Arcade Dreams Documentary Presents the History of Arcade Games

The Secret History of Video Games

We’ve covered video game documentaries before. They’ve given us glimpses into the history of gaming titans like Bethesda, the PlayStation, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Now, one of them is about to tell us a bigger story. Before there were home consoles, there were arcades. The multi-part documentary Arcade Dreams will tell the tale of how simple mechanical amusements such as foosball tables grew into electrical augmented wonders and blossomed into the iconic arcade games of the 80’s. It will conclude by examining where VR arcades are headed today.

“You’ll be transported through time as we show you the games, the arcade environment, and the stories of people who were there. Stories that have never been told before,” says the documentary’s official website.

Interested? We know we are. Created by Rock Steady Media and JoBlo Movie Productions, Arcade Dreams has a dream team behind it, including director Zach Weddington (Viva Amiga), and Emmy-winning cinematographer Bill Winters (Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy RichComedians in Cars Getting Coffee). It’s also a dream project–specifically, Weddington’s dream project. Like many 80’s kids, he was obsessed with arcades from an early age, and still seeks out new ones to sink hours into. For years, he searched in vein for a comprehensive history of how arcades came to be, but he found only disorganized scraps of information. If he wanted to see the full story, he was going to have to tell it himself.

pierhead arcade

That story will begin in the early 1900’s with a look at the now-infamous penny arcades and go all the way up to modern-day, which is a colossal achievement. He and his team have already collected hundreds of hours of interview footage with industry professionals, passionate collectors, and fellow fans. Soon you’ll be able to support the project on Kickstarter so they can polish those raw materials into beautiful gemstones–or at least a polished documentary series.

Have arcades had an impact on your life? Let us know down in the comments, or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook.