Rapid City, SD
For most kids these days, playing video games is as easy as turning on a gaming console at your home. Several years ago, kids had to actually go out to arcades and dish out money to play games. One place in Rapid City is giving people of all ages the chance to have that experience again.
Walking through the door to Press Start is like taking a step back in time. The walls in this basement are lined with every classic arcade games you can imagine, from Pac Man to Frogger to Pinball. It's all thanks to a hobby of owner Marc Linn.
"The thing is I've been collecting games since out of college, so I've been that crazy, eccentric friend that has all these video games and so I put them in friends' basements and stuff like that. I had over 200 games and it was started to get out of control," Marc Linn, Owner of Press Start said.
That led to Linn opening Press Start about 2 years ago in downtown Rapid City. It's filled with nearly 100 games.
"It's a good collection from the 80s, so basically if you played a game in the 80s you're going to find it here," Linn said.
It's not only an arcade. It also has a bar. Which is a unique combination for Rapid City.
"We do music challenges for free drinks and just try to get everybody involved, it's not just the games, it's the environment," Andre Reber, Game Technician/Bartender said.
A bar-cade is not a new thing, but it's a combination starting to pop up more often across the United States.
"You're combining different elements, yeah we have the full bar, people can come in and have a few drinks, they can order pizzas, but we're bringing in the retro arcade part of it as well," Reber said.
This unique combination is attracting all generations. From old…
"We had a 78 year old guy that was playing pinball and running the machines," Reber said.
To even kids like 8-year old Urijah Ponton.
"Hanging out and playing the cool games," Urijah Ponton, playing games at Press Start said.
Leaving the younger generations with a chance to play games their parents used to play.
"Racing games, shooting games, basketball games, all sorts of games here," Ponton said.
"It's neat to see the younger generations get out of the basement, get off the consoles. They're fun. They're great. I have them. I play them, but it's great to see them coming in here. The social environment brings people of all ages, all life styles together, just to have fun," Reber said.
Plus, most of these games will only cost you 25 cents.
"They can come here with $5 and play all day, so it depends on your skill level too, so if you're really good, you can play a long time with $5, if you're not, you might have to spend a little more than that," Linn said.
If you want to try your luck at some of the games at Press Start, you're going to have to do a little searching for a neon mushroom.
"There's no sign, it's a neon mushroom, so people are finding this place," Linn said.
As for the future of Press Start, as long as the demand for these games stays high, they'll keep adding more.
"We're hoping to have some more tournaments ,we want to have some Pac Man tournaments, Pinball tournaments, where we run for an entire day or afternoon and let people come in and test their skill against each other and see where it leads us," Reber said.
"I'm glad I can share with the public now because this was just sitting in a garage collecting dust and stuff and so I find joy in seeing other people come in here and having fun and I'm really glad that people get to enjoy the games," Linn said.
Rapid City isn't the only town in South Dakota to have a barcade, there's The Bonus Round Bar in Sioux Falls. Press Start also has family days on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 to 4. For more information we've provided a link to the Facebook page
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