The Arcade lives on at California Extreme 2011

The first thing you realize you miss is the sound. Bleeps, Bloops, tappity-taps, and Ka-chunks – it’s probably been ages since you’ve heard a goddamned arcade running at full swing. Thank the Lord Almighty forCalifornia Extreme, the Bay Area’s annual celebration of all things coin-op. Your price of admission? $30 to $40 bucks, or less, if you bring your own arcade cabinet. And so many do! All refurbished and runinglike the day they were manufactured, and that’s not including unreleased prototypes.

Above: Like this TIMES TWENTY!

To say nothing of the fantastic panels, guest speakers, celebrity appearances, and game shows, you simply haven’t lived until you’ve walked onto a showfloor filled with HUNDREDS of arcade games set to free play! So to try and capture the shebang, I walked around the CAX 2011 hall snapping as many pics as I could. These were the ones that weren’t horrendous.

Above: Surely, even you younglings will recognize a couple of these?

Above: You can never have too many Robotron 2084s

Above: The whole Pac-Family was there! Not pictured: The rare, awful VG/Pinball hybrid that is Baby Pac-Man

Above: Here's a light gun game most people immediately vaguely remember...

Above: That's right, it's Cosmic Gang! Made famous in the movie... ah crap, I forget!

Above: Oh, Nintendo was certainly there. They didn't really have a choice

Above: Cocktail cabinets are old even by arcade standards

Above: Ah, and they're ideal for the lazy gamer who can stand standing

Above: Boxing Bugs. Isn't it about time we brought it back?

Above: Perhaps you recall games like Prop Cycle and Top Skater from the waning days of arcades?

Above: Okay, maybe gaming has always been gimicky...

Above: It wouldn't be arcade without Pinball, now would it

Above: Kill 'em (b)all!

Above: "Ball 1, ENGAGE!"

Above: Yeah, some of this stuff goes waaaaaaay back

SORRY! We had to split this into two pages. But keep going... it's pretty cool