that started all this almost 13 years ago when Zach Davis took me there). That place is legend in my mind, and having the roughly fifty 1980s arcade games listed here would make this more than a passion project, it would make it one of the most bitchin’ 80s arcades on the planet. And why not in Freddy? That town has been very good to us, and it would be fun to plant our roots even deeper into the past!

Scenes from Reclaim Arcade

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