Domains21: Michigan State University Enmeshed in the Cloud

I’ll be posting sessions from Domains 21 over the next several weeks as a way to keep OERxDomains21 as close to my blog heart as possible, you’ve been warmed and warned! 🙂

In this session Kathleen Fitzpatrick and Scott Schopieray discuss the ways in which the MESH Research Center at Michigan State University has been using Reclaim Cloud as a sandbox for a wide-variety of applications that will not run in cPanel cleanly. With the ability to quickly stand-up applications like Mattermost, Etherpad, Jitsi, and Discourse, the Cloud might be understood as the requisite hosting environment for a whole new class of next generation applications built in Java, Node.js, Ruby, Go, and, as is increasingly the case, packaged up as a one-click Docker instance.

In addition, this session frames the importance of universities and colleges reclaiming control of their infrastructure as a means to not only explore the edges, but to ensure a degree of data sovereignty for the broader community. As with several other sessions in the Domains21 track, there is a growing sense urgency around exploring open source tools for a degree of platform independence for the broader academic discourse to remain viable.

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Domains21: OpenLab – Open Infrastructure in Action at CUNY

I’ll be posting sessions from Domains 21 over the next several weeks as a way to keep OERxDomains21 as close to my blog heart as possible, you’ve been warmed!

This OERxDomains21 session discusses how New York City Technical College (City Tech) and the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) use customized WordPress Multisite/BuddyPress application known as Commons-in-a-Box to build out a localized, institution-focused social learning network for its students and faculty. Jodie Rosen (City Tech), Chris Stein (BMCC), and Charlotte Edwards (City Tech) not only share the history and impressive uptake of this truly unique open source software project, but also share examples at their respective schools (OpenLab at City Tech and OpenLab at BMCC)and that point to a broader moral imperative around providing a technical framework for connecting that is not predatory when it comes to faculty and student data.

It’s open source. It was dreamed up over a decade ago at CUNY and continues to be maintained there. What’s more, it’s freely available to anyone else who wants to implement it. It’s just another brick in the open educational infrastructure Wall brought to you by the largest, most diverse urban college system in the USA!

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bava 3500

Seems like just 100 posts ago I was writing about the bava 3400, oh how time and blog posts fly by. Not sure why 3500 posts feels like a landmark to me, but who am I to fight the urge when it provides a glorious opportunity to blog about blogging. I posted the tale of the blog tape on Twitter earlier today, and while the numbers can only hint at the story, they are almost like mile markers on the long cross-internet journey that is blogging for near on 16 years.

If we do the math that’s about 233 posts a year over 15 years, averaging out to 19 posts a month, every month, since December 2005. I never missed a month since I started, so I’ve been nothing if not consistent. I took the early discussions around blogging as a space of one’s own to develop and document a professional and personal narrative very seriously. In fact, it may be the only thing I have taken seriously over that time, at least professionally.

Over the past 15+ years I’ve realized and come to terms with the reality that despite writing regularly for all this time, I’m not necessarily a better writer. I always have, and always will, struggle with writing. It’s quite hard for me, and I think in some kind of sick masochistic way that’s part of the attraction. But besides my psychological quirks, this blog has given me the unique opportunity to figure out my strengths as a “blogger” which have been documenting the work and trying to capture the development of various ideas over time. And as time moves on I’m finding this approach to be ever more valuable. Not only can I backtrack to things I figured out technically, but also better understand retrospectively how half-thought ideas blogged about became the seeds of some amazing, life-changing relationships that led to projects, courses, companies, arcades, conferences and more to come. This blog made me, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s not about numbers, not about readership, likes and/or subscribers. It’s simply about showing up regularly and being who you are. Folks can talk a lot of shit on me and this blog, and they have every right to (but dare not speak it aloud! :), but one thing I am still proud of is I never felt like I had to be someone else to write it. It truly remains my space, and for that I am thankful. What’s more, you get what you paid for every single time!

So, as Terry Greene noted, I am half way to 7000 posts, that’s a mile marker I think I can reach if my health holds out and the passion remains, but even if they shouldn’t there are no regrets on this here bava.blog. I remain #4life!

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Reclaim Hosting does an OERxDomains21 Debrief

Several members of the Reclaim Hosting team who chipped into the OERxDomains21 conference effort took some time out yesterday to reflect on the experience for episode 29 of Reclaim Today. We did a similar therapy thing after OER19, so it was fun to capture our thinking the Monday after the conference and do yet another victory lap! WE DID IT AGAIN! WE DID IT AGAIN! WE DID IT AGAIN! WE DID IT AGAIN! WE DID IT AGAIN! WE DID IT AGAIN! …. plus I think these chats are fun 🙂

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Scramble Project: Disassembling the Wells Gardner 4600 for a Cap Kit

A couple of weeks ago I took some time out from OERxDomains21 prep to pickup an arcade game here in Italy, Stern’s venerable 1981 Scramble. I think it’s an absolutely gorgeous cabinet, and I am thrilled to finally have it.

Scramble in the bavamansion Foyer

As Tommy noted in the video above, Scramble is a game I’ve been continually playing through MAME for years, and this cabinet stays in the personal collection—so I knew I would be doing some work on it. The most obvious work is dealing with some water damage to the bottom of the cabinet, the left-side in particular is pretty bad and the sheets in the plywood are fraying.

Some cabinet water damage

Some cabinet water damage

Some cabinet water damage

I’ve seem some forum posts on bondo and other things, but this water damage is too far gone for that. Everything above the 4 or 5″ inches of these two legs looks like new, so I have considered cutting them down 4″ or so and just making the cabinet a wee-bit smaller, but the purist in me wants another way. Maybe cut 12″ or so up the left-side, and find a matching piece to cover it? If I make the seam as perfect as possible then paint it yellow. The original height will be in tact, and the water damage gone, but I am wondering if that side/leg will be as strong. I’m still on the fence, and will take the next logical step and posts some pictures on the KLOV forums and see how the professionals would handle this, I’ve had some good luck there.

Wells Gardner 4600

The other bit of work needed is what they call a cap kit, or replacing the capacitors on the monitor chassis boards. This moves into so pretty intense electronics which is giving me some joy these days. I’m not gonna lie, I’m totally out of my element and loving it. I have tagged along with Tim on a few of these projects now, and I am not not really going to internalize how these machines work until I do it myself. So, I completely disassembled the Wells Gardner 4600 of this Scramble, and it was a bit of a bear. I used this amazing video to help me along the way, and it is the most thorough step-by-step guide for disassembling the Wells Gardner 4600 you’re gonna find online.

A disassembled WG 4600

The Wells Gardner 4600 chassis (the electronics that interface the game graphics with the CRT monitor) has a few boards vertically placed along the main board. So my first chassis disassembly was a tricky one, and there was a casualty or two. Below you can see the neck board that attaches directly to the tube (to the left), and the other two boards are the video interface board and the vertical and horizontal controls board. This TNT Amusements video about the Wells Gardner 4600 is useful for getting a sense of how to make adjustments and the like.

Neckboard, Interface Board, and Horizontal/Vertical Board for the WG 4600

The vertical/horizontal and video interface board are connected to the main chassis board which is the reddish/orange one below.

And the final board, I think, is this power board that is attached to the metal housing that holds the chassis together and attaches to the CRT tube.

Power board for the WG 4600

All these boards have capacitors that need to be replaced (there are roughly 30 in all) so I will be desoldering and soldering these on the boards, and then putting it all back together in hopes it works 🙂 The one casualty was the width coil that is extremely fragile and broke while I was taking it apart 🙁 I’m told if the width of the image on the monitor was fine there’s no real loss to breaking that width coil, but we’ll soon see. Luckily I have some excellent connections back in the USA should things go awry with my cap kit attempt, which may very well be the case. I’m still waiting on the cap kit to arrive—it should be here this week—so I will definitely have an update before long.

Look mom, no monitor!

It was odd to see this cabinet without the monitor and bezel, it seems so naked. And depending on the work I do on the cabinet, I may have to soon remove the power brick and the power board at the bottom of the board along with the PCB attached to the side. It looks like this will be the first game I entirely dismantle and put back together, which means I am falling ever deeper into the arcade game vortex, and I love it!

Playing with light

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Design and Development Notes on the OERxDomains Guide

I want to see if I can organize a Reclaim Today session wherein Tim, Lauren and I sit down with Michael Branson Smith and Tom Woodward to talk about the OERxDomains21 site. I figure the sooner we can capture some of the thinking the better. To that end I wanted to jot down a few notes of my own for that chat and beyond.

I really loved the headless approach, this was my first time using headless in production, and the way in which folks could use an application they were familiar with to add and edit content while never touching the design was quite elegant. I think it also underscores the value in truly designing an experience rather than settling for what any one CMS gives you when it comes to the visual frontend experience. Michael Branson Smith’s (MBS) animated movie posters created using HTML/CSS/JS were in many ways the inspiration for this idea—we wanted something that looked like those!

Vertigo, 1958 HTML Movie Poster

A piece that really worked quite well with the TV Guide program was that pre-recorded YouTube videos for the Domains21 track could be set to premiere at a specific time and day allowing everyone to watch them simultaneously—avoiding being a few seconds, or minutes, apart in the live chat. Tim found Youtube’s premiere option at the 11th hour, which was lucky for us because I don’t think we could have pushed Michael Branson Smith (the web developer behind the site design) any harder those last few days.

Originally, after being inspired by Digital Ocean’s Deploy conference we wanted each track to run as a non-stop stream. A channel that would use bumpers to punctuate sessions with possible “commercials” and the like in between sessions, but something that would keep the participants engaged and watching/commenting. That was not a possibility with our setup this go around, but I would be interested in figuring this out for a future version. I would like the channel/track to not only link to individual videos, but sew them together as an ongoing channel wherein there would be the live/pre-recorded sessions, the interspersed with Gasta sessions, commercials, brief updates, fun non sequiturs, etc. The idea being that once a conference participant is pulled into a session they would be engulfed by the stream (eyeballs and clicks #4life 🙂 ). In this setup we atomized the videos a bit too much based on necessity, but I think we could make it so no one ever tunes out of the various tracks.

On that point, MBS had the brilliant idea of having the channel changer on the TV player actually work to switch between active tracks. How sick would that have been? I want another shot at this just to realize the full vision 🙂 That said, I am sure I would not change anything about the website design and layout. It was truly a compelling experience to view sessions framed by the OERxDomains TV Bryan Mathers drew, and clicking-through the guide to get to them was half the fun.

Posted in Domains21, OERxDomains21 | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

OERxDomains21’s Instant Archive

I’ll be blogging A LOT about OERxDomains21 over the next couple of weeks, and there’s no better way to start than with the now entirely open and freely available archive of all the presentations that lives at https://oerxdomains21.org. In fact, the website was instantly an archive, and I find that one of the coolest elements of how the site was designed. So, the TV Guide-inspired website for this conference was created to make scanning the three tracks easier; provide a bit of nostalgic TV fun; as well as provide the possibility click through, read more, and hopefully watch the session. The pre-recorded sessions for the Domains21 track were all uploaded to YouTube well before-hand and unlisted,* whereas the live sessions streamed from Streamyard to YouTube so there was immediately an archive as soon as the stream finished. This means that all the links in the schedule are actually now links to the videos on YouTube, so the program doubles as an instant archive.

Click on the image above to test out the instant archive of OERxDomains21

There are so many things I love about the website, but the instant archive is by-far the most practical and labor-saving. The prospect of having to do a major upload of presentations and then adding metadata would have definitely killed my intense OERxDomains21 weekend buzz.

So, here’s to hoping any and all of you out there take the archive as an opportunity to catch up on anything you’ve missed, and even better blog about those bits that inspired you. They may be “open educational resources” now, but that don’t mean a thing if they ain’t got that blog conversational swing!

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*Keep in mind we do not plan on suing members of our community who may have discovered and viewed these videos beforehand, we understand quite well this is the way unlisted Youtube videos work on the web.

Posted in Domains21, OERxDomains21 | Tagged | 2 Comments

OERxDomains21: Reclaiming the Conference Experience

I had planned a more comprehensive post coming off the epic two-day OERxDomains21 online conference, but I’m still so jacked up as a result of all the energy that it’s been quite difficult for me to focus. I can point to a few events that have left me with this kind of energy: UMW’s Faculty Academy, Northern Voice, OpenEd from 2009-2013, and more recently both Domains and OER separately and this year as one awesome juggernaut.

I think these gatherings in some way tell the story of the education of this edtech. I know there are folks who might ask “why are we still doing the conference in such a way where folks go to a place, give talks, and then go home?” “We can do it easier!” they say. “We can spread it out!” they say. “We can save time, money, and energy in all sorts of ways!” they say. And all these things might be true to a degree, but the idea of committing to a time and place with others for an intense experience—an idea of being all in—is something not to be so roundly undervalued. There is a sense of being in it and opening yourself up to other people, ideas, experiences, stories, etc. that has real value, and I’m not sure being there physically is everything (though it helps with focus and timezones), but the idea of feeling consumed with and by an experience is an intangible that while never guaranteed by any one conference, is certainly the hallmark of a great one. But beyond that, it cannot happen if you don’t (or can’t) take the chance.

In many ways my professional and personal community was forged as a result of many of these professional get-togethers (both in-person and virtually), and I think the more we try and make these events business-as-usual without any discomfort or exposure to something new it becomes relegated to the realm of just another thing you have to do during the day, which in turn diminishes its potential impact.

That’s a round-about way of saying that when Reclaim Hosting partnered with ALT (under the brilliant leadership of Maren Deepwell) to produce the OER Conference as a shared online event there was a wee bit of concern about these issues in the back of my mind. I think conferences have an obligation of providing a platform for folks to connect and be exposed to a variety of ideas and (in our field) technologies, but more than anything else people. Doing that adroitly online in the midst of a pandemic is no small feat, and I think we were somewhat intrigued, if not intimidated, by the challenge. We knew there was a possibility we would fail miserably, but if we did it we had to be all-in, that was the first requirement. The second was to design it around a conceit rather than a specific theme with the idea that good art would provide a platform for discussion more than a defined sense of what we need to talk about and why—I mean the very title of the conference, OER, is vague and contested enough to take care of most of the ideological pieces for us.

The other element was how to use various technologies to ensure not only an engaging social platform, but that nothing goes terribly wrong. That’s important because as understanding as any community is—especially this one—there’s little patience for technical issues these days when attending a paid event. This meant using tools that are enterprise-grade, such as Streamyard for producing the videos, YouTube for live streaming and commenting, with Discord serving as the social piece that Lauren Hanks absolutely nailed, and as has been the case for over a decade now Twitter proved to be the “unofficial” backchannel. The glue for at least two of these platforms (namely Discord and YouTube) was the TV Guide-inspired two-day program that was integrating videos and chat as seamlessly as possible, while keeping videos behind a login during the conference. So there were quite a few moving pieces that could have gone wrong. That’s why we made the TV Guide site—the aesthetic glue keeping the whole experience together—as lightweight as possible. It was designed brilliantly by Michael Branson Smith in roughly 5 weeks using HTML/CSS/JS  and pulling data as needed from a WordPress backend/database customized artfully by Tom Woodward (read more about the headless conference site here).

In the end, however, none of this would have been noteworthy if the open community that the OER conference had been building for 11 years hadn’t showed up and brought their A-game. The real story here is that they did in a major way! Almost 250 registrants from 18 countries across 6 continents showed up ready and willing to engage, and I believe that’s the energy that’s still fueling me right now. What’s more, it should be underscored that the hard work of more people that I can even pretend to name in this post have been building this community for years. In many ways Reclaim stepped in the proverbial shit by having access to an amazing community to experiment with delivering this conference. And like those long-time OER conference faithful, we came to the event in search of a shared purpose and a larger sense of what drives the work we do, and it did not disappoint. The occasion was a healthy and much-needed reminder how much this community both challenges and inspires us all.

I’m tempted at this point to go into specifics about the people, the presentations, and more, but I will RESIST because another beautiful afterglow of this conference is that the archive is already entirely intact with every session already linked and available at OERxDomains21.org. We’ll take down the login when we get back to work on Monday, and it will then be open season for sharing, blogging, commenting, etc., for any and everyone.  What’s more, I can take that occasion to continue this OERxDomains21 post mortem blog series by reflecting on as many Domains21 sessions as I can in order to continue to  reinforce the awesome work this community is doing to make the web a more open, equitable, and fun place for teaching and learning. Big fan!

Posted in OER21, OERxDomains, OERxDomains21 | Tagged | 1 Comment

OERxDomains21’s Headless Program

It’s the day before OERxDomains21 and I am blogging, that’s a good sign, I think….regardless, it’s happening! And, given I still have a blog, I have the distinct pleasure to share with you my favorite part of the conference thus far—the TV Guide -inspired program.

OERxDomains21 Day 1 TV Guide

Click to see Day 1 of Guide in action

OERxDomains21 Day 2 TV Guide

Click to see Day 2 of Guide in action

I am so in love with Michael Branson Smith‘s “brutalist web design” (his words) for this project. It’s not the first time we’ve worked with MBS, and I truly relish the opportunity given he’s so damned good! I have had his HTML/CSS/JS animated movie posters in my head for a few months now, so when the discussion came around to building out the OERxDomains21 website, I immediately knew I wanted him to be part of it. Tim Owens and I also knew pretty quickly we wanted to avoid any potential bottlenecks with a slammed WordPress site over the two days of the event, and a return to a fairly basic HTML page seemed to be inline with the conference vibe. I really hate Sched and those cookie cutter conference session sites, so we “just said no.” Instead, we decided to build the entire experience around an aesthetic, not be beholden to some corporate conference scheduling tool! I meaning we’re fucking EDUPUNKS!

The only issue was the conference was only 5 weeks out when we hatched this plan, and to re-phrase a famous line from Zach Davis, “Behind every EDUPUNK is a frazzled web developer.” In this instance there were two given the headless approach meant we could tap another long-time collaborator Tom Woodward, whose work with headless WordPress sites at VCU has been an inspiration for years, and now we finally had a good use-case to employ his mad skillz.

Example of a presentation Entry in WordPress database that is pulled into Headless HTML site

You see, everything I do now is simply an attempt to try and recapture a bit of the creative magic of ds106 a decade ago, and this project filled that need quite nicely. As usual, I didn’t actually do anything, but I did bring the folks together and act as if there were no other alternative—which I think allowed everyone else to relent and go along with it. And I am glad I did, I think the site is awesome. The TV Guide-inspired cover by Bryan Mathers has yet to go up, but the actual layout and visual is awesome, and it is all pulling in from a WordPress backend via APIs to an HTML/CSS/JS page that is designing it just so. It’s a custom site for sure, but doesn’t every awesome conference deserve one as beautiful? Lead with the art and your ass will follow!

Presentation detail pop-up with a link to watch live on YouTube with a custom TV player

And the details on every presentation (which are broken up across 3 channels) pop-put so you can get more info from the TV OERxDomains21 Guide and then make the commitment to click on the watch button once it is live and you get sent to this player page with built-in chat from YouTube or Discord, depending on the channel.

OERxDomains21 TV with Chat

I understand this is a pretty random “rah rah” post for a project I love, but I’m hoping that soon after OERxDomains21 wraps up Tim, Lauren Hanks, MBS, Tom, and I can talk a bit about the project and what it was like to build it, although I know MBS is still frantically working on the final details, so this may be way too soon.

What’s more, Lauren has done some serious heavy-lifting building out Discord (which is the social platform we’re using in conjunction with the website) and the Help page for how all the pieces of the site(s), so there is a lot of debriefing to do in that yet-to-be-produced  post mortem video. That said, all this was made possible because the amazing partners at ALT (here’s look at you Maren Deepwell) have been down with experimenting every single step of the way. I am a BIG FAN! But avanti, there is still a conference to put on, people!

Posted in OERxDomains21 | Tagged | 3 Comments

An American Arcade in Italy: Arcade Story

There is something that loves a wall of 1980s arcade games at Arcade Story

What is it Madonna famously said in the 1980s? Something like “Italians Do it Better”? Well, after visiting Antonio Nati’s Arcade Story just outside of Vicenza, Italy I might have an idea of what she was talking about. Antonio is one of those passionate people it’s hard not to become instantly a fan of, and the fact his passion just happens to be bringing 1980s US-style arcade games to Italy makes me even a bigger one. I discovered Antonio over a year or two ago when Knapp’s Arcade shared a post on Facebook about a pop-up arcade in Trentino.* Turns out Antonio’s mission is to bring the American arcade bar/restaurant mania to Italy with all the original furnishings.

Marquees on the wall at Arcade Story

This discovery coincides nicely with my settling in Italy for the foreseeable future and also purchasing my first game for the Italian arcade, the great Cheyenne, from Roberto in Torino. It became quickly apparent I was getting a different kind of virus, the Italian variant of arcade mania. Reclaim Arcade‘s early success has made me even more bully on exploring arcade options in Trento (even if it’s a private collection for now), so I decided to track down Antonio and find out what I could about customs, local laws, and more importantly start fostering connections. What I learned quickly in the US when building Reclaim Arcade with Tim was that the community around this hobby is crucial, and Antonio is a lynchpin over here in that regard (he has got near-on 40,000 fans/followers on Facebook cheering him along on the regular). Earlier this week I found his website and learned he had one of the games on my must-have list that I haven’t been able to score in the US: Scramble.

Scramble safe and sound in the foyer of the bavamansion!

So I bought it, dear reader, and as soon as the restrictions were lifted I went to pickup the game as an excuse to get an in-person experience of the warehouse where Antonio stores his games. I got a preview of it in the following video, but it seemed almost too good to be true—turns out it was even better than that.

My friend Andrea and I made the trip, and I spent the afternoon saying “Wow!” or “Amazing!” or “Awesome!” or “You have that game?!” etc. It was like walking into Nunley’s Amusements in Baldwin, Long Island circa 1980 and seeing Galaxian for the first time. Magic!

First time I played Mad Planets was in Italy, and now I need one

One of the games there that I heard a lot about but never played before was Mad Planets, and I have to say that is now on the must-have list. Amazing game play and super compelling controls, the other unique ones I played were Atari’s Quantum and Baby Pac-man‘s hybrid pinball/video game.

At least 1 of the 500 Atari Quantum arcade games ever made lives in Italia

The hybrid pinball/videogame that is baby Pac-Man, that was a trip to play

I even played some OG Pac-man and was doing pretty well, but had to abandon it given Antonio was ready and willing to do a live broadcast of the visit he titled “Americans at the Arcade Story.”

Unfortunately I was the poveraccio stand-in for all Americans in this video, but Italians will take what they can get during a pandemic I guess 🙂 I enjoyed chatting with Antonio, and I tried to speak in Italian as much as possible. I’m somewhat understandable for Italians, and Antonella told me after watching it that if I would just conjugate a verb once in a while I’d be cooking with gas. Nonetheless, my enthusiasm for what Antonio and his team have built will hopefully help folks forgive (or at least ignore) my broken Italian. The video covers a lot of ground, but some highlights for me were the following:

Multi-PCB Chiller that plays Cheyenne, Crossbow, Chiller, and more

Hearing about someone in the US (possibly from Maine) who created a multi-game ROM extension for an Exidy Cheyenne PCB that allows you to play 8 Exidy games, including Cheyenne, Chiller, and Crossbow to name a few classic Exidy titles. Antonio showed me his Chiller cabinet with this modified PCB and it was just one of really cool things Antonio has been part of. I mean he is all in, and I love folks who are committed!

Final Fight converted to a 3-player game using a Street Fighter II PCB/ROM mod

A good example of this was the fact Andrea and Antonio had just finished a 3-player Final Fight game, a modification dreamed up and shared by Grego and Rotwang on the web. Pretty cool stuff, and Arcade Story are the only ones in the world who have this game on a cabinet that is not emulated, but using an original card. I love it cause it’s not a mausoleum for these old games, but rather a place that is actively breathing new life into them viz-a-viz a vibrant online community of hackers and modders who want to build on this rich tradition of video gaming in pretty fascinating ways.

Asterock is an Asteroids bootleg made by Sidam in Italy that was eventually sued by Atari

Another highlight was seeing Asterock, an Asteroids bootleg made by Italian game maker Sidam. It’s a straight-up rip-off of Asteroids, and Atari eventually sued the company for copyright infringement. One of the things I dug about this game was the way the controls are sunk and inverted into the control panel. It’s  an interesting design, and I really wanted to test them out to see how they play, maybe next time.

Asterock (an Italian Asteroids bootleg) has a wild inverted, sunken control panel for the various buttons, pretty wild

Sidam also worked with Atari to distribute Cinematronics laser disc games such as Dragon’s Lair and Space Ace in Italy. Antonio had quite a few of these cabinets (he said he has over 400 cabinets in total, and I believe it) and I was struck by one particular cabinet that had two monitors. One for the player, and another for the rest of the arcade to watch them play. It points to old school arcade gameplay as a kind of spectator sport since the 1980s, and also highlights the fact like games like Dragon’s Lair were in many ways more art than actual good gameplay. Turns out watching Dirk die in a 1000 creative, animated ways was compelling content.

A Sidam distributed Dragon’s Lair with two monitors, one for the player and another up-high for the spectators

And that’s just some of the highlights, to try and list them all would mean this post would never be finished. But, long story short, the Arcade Story rules and the sooner these games get out of the warehouse and into an arcade near you and me the better for everyone

Also, while speaking of collections and arcades, I now have an arcade of two games here in Italy thanks to Antonio selling me Scramble. What’s more, there are now quite a few more back in Virginia waiting to be shipped. In fact, while I was visiting Arcade Story there was a delivery back in Fredericksburg of a Galaxian and Defender I secured to make the long journey back to Italia.

Defender arrived yesterday, making that yet another fine addition to the bavacade in Italy 🙂

Galaxian brought some real color to the collection, one of the first games for the Reclaim Arcade and bavacade collections

I think at this point the bavacade Italia is approaching 10 titles if we include these two (Defender and Galaxian), the Pac-Man and Joust I bought a few weeks back, the Cheyenne and Scramble already at the house, one of the two Gyruss cabinets at Reclaim Arcade, the Pleiades cocktail still on Long Island, and possibly the Pengo and World of Wor I bought at Xmas time (or a similar combo of games). I’ll have to figure out details with Tim given Reclaim Arcade takes precedence, but the personal collection is coming up on double digits already! And now that there are 400+ cabinets sitting in the Arcade Story warehouse just an hour and a half away, things just got very dangerous here!

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*Hat tip to Tim for sharing this with me a while back and then re-finding it more recently when I couldn’t for the life of me. I think his pay dirt search term was for my comment “f**king Italians!” 🙂

Posted in bavarcade, Reclaim Arcade | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments