Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Over time we get asked a bunch of questions about all sorts of things, we’re trying to include the common ones here, this page will be a living document and should get updated fairly regularly, please see this page again in future before using the contact page if you think your question is pretty common.
Arcade Machine Related Questions
How many arcade machines do you have
The number changes a bit, at the moment, we’ve 40 physical machines, however, not all of them are at the arcade. A couple are in storage and a couple are at project state just now. We also get very kindly loaned a couple of machines from time to time for the benefit of people coming to the arcade to play.
Some of them look quite familiar, where have I seen that before?
Familiarity is likely because you remember the game if you were around in the arcade golden age but if you’re a newcomer to the scene then it may be that you saw one or two of the machines at PlayExpo 2012 in Manchester UK.
Do you lend/hire your machines out for birthday parties, nightclubs?
It’s been asked and we consider each one on a case by case basis before saying yes or no, we always discuss it properly and extensively.
Our collection has been grown and repaired to be played. We don’t make a business out of this but if someone wants to hire then as long as our costs are met then everyone’s happy. Be aware that transport costs can build up quickly for arcade machines but we know a very reputable company that specialises in this. The more machines you want to hire, the bigger the van you’ll need.
Do you lend/hire your machines to big events?
Yes, absolutely, as long as the dates are ok we can probably work something out. We can also help with floor plan and organising larger quantities of machines by reaching out to the arcade communities.
Costs of transport for machines would have to be met and accommodation for at least 2 technicians during the event.
We try to carry a number of spare parts to keep the games running but with some of them being over 30 years old, failures are sometimes unavoidable. Some things can be repaired quite quickly and others need more specialised equipment we can’t carry with us.
Can I borrow one of your machines for my house?
If we get to know you then quite likely but at first, think of it like asking someone who doesn’t know you if you can borrow their sports car.
Some of these machines are extremely rare now or only appear very infrequently for sale so would be very difficult to replace if something happened to it, no amount of insurance is going to replace it and that’s the bit that would hurt more.
I've always wanted XXX game, can you help me buy one?
Short answer is ‘maybe’. It depends what you are looking for? Personally I wouldn’t buy from eBay unless you really really know what you’re buying, there’s a lot of stuff on there with badly written descriptions and not accepting traceable payments (eg bank transfer in advance, collect 7 days later – this is a scam, don’t get caught). That said, there are some bargains also.
You could also try joining one of the great arcade collector communities like JAMMA+ or UKVAC where private collectors buy and sell quite frequently and there are everything from project machines to fully working fully restored as if from the factory quality.
How much do these machines cost?
That varies a lot
you can get a shell (bare machine cabinet probably no monitor and very little wiring or other parts) for free sometimes or very little money.
Equally you can also find someone selling a machine that is complete but not working for as little as £25-£50 and all it needs is a couple of fuses. We’ve had a few like this but beware that this is very rare that non-working games are that easy to fix.
At the other end of the scale you can pay £3000 or more for some games. This depends on how rare they are and their particular type. For example, games like the deluxe version of Space Harrier (the full motion sit-in version) is very hard to find and so even a broken one will cost over £1000.
Sometimes games aren’t specifically rare, they are just treasured and sought after. People have acquired them and don’t want to sell them therefore they are by definition rare to find but not rare to see in people’s collections. Early 80’s machines by Zaccaria are in this category. We have 3 at present; Puck Man, Crazy Kong and Invaders as well as some of their upright generic cabinets.
What is JAMMA? I see it mentioned a few times
JAMMA stands for Japanese Amusement Machines Manufacturers Association, it was a standard invented in the mid 80’s for game manufacturers to use which would in turn make it easier for arcade operators to change games by not having to rewire the machines each time.
You can read more about it on the wikipedia page
Questions about our own events we put on
How do I get to your party, where is 'The Lair'?
For various reasons we don’t post the exact address here on the website, it is currently located in Blackburn, Lancashire approximately 5 mins drive from the M65. If you are on the guest list, you will be sent directions around a week before the event date. For planning ahead, use BB2 as a postcode this will put you in the vicinity.
How do I get an invite to one of your own parties?
It’s quite simple – get to know us a little first, we don’t make our events public walk-ins, we like to maintain a little exclusivity and avoid any potential problems that it can cause. So, by that I mean interact with us, you can do so either by joining our own forum and getting involved in that way or we are present on other retro gaming and culture forums such as UKVAC
the events are posted in those communities and are open to all members new or old. Definitely join our facebook page
and get involved in the posts, we’re also on Twitter
Ok, let me be frank, we get along with almost everyone, just no psychopaths please, anyone who’s a retro gaming fan, respects that the events are in someone’s home not a public venue and doesn’t slam controls around and cause damage will generally be made welcome.
Where can I stay, i'm coming from XXXX?
We usually offer some floor-space to those we know very well, it’s limited, first-come, first-served and you must have met or interacted with us regularly to build this trust to be in my home. Even after that you may still wish the comfort of a hotel rather than a couch or air-bed, there are a few local locations we can recommend:
We don’t have any negotiated rates at these hotels but previous attendees have given good feedback on them.
Do you charge entry for your events?
We won’t make it compulsory but it would be very much appreciated if a small donation was made when you come. This will go towards the upkeep of the machines, the costs of the catering at the parties, rent, light, repairs and keeping the stock of games fresh. You can donate at the event, there’ll be a sealed container clearly marked next to the catering area and you can put as much or as little in as you like. It’ll be opened the next day, please feel free to include a note if you’d like crediting on our fan pages for your generosity. You can also donate via PayPal by using the donate button on this site.