Here is another topic of conversation once posted in the Arcade news group. The topic was one of the Videotopia shows and how it is handled. No group of collectors work harder in classic collection then the Videotopia guys so Jeff responded If you have a funny story, share it with me by clicking here.

 

> Overall I was impressed with Videotopia. Although there were a few things that
> bugged me. The strobes in DOT weren't working. It's a small thing,
> and I'm sure most people wouldn't notice, but I was looking forward to playing
> the real thing after months of emulators. That's another thing, after


There is no strobes in Dot, the flourescent lights "strobe" but they dont work
very well unless the line voltage is at about 120v. any less and they work
intermittently.

> going to auctions for a few years and having so many games emulated it kind of takes
> away from the whole experience.
> Some of the games had a few problems, Defender, I Robot, and a few others
> were down. Major Havoc had a very dim screen. Fire Truck had a weird
> distortion at the top of the monitor. The monitor on APB was a little fuzzy
> and out of focus.


Moving the exhibit from place to place causes a lot of problems due to
vibration (even with air-ride trucks).. the Defender, I,Robot and APB are
already fixed as are Road Runner, Video Pinball, and Indy 800...Fire Truck is
not so easily fixed and will probably need a new monitor.. The Major Havoc has
an intermittent Sparkle vector problem and I chose to stick it out there for
the time being but now that I finally have proper test equipment I will be
digging into that one very soon.

> There were a few other problems here and there, but here
> is my question. They have extra games in storage at the location to switch
> out from time to time right? So why not pull out the down games and
> replace them with working games?


Everything we have that works is out on the floor. We have a few other games
that will be fixed and added as time goes by but those dont take priority over
problems we see on the floor.

> I realize that some games are in a certain location
> for a reason, all the black and white games are together for example.
> But, wouldn't it look better to at least have a working game there instead of a dead one?
> I watched as an eight year old dropped a token into a dead Breakout machine and
> waited for something to happen. There is no reason for this. There was a


There IS no reason for that.. We had 6 games break that day and I got themn
all fixed except Breakout.. Which should be done today if it is a simple
problem. Every game on the floor works. The only problems I know of now are
some monitors need cap kits and the Gunfight and Star Trek controls still
need attention. I think we keep a pretty good track record considering we
have over 90 games on display.. including 6 laser-disc games and 20 vector
games! Keeping 2 Sega vector games running everyday is no small feat.

> little storage area that had extra displays and also extra games. I assume these were
> working and only being held there until they were to be swapped out. Actually, there was room for >more games, so I guess the games are switched out to get repeat business? Instead of
> being able to play everything all in one day you would have to return
> numerous times to catch it all. Just a guess.


No, those are broken games except for the extra Quantum which I will probably
sell.

> I will say this. The overall condition of the games were great. Almost all the games
> had full side art, EVEN TRON! To be able to see these games again in this condition
> was well worth the trip. Another thing that bothers me is the information given
> about the games. The actual information they give you is fine, it's what they don't
> tell you that bothers me. They had a Blaster in duramold cabinet with no information
> about it! I understand you don't want a copy of War and Peace next to each game,
> but at least mention the uniqueness of the cabinet. On their web site they mention
> the duramold cabinet, so maybe they just didn't have info sheet out yet.


When the exhibit was originally planned we did not plan to have over 90 games
on display. And because the custom equipment is prohibitively expensive only
very important games get an information pedestal. We are trying to get more
made up soon but it probably wont happen by the time Dallas is over. Blaster
is just not as important a game as the others that have text panels. we have
about 40 text panels in the exhibit.

> When I first got there the info stand for Sinistar was next to Star Trek. I will admit
> this scared me a bit.


Some kids must have moved it. I never saw it there so somobody moved it back.
Wait, what I really mean is that I dont know the difference between Sinistar
and Star Trek, and I was just trying to cover it up :>

But seriously, that kind of stuff happens every day.. the text panels are
light- weight and people move them all the time.


> Like I said the information given was fine, it's just that I know most of
> it already. I want to know the stories behind Gladiator


The Taito kit game from ~86? Or do you mean Warrior? There isn't an
interesting story behind that game as far as I know. it is just a cool game.
Same with the Sega vectors. Zektor has interesting enough info to get it's
own panel, and it will in the future. I guess we could add in info about
stuff like the converta- cab system, but that is really pretty redundant info
that isn't important.

>, the Sega vector games, the
> games that
> many people have forgotten. Isn't that the reason for this exhibit? To
> keep the history
> alive.


That it is.. but making sure people know that Computer Space is the first
game is more important that letting people know that Blaster has a plastic
cabinet, we have to make trade offs and there is LOTS of information about
some of these games that is not historically important and only the collector
would appreciate. There is already quite a lot of information on our text
panels that is geared solely to the collector, and we see maybe 5 collectors
a week out of thousands of people.

> I don't know. Lik I said I really enjoyed myself, I guess that when you
> are so into something you can't help but to want to make it better. I would recommend
> everyone check it out. I plan on returning several times and bringing my
> friends.


Say hi Next time, I can show you some other cool stuff we dont have on
display..

I'm suprised I havn't heard any compaints about the ESB cockpit monitor yet
:> yeah, yeah.. I'll take care of that now before I hear it.. :> the Tube is
going bad and the green gun is weak, but I'd rather have the 25" in there
instead of a 19".

While I'm here I'll quickly address a couple other rumors that we have all
heard as of late.. one is the "everybody hates Keith" rumor.. This was started
by a high-profile collector that was basically feeling threatened by us
(because he feels he needs to be the one with the biggest collection).

The truth is that we buy very little, we have bought less than 100 games in
the past 3 years (most of our games were bought in about 1991, LONG before we
got on this NG in 1995) and probably less than 10 of them came from RGVAC.
Yes we got the Zektor, but it was offered to us FIRST. We bought it because
we though it would be cool to have a really rare game on display.. and over
300,000 people have seen a game that would have otherwise been sitting in
somebody's basement. This brings up another rumor.. "VT was started as a
front for hoarding rare games". COME ON! yeah, we sunk in 8 years of work and
enough money so that we could have bought any game we wanted from everybody!
VT was started because of Keith's love for Videogames and there really wasn't
much TRUE historical info on games. He wanted videogames to be his LIFE and
that is what is it has become. If this is a front for hoarding games we have
done a lousy job only having 15 rare games to show for the past 8 years. The
people who started these rumors have never seen the exhibit, met Keith or I
in person, or seen the warehouse (which is nothing to behold).

We are not about rare games.. I personally am a vector-head (and of course
lots of vector games are rare), but I pass on everything i see on the NG
because somebody else could appreciate it more that me I know... I will wait
until I find it in a warehouse...the Zektor was an exception because we had
nothing like that.. we have since had offers for other rare games of that
caliber or greater and have passed on them. Rare games is not what people
want to see, they want to see games they played years ago so it is not in our
best interests to buy many rare games. If we had a splat! on display it would
get 50 plays a week. As collectors we like rare games as much as the next
guy, but we never go out of our way for them anymore.

There are many collectors out there that have more rare games than us, and a
lot of them just have them sitting in a storage unit collecting dust because
they are broken. We have been lucky in finding very nice games, and we pass on
anything that is not nice. And of course most of our games work..

to close this.. If we were not a part of the collecting community.. none of
this would have started! it is all just the competition among collectors that
EVERY collecting hobby expierences.

The next one that was just started up was the DL repro sticker thing.. I can
tell you that neither Keith nor I started that.. I think it is great that
somebody took the effort to reproduce them. I wanted to buy a set (our DL does
not have art) but I passed since they were not exact.

I do not speak for Dave Hallock, who knows the person who owns the original
silk screens for the DL stickers. I recall that person bought them with the
intent to repro them someday so I can see how dave taylor ran into legal
problems, I seriously doubt Dave H NARCed him but Dave T was very public
about repro'ing them. Dave Hallock *DID* warn Dave Taylor via E-mail at least
once about this LONG before he reproduced them so he brought it upon himself
anyway. He WAS aware of what could happen but he went ahead anyway.

Jeff

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