At Replay Lincoln Park, there’s always one game that, no matter how busy we are, is always packed with people waiting their turn to play — at least, when they’re not up at the bar grabbing a drink. For some reason, The Simpsons Arcade Game has a magnetic attraction for fans of the show, fans of arcade beat-em-ups, fans of competition, and fans of 90’s nostalgia. The Simpsons Arcade Game, back when it was released in 1991, was notorious. Arcade games of the era were designed to suck every last quarter of unsuspecting kids, and The Simpsons Arcade Game was so fun, so frustrating, and so charming that — if you’re anything like us — it would drain your of your lunch money before too long. So, as a tribute to this wonderful game, why not take a deep dive with us and learn why the game was so ubiquitous and great?
The Simpsons Arcade Game: A Brief History
The Simpsons Arcade Game was released in 1991 — which was incredible timing for Konami, the game’s publisher. Thanks to arcade games like Street Fighter II, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, and Captain Commando, the arcade boom was still going strong. In addition, it’s an open secret among Simpsons fans that the show was at its very, very best in the early ’90s. This created a perfect storm for a new challenger in the arcade space.
Developer Acclaim tried to capture lightning in a bottle earlier by releasing Bart Vs. The Space Mutants for the NES, but the game was widely panned because it was poorly conceived and, critically, not all that fun. So when Konami announced that it would be throwing its hat in the ring, it was a risk. It would be the second-ever Simpsons video game, after all!
The Simpsons Arcade Game, however, would be developed and produced by Konami, a heavyweight of the arcade industry with plenty of experience adapting TV shows and movies into quarter-sucking arcade games. Crucially, Konami decided to model The Simpsons Arcade Game after another successful arcade game that they also made — the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game.
The mold made sense, especially since a major gripe with Bart Vs. The Space Mutants was the fact that you couldn’t play as any of the other members of the Simpsons family. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles gave Konami a framework to create an arcade beat-em-up with support for four players, each of whom would play as a distinct character with (slightly) different abilities.
The Simpsons Arcade Game would build on the success of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by adding other innovations. Remember those weird balloon minigames at the end of certain levels, where you would compete with your friends to see who could pop the balloon fastest? Or those awesome tag team attacks that required players to actually (gasp!) cooperate to pull them off?
All of this, combined with The Simpsons Arcade’s great visual design, made the game absolutely irresistible — both in its heyday and today at arcades, bowling alleys, and barcades across the globe. And if you’ve ever played it, you know how dangerous that made the game for your wallet. Like other beat-em-ups of the day, the concept of “fairness” was a foreign one to Konami. Bosses didn’t telegraph their moves, making it all but impossible to conserve lives (and therefore, quarters) in order to make it further.
WIN a Tabletop Simpsons Arcade Game at Replay Lincoln Park’s Charity Raffle!
The only way to truly appreciate the game without the risk of blowing your entire savings on it, therefore, is to find a place like Replay Lincoln Park, where the game is set to free play, or spend a couple thousand bucks and buy your own. Luckily, we’re here to help with that last part.
Visit Replay Lincoln Park on Wednesday, November 28th to join us for our charity raffle, where we’ll be giving away an honest-to-goodness tabletop version of the Simpsons arcade game to a lucky winner! You won’t want to miss it.
By Adam Lukach
Originally published by RedEye
You’ve heard Homer Simpson sputter “I’m going to Moe’s” a million times, and this year for Halloween, you can say the same thing and actually mean it.
In the spirit of the holiday, REPLAY Lincoln Park (2833 N. Sheffield) is dressing up its rear bar as the infamous Moe’s Tavern from “The Simpsons,” donning new digs to impersonate everyone’s favorite cartoon bar from now through Halloween.
It’s no secret that we’re proud of our ginormous collection of 60+ arcade games, pinball tables, and other assorted amusement machines. I mean, we’re biased, of course, but we think it’s pretty impressive. That said, it’s not a comprehensive one (at least not yet). So, long story short, we’ve been researching games to bring in to Replay Lincoln Park. And in doing so, we’ve found some particularly weird arcade games. Now that we’ve seen them, you do too. Without further ado, here are the 5 weirdest arcade games we’ve ever seen.
The 5 Weirdest Arcade Games From Around The World
The Tablecloth HourYou know that thing you used to do as a kid where your parents would make up the table for dinner, and then you’d tug at the tablecloth — trying to leave the table settings in their place but inevitably failing and sending your family’s best tableware careening to the floor, shattering into a billion pieces, and ensuring that you would be grounded for 6 months?
Well, some enterprising folks in Japan made a weird arcade game based on that. It’s called The Tablecloth Hour, and as you can see from the image above, it has an, um, unconventional control scheme. Instead of a joystick, you have a tablecloth. Depending on how well you tug at the tablecloth, you’ll either score big and impress your virtual (and real) audience, or shamefully allow the table settings to clatter to the floor.
Super Table-Flip!Who knew that there was such a market in Japan for table-based arcade games? This next entry in our rundown of the weirdest arcade games ever comes from the same company as the first — the arcade legends over at Taito. But while our last weird arcade game focused on keeping your table pristine, this one is all about destruction.
Super Table-Flip! has a few different modes, but each boils down to a few core concepts. First, a player bangs on a table controller to adjust the position of items on a table onscreen. Then, as time runs out, you reach down and literally flip the table to try and cause as much mayhem as you can. Sure, it’s one of the weirdest arcade games ever, but it’s also probably one of the most cathartic experiences you’ll ever have on an arcade machine.
Wall StreetYeah, you’ve probably heard of Wall Street. Sure, it’s not insanely weird-seeming at first blush — it’s a simple game where you bounce people on a trampoline towards an ambulance. Stick with me and I’ll explain why this deserves a spot in the pantheon of weirdest arcade games of all time.
Take a step back for a second and look at that image. In the 80’s, there was a real, actual arcade game released that was literally about saving suicidal stockbrokers from falling to their deaths from their high-rise office buildings. This was, somehow, okay.
Sonic Blast HeroesThis is another game from Taito, and on first blush, it doesn’t look that weird. We get plenty of punching games here in the west, and even some with motion detection. That said, Sonic Blast Heroes earns its spot on the list of weirdest arcade games ever in the way it executes this idea.
Have you ever wanted to punch a truck in the face? How about a dinosaur? Or a meteor? As Sonic Blast Heroes progresses, the player must face off against increasingly ridiculous enemies and catastrophies. I’m going to want you to reread this paragraph though — this is a game where you can punch dinosaurs, trucks, and meteors in their faces. Awesome.
Boong-Ga Boong-GaDo I even need to explain why this is one of the weirdest arcade games ever?
Okay, fine, I’ll try. So, the point of this game is generally to get back at people who make your life a living hell by spanking them with a giant foam hand controller. I really don’t have any more words for this one. Just look at it. The arcade machine has a butt coming out of it.
We’re probably not going to be getting Boong-Ga Boong-Ga at Replay Lincoln Park anytime soon, but if you have any suggestions for arcade games that you want to see at the bar, make sure to like us on Facebook and drop a note on our page!
We’ve taught you how to get good at Skeeball. We’ve taught you how to beat your friends at air hockey. We’ve even taught you how to take your pinball game to the next level. Well, now it’s time to put all your skills to the test. Sure, you’ve wiped the floor with your friends, but now, a new challenger approaches.
Beat The Pros at Replay Lincoln Park
Here’s the deal, you intrepid video game gladiators. On the last Thursday of every month, the video game aficionados at Replay will be putting their pride (and prizes) on the line by taking on all comers. If you can beat our scores, you’ll not only get bragging rights, but you’ll be getting a cool $25 off your bar tab for the night for your trouble. But don’t for a second think that it’s going to be easy. You may have heard of the Elite Four — we only need three to defend our honor. Meet Replay Lincoln Park’s Elite Trio.
Mark, The Galaga Master
Oh, you think you’re “pretty good” at staving off the alien menace in Galaga? You can “like, sometimes” get the double shot powerup, and you made it to the bonus stage “that one time”? One piece of advice for you: Don’t even try.
Mark, Replay’s owner, has been honing his craft on Galaga cabinets for decades, and has been protecting our world from the alien onslaught better than Ripley, Will Smith, Tom Cruise, and Arnold Schwarzenegger combined. Just to give you a sense of how ridiculous a score of nearly 400,000 in Galaga is — given the pace at which most people play the game, you’d have to stay alive (and continue scoring big) for around 25 minutes to even have a chance at cracking that score.
Carlo, The Pinball Wizard
Score: 575,867,710 (Ghostbusters Pinball)
If you’re looking to flex your flipper fingers, Carlo’s nine-figure score on Ghostbusters pinball is the score to beat. And lest you think this is an easy feat, according to Pinside’s pinball archive, Carlo’s confirmed score is one of the top 100 scores on this table world-freaking-wide.
Sure, you might not be ‘fraid of no ghosts, but I wouldn’t blame you if that score has you quaking in your boots.
David, The Air Hockey Assassin
Air Hockey Mastery Level: Ludicrous
Listen, we did our best. We really did. We gave you all our tips and tricks to help you up your air hockey game. But we’re sorry to say — it’s not going to be enough.
For those of you who are brave enough to take on one of the Replay Elite Trio head on, ask your bartender for David. You’ll know him by the fiery look in his eyes, and by the fact that you’ve already pretty much lost the air hockey match to him.
Rules and Regulations
Obviously, this is serious business for us. Our pride is on the line. So there are a few rules you’ll need to follow. First of all, as always, no game-hogging. Second of all, we’re only taking on these challenges on the last Thursday of the month — if you topple our scores on another day, tough luck. Third, we will need confirmation if you have beaten any of these high scores. Luckily, we all have tiny devices in our pockets and purses that are just perfect for this sort of thing. If you’ve beaten our scores at any of these games, or if you manage to triumph over David in air hockey, just snap a picture as proof, check in to Replay Lincoln Park on Instagram or Facebook, and tag your photo with #replaylincolnpark. Show the post to your bartender, and they’ll confer upon you the discount (as well as the bragging rights).
Good luck, players. You’ll need it.
It may come as a surprise to you that we here at Replay Lincoln Park are big fans of combining alcohol with video games. I know! Shocker. Over the years, we’ve honed and refined a wide variety of drinking games made to play alongside video games — and since there’s nothing better than cracking open cold ones with the boys over a video game or three, we’re letting you in on the fun. Here are our 5 favorite video game drinking games — complete with nightmare mode variants for people who want to up the difficulty.
Replay Lincoln Park Presents: The 5 Best Video Game Drinking Games
This is a classic video game drinking game. Sometimes called “Drunk Driving” or “Kario Mart”, this game can be played with anywhere between one and eight players if you’re using the newest version of Mario Kart.
Here’s how it works.
Each player picks their character and kart, and then everyone agrees on a track (or grand prix) to tackle — making sure that CPU opponents are turned off. At that point, everyone must grab a beer from the fridge and crack it open. As Lakitu cues up the green light, the game begins.
The goal of this video game drinking game is to down your beer and cross the finish line before anyone else does. The complicating factor is that before you start drinking your beer, your kart must be at a complete stop and both of your hands must be off of the controller.
This, believe it or not, adds an element of strategy to the game. Do you chug your beer at the beginning of the race, hoping that you get items to help make up the deficit as the race goes on? Do you wait until the very end, stopping at the finish line to chug your beer with the knowledge that your opponents might blow past you at any second? Or do you space your drinking out over multiple laps?
However you choose to tackle this problem, make sure to play responsibly.
Nightmare mode: Play with tallboys.
The best thing about this video game drinking game is that it doesn’t require a specific game to play it — you just need a one-on-one fighting game and a group of two or more.
There are only two rules. They’re incredibly simple, and should be familiar to anybody who has spent time in an arcade:
1: Winner stays.
2: Winner drinks.
Behold the brilliance of Handicap. By design, better players will get buzzed faster, impacting their play and allowing other players to cycle in and defeat them. This, of course, will lead to them drinking more themselves, continuing the cycle until you tell everyone in the room that you kind of have a crush on bearded hot dad Ryu.
Nightmare mode: When the winner drinks, they must either chug a beer or take a shot.
Super Smashed Bros.
This video game drinking game is tailor made for those of you who love watching let’s plays, or would otherwise rather not really “play” video games and focus more on the drinking.
Think of Super Smashed Bros. as a kind of cockfighting variant, except a lot less awful and a lot more stupid. Here’s how it works. Anywhere from 2-8 people can play (if you have the newest Smash Bros. game), and none of the players will be taking control of any characters. Instead, you will each pick a champion.
Each player must select Jigglypuff, then set the character to be controlled by a level 1 CPU (it helps to set names for the Jigglypuffs so that players can keep track of who they’ve bet on). Turn all items on, set the stocks to 10, and set the stage to Final Destination.
From there, the rules are simple. Every time your Jigglypuff loses a stock, you take a sip of your drink. This won’t get you that buzzed, but trust us, the hilarity of watching 8 level 1 Jigglypuffs struggle for dominance is its own reward.
Nightmare mode: Power hour. Change the rules from stock to time, and set the time to 60 minutes. Change Jigglypuff’s level to 9, so that kills happen more often. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Don’t worry, sports fans. We didn’t forget about you. In fact, we’ve created a video game drinking game that’s tailor made for you Madden-lovers out there.
This game works with any football game, though if you’re playing Madden or any other sim game, you’ll want to change a few settings to make the quarters shorter (usually around 2 minutes) and disable injuries.
From there, it’s a simple matter of picking your teams, and then the game begins. The only rule here is that the offense must only pick long passing plays. If the offense completes a pass for a first down, the defender has to take a drink. If the offense scores a touchdown, the defender must finish their drink. On the flip side, if the quarterback gets sacked, the offense takes a drink. More damningly, if the defense manages to intercept a pass, the offense must finish their drink. And worst of all, if the interception is returned for a touchdown, the offense must finish both their drink and the defender’s drink.
Nightmare Mode: Do not shorten the quarter length.
This is a bespoke video game drinking game that you can play right here at Replay Lincoln Park that takes advantage of the peculiarities of arcade game design.
There’s only one rule — whenever you have to continue the game, whether it’s on The Simpsons, X-Men, Street Fighter, Area 51, or any of our other great games, take a drink. Trust us, it’ll be easier than feeding quarters into a machine all night, and it’ll taste better to boot.
Nightmare Mode: You cannot switch off of a game until you’ve beaten it.
What are your favorite video game drinking games? Let us know in the comments — and feel free to play your favorite ones here at Replay Lincoln Park!
We’ve all been there. We’re enjoying the new happy hour specials at Replay Lincoln Park, then we realize it’s 8 pm, we’re starving, but we also don’t want to leave. Well, one of the nice things about the bar that you may not be aware of is that we’re happy to allow you to bring in outside food — or even have food delivered to you right at the bar! In that spirit, and to help you get your grub on without ruining your pinball high score, we’ve compiled a list of the best restaurants in Lincoln Park that will deliver to Replay Lincoln Park! Of course, there are tons of other amazing restaurants in Lincoln Park, but these are our personal favorites. Oh, and before we start, we should mention that we have an agreement with Jet’s Pizza that’ll get you 20% off any order delivered to Replay Lincoln Park! It’s, uh, why we didn’t include it on the list below — because we’re nothing if not ethical here.
The Best Restaurants In Lincoln Park (That Deliver To Replay!)
There are few things that go better with beer than a creamy, piquant bowl of hummus — and that’s why Chicago Halal earns a spot as one of the best delivery restaurants in Lincoln Park. It’s very close to Replay Lincoln Park, which means that your food won’t take forever to get here (which is important, if you get as hangry as I do) and it uses only certified Zabiha Halal products for their dishes. While you can’t really go wrong with anything on the menu, we recommend getting the mix combination plate, with a side of hummus and pita. You can order via GrubHub right here.
DMK Burger Bar
If you’ve ever walked to Replay Lincoln Park from Lakeview East, you’ve probably passed by this burger mecca before. Though it’s best known as an eat-in joint, DMK Burger Bar’s amazing burgers and fry plates are also available for delivery and take out. Not only is DMK one of the best restaurants in Lincoln Park, it’s arguably the best burger joint in the city thanks to their perfectly juicy burgers and inventive toppings. Our favorite things on the menu are the #5 burger made with a grass-fed bison patty and the sweet potato fries with an unctuous lemon-tabasco sauce. If you’re craving burgers, you can order delivery right here via DoorDash.
Sure, Vietnamese food might not seem like traditional bar grub, but once you taste SIMPLY IT’s famous banh mi sandwiches, you’ll be singing their praises for years to come. SIMPLY IT’s menu is gigantic enough to satisfy even the most picky of palates, offering a huge variety of sandwiches, soups, and entrees. Though we are huge fans of their pho varieties here at Replay Lincoln Park, the reason we’ve included SIMPLY IT as one of Lincoln Park’s best restaurants is their banh mi sandwiches. SIMPLY IT are masters of the craft, assembling meats, pickled vegetables, and other toppings on a perfectly toasty french baguette. If your mouth isn’t watering right now, you probably have no soul. You can order a sandwich of your own right here on GrubHub.
The Warehouse Bar & Pizzeria
If you want to branch out from Jet’s Pizza, we recommend looking a bit further west, to The Warehouse Bar & Pizzeria. Though they do serve burgers and other bar food, they’ve earned a spot as one of Lincoln Park’s best delivery restaurants on the strength of their pizzas. Their traditional margherita pizza is not to be missed, but adventurous eaters might want to try their carbonara pizza — a white pizza that mimics pasta carbonara by including pancetta, a luscious parmesan cream sauce, and a raw egg on top. Trust us, it’s delicious. You can order right here.
Angela’s Burrito Style
Angela’s Burrito Style stands alone in Chicago as one of the precious few restaurants that caters to drunk people staggering home from the bars that also sells food that tastes delicious even when you’re sober. For us millenials, Angela’s offers a wide variety of avocado-focused dishes like tacos and tostadas, but the crown jewel of Angela’s Burrito Style’s menu is without a doubt the California style burrito. What makes a burrito “California style”, you may ask? Well, it’s the fact that chefs at the restaurant pack french fries inside the burrito itself. It’s a perfect, craveable burrito, and you can order one right now here. What are you waiting for?
You might not think we see it, but we do. That slight frustrated lip bite as you lose your sixth air hockey match in a row against your Tinder date — that envious lip curl as one of your friends effortlessly beats you 7-nil, that shadow of a sullen look as you walk back up to the bar to drown your sorrows in a Cinnamon Apple Jamo shot. We feel for you. And because you read this blog, you’re special to us. That’s why we’re going to unveil our secret-weapon air hockey tips — strategies that will teach you how to win air hockey matches no matter whether you’re playing against your date, your friend, or an 80’s movie villain who will demolish the orphanage if you can’t beat them. Next time, they’ll be the ones drowning their sorrows.
How To Win Air Hockey Games Against (Almost) Anybody
1: The Best Offense…
We’ll start with the basics. Since you’re an urbane, calm, and cool person, you’re likely not flailing all over the table when you play air hockey. But in order to win air hockey games, you’re going to need to be even more calm. Most of the time, you’re going to want to be in a defensive position around 2 feet from the center of the goal — this is known as the triangle defense.
1a: The Triangle Defense
While it may seem counterintuitive to winning an air hockey game, having your puck this far out from the goal actually helps you cut off angled shots before they reach the goal. Bubbleairhockey.com puts it this way — think about how a soccer goalie plays in a 1-on-1 scenario. In order to cut off angles, the goalie comes out of the goal to meet the attacking player. And since air hockey is a 1-on-1 game, you’ll always want to be cutting off those angles. The only caveat here is that you will be vulnerable to bank shots, so be ready to move your mallet back if you need to. This means that you should not be leaning over the table while you’re playing — standing up straight makes moving backwards much easier. This will help you win air hockey games through maintaining possession of the puck and setting up offensive opportunities.
1b: Track The Puck
The key to defense, after you’re in position, is tracking the puck. Most experts agree that if you try to chase the puck on defense, you’ll get scored on because your reaction time simply won’t be fast enough. Instead of doing that, try to match the puck’s movement a bit, then move to cut the puck’s path off where it will enter your goal. That will give you more time to react, and therefore, to plan a counter attack and ultimately win air hockey matches.
2: Know Your Shots
There are a few main shot types in the game, but in order to win air hockey games, you’ll really only need two: straight shots and bank shots. Once you master these, you can mix it up with pump fakes, jukes, and “drift” shots, shots where you lightly tap the puck out of the shooting zone then follow up with a real shot.
No matter what shot you choose, be sure to shoot with your wrist, not your arm. Though you might get more power and speed with a big ol’ sweeping arm thrust, these shots are less controlled, can lead to the puck flying off the table, and also make it much harder to get back on defense.
2a: The Straight Shot
This shot is the most simple shot — a straight-down-the-line shot meant to take advantage of an opponent who is out of position. It’s a deceptive shot in a lot of ways, since most air hockey shots are angled due to the motion of the puck, so mastering it can be tough. But when you do, it’s an incredibly effective tool to help you win air hockey games — especially against opponents who have overcommited to a big shot.
2b: The Bank Shot
This shot is much more common, and comes in multiple flavors. The key in all bank shots, however, is to strike the puck from the back, not the side. Hitting the puck from the side actually makes you much more likely to perform a double (or triple) bank, a shot that hits more than one wall before proceeding to the goal. These shots are really easy to block, and should be avoided.
The two bank shots to know are “overs” and “unders”, and they simply refer to the vector of the puck. Don’t worry, we’re not going to get into any advanced trigonometry here, but simply put, an “under” will hit the wall further down the table in order to sneak under your opponent’s mallet and into their goal, and an “over” shot will do the opposite, hitting the wall closer to your side to pass the puck over your opponent and take advantage of a goalie who is playing defense right up against the goal.
3: Learn, Change, and Vary Your Strategies
Now that you’ve mastered your offensive and defensive techniques, the rest is mental. What is your opponent doing? Are they favoring bank shots or trick shots? What does their body language imply about their play style?
The strategies that will help you win air hockey are akin to those in other sports or games in that reading your opponent is key — you’ll have a huge advantage if you can predict what your opponent is going to do next. By the same token, if you make it hard for your opponent to read you, you’ll have an advantage as well. So mix it up — don’t just rely on one type of shot, and feel free to play some mind games.
Feeling like putting your new skills to the test? Of course you are. We host tournaments every week here at Replay Lincoln Park, so come on down and show off a bit. Your Tinder date will be impressed. We promise.
Announcing Make America Game Again: A Charity Event Benefiting the ACLU, National Public Radio, and the Southern Poverty Law Center
It’s not a stretch to say that, for many, this is a scary, difficult time in our nation’s history. People are hurting, and the current administration has empowered homophobes, sexists, racists, and bigots of all stripes to come out of the woodwork and spew hate. We realize we’re an arcade bar, and we don’t really want to get political, but compassion isn’t political. Believing that people shouldn’t live in fear isn’t a partisan opinion. So in that spirit, Replay Lincoln Park will be hosting Make America Game Again on July 7th. It’s going to be a charity event that benefits charities both local and nationwide — the ACLU’s Illinois branch, National Public Radio’s Chicago branch, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Make America Game Again: A Replay Lincoln Park Charity Event
As you can probably tell by that 80’s-ified image above, this event will take place on July 7th, the Friday after July 4th — just enough time for you to get over your hangovers. You can purchase tickets either on Facebook or directly on the Eventbrite page, and the charity event will run from 7 until 10 pm. Tickets are 7 bucks, and proceeds from ticket sales will benefit WBEZ, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and ACLU Illinois. Oh, and be sure to bring quarters! 6 of our games will be on paid play for this evening, and each will be marked with a different charity. At the end of the night, we’ll empty those machines, haul all the quarters to the bank in a wheelbarrow or something to exchange them for dollar bills, and donate all of the proceeds from those machines to the charity they were marked with.
Your ticket price actually goes to two good causes — the first is supporting charities that are doing work every day to protect human rights. The second is getting you nice and toasted. We’ve put together three specialty craft drinks that are exclusively available for the charity event, and your ticket purchase comes with one of these drinks on the house. The only hard part is choosing which to drink first.
Mexican Liberty Punch
The Mexican Liberty Punch is a smoky-sweet mezcal drink, containing ginger beer, orange liqueur, and a blend of pineapple, orange, and lime juice. We finish it with a garnish of grilled orange wedge to bring out the smokiness of the mezcal.
The Putini Punch combines a house-made strawberry-mint infused vodka with fresh lime juice and simple syrup for a light, refreshing, and herbal flavor. It’s a drink perfect either for the hot Chicago summer or the cold nuclear winter,
We, like you, have no idea what “covfefe” is supposed to mean, so we improvised. The Covfefe Punch is our take on the classic negroni. Our version blends campari, Bulleit bourbon, freshly squeezed orange juice, and a splash of soda to mellow the drink out a little bit for the summer.
Get To Know The Charities
Of course, the most important aspects of this event are the charities we hope to benefit. It is a charity event, after all. So if you’re not aware of the great work the ACLU, WBEZ, and SPLC do, we’ve put together a little cheat sheet for you.
The Illinois branch of the American Civil Liberties Union is the state’s principal protector of constitutional rights, and has been since its founding in 1929. Primarily, the ACLU focuses on advocacy and litigation programs, primarily in the areas of racial justice, gay, lesbian, transgendered, or genderfluid rights, and reproductive justice. They have also, since the events of 9/11, been instrumental in curbing racial profiling and unlawful and unconstitutional detention of individuals. You can learn more about all the great work that they do here.
With deep cuts to public arts and education looming, it’s important now more than ever before to support publicly funded news outlets. WBEZ is arguably Chicago’s most trusted news outlet — with a mission to “inform, inspire, enrich, and entertain” through a diverse array of content. You can learn more about WBEZ and Chicago Public Media here.
The Southern Poverty Law Center
The Southern Poverty Law Center is a group that takes an active role in advocating for the most vulnerable members of society. From helping to document and keep tabs on hate groups nationwide to workshops and magazines designed to teach children to be tolerant at a very young age, the SPLC has been instrumental in both protecting the rights of — and building a better future for — individuals in this country that need the most help. Learn more about them here.
We hope to see you on Friday, July 7th!
You’ve probably heard of professional gamers — people who make their living at the highest levels of play in their chosen video games. And as esports becomes more mainstream and recognized, they only become more public. But there is another class of “professional” gamers — that is to say, people that make a living gaming. They’re called “advantage players”, and while they may not have the fame and fortune that comes with being a Street Fighter champion, they’ve been able to live comfortably on winnings from arcade games.
How Advantage Players Make A Living Playing Arcade Games
How It Works
Generally, there’s very little that separates advantage players with professional gamers — they just play different types of games. Replace Call of Duty with Drill-O-Matic, or Super Smash Bros. with Skee-Ball and not much changes. Advantage gamers must strategize and learn every last detail of their chosen games in order to make their visits to the arcade worth the time.
The way this shakes out is that advantage players will post up at an arcade (usually a Dave and Busters or someplace similar, with high-end ticket prizes available) for 5 to 8 hours to try to rack up as many tickets as they can. After they do, they cash in their tickets for prizes like video game consoles, iPads, or phones. Then it’s a simple matter of selling the items on eBay or Craigslist to make their daily wage. Experienced advantage gamers can rack up as much as $50 per hour depending on how much they can sell their prizes for.
The Strategy Of Advantage Play
The term “advantage play” comes from professional gambling, and it describes a strategy of play that capitalizes on the quirks in certain games in order to, well, gain an advantage. It’s technically not cheating, since players don’t alter the games in any way or anything, but some casinos still frown upon this style of play. If you’re having trouble grasping the concept, just think about Jim Sturgess’s character from 21. He’s an advantage player — even though it’s a lot sexier-sounding to call him a card sharp.
These strategies translate to ticket-spewing arcade games too. Manuals are available online for most of these games, and by reading them, arcade advantage players can learn, for example, whether or not a machine drops the chances of winning a jackpot after one has just been won. Obviously, that’d be less-than-ideal. Instead, advantage players hone in on consistent games where they can build muscle memory. Remember, to actually, like, make money doing this, these players not only need to win consistently, but also to win jackpots consistently.
It might be surprising to learn that there’s not really one specific game that advantage players agree on as best for winning tickets. Of course, some are better than others, but often it’s down to personal preference and skill. Wired writes about an advantage player who focuses on a game where players throw footballs into targets — he beats his own high score each time to win successive jackpots. Kotaku has a story about a man of mystery who hustles businesses by playing Drill-O-Matic. And, believe it or not, some people can make a living playing — no lie — a Kung Fu Panda game. It’s all down to what you’re good at, and what games have the highest payouts.
The Unwritten Rules Of Making A Living At The Arcade
Now, we don’t have this problem here at Replay Lincoln Park since we reward you with drinks, not tickets, but it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine that people who run ticket-based economies might not be huge fans of advantage players. And yeah, at casinos, advantage players are often grabbed by their shirt collar and tossed through the door into the rain by two burly men wearing bow ties (citation needed). Oddly though, arcades seem to have a mutually beneficial relationship with their advantage players.
There’s kind of an understanding between advantage players and arcades that players should rotate across different arcades so that one arcade isn’t being cleaned out for, like, 5 days in a row. And as long as that’s not happening, arcades are happy to have advantage players there because the general clientele enjoys watching these players win. And all in all, a person going home with high ticket prizes doesn’t really move the needle for a Dave and Busters that much, since that’s one player out of thousands — who are also buying food and drinks. An iPad or two every week or so isn’t going to make a dent.
What’s far more critical for advantage players is not getting on the bad side of other advantage players. See, arcade advantage players are a relatively small, tightly knit group. There are only a few thousand nationwide — and at least on the local level, advantage players need to be in touch with one another so that they can make sure they aren’t both trying to clean out the same arcade on the same day. Not just because that’d be, like, super awkward, but also because it screws over other advantage players by making the arcade less amenable to them in the future.
There are subreddits for this kind of thing that keep the peace and allow for advantage players to coordinate, but one of the more important reasons advantage players need to stick together and get along is that there’s always a chance another advantage player undercuts another by offering the same product on eBay for a lower price — which, once again, screws everyone over since that’s the way that advantage players actually get paid for all their work.
It’s Not For Everyone
Personally, I prefer playing games for pleasure, not business, but if you want to try your hand at advantage gaming, we can offer you some strategies to hit the jackpot at Skeeball every time without fail. And hey, once you’re all practiced up, you can test your skills at our SkeePlay event tonight and Thursday!