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Route 66 Arcade Museum opens Thursday April 28, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Museums, Preservation, Video games.
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If you’re old enough to remember pinball machines, coin-operated video games and brightly colored and noisy arcades, downtown Atlanta, Ill., has just the place for you.

The Route 66 Arcade Museum in Atlanta, Ill., is slated to open Thursday, according to a news release from Bill Thomas, the chief mover-and-shaker of the revitalization of Atlanta’s Route 66 corridor.

It’s at 114 SW Arch St. (map here), with its entrance around the corner on Race Street. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It’s free and open to the public, but donations to keep it running are appreciated.

The Route 66 Arcade Museum houses over 40 vintage pinball and video games, including a rare, circa 1936, flipperless, wooden-cased, pinball game, an original PacMan video game and many others. Nearly all the machines are operable and can be played for only a quarter. The Museum is decorated with several dozen framed, vintage pinball “back-glasses” that are colorful representations of this graphic art form.

The Route 66 Arcade Museum is available by reservation for birthday parties, family reunions, and other gatherings at no cost. Arrangements can also be made for dinner at the Palms Grill Café combined with a visit to the museum. Please call 217-648-5077 to make arrangements.

More photos from the museum, including that rare pinball machine:

The arcade machines are part of a collection by John Yates, who owns another museum of pre-1983 arcade machines in the Route 66 town of McLean, Ill.

(Photos courtesy of Bill Thomas)

Another arcade museum opens in Atlanta, Ill. August 24, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in Museums, Video games.
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John Yates, who opened an arcade museum in downtown McLean, Ill., has opened another in downtown Atlanta, Ill., called the Route 66 Arcade Museum.

As this video will show, everything is at least 30 years old. No arcade game is newer than 1981.

The Atlanta museum is located at Arch and Race streets.


Spin to win October 2, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Video games.
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This isn’t your father’s slot machine:

Apparently this “Rollin’ on Route 66″ game is coming to a casino near you, if you’re into that sort of thing. It was developed by Incredible Technologies Inc.:

Symbols range from classic gas pumps to roadside attractions and grouped wilds. But it wouldn’t be worthy of the popular tune without an amazing ride down the “Mother Road” during the Rollin’ on Route 66 Board Game Bonus! The bonus game offers players 3-9 dice rolls to control their cruise down the highway with generous credit wins, free spins and On-a-Roll™ mini games at stake. 66 different bonus stops are available with special incentives along the way.

More here.

A museum of vintage arcade games that are playable May 2, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Museums, Video games.

Apparently this place has been operating in the small Route 66 town of McLean, Ill., for several years, and I never knew about it until this video popped up on YouTube a few days ago.

This clip is a bit long, but there’s not much fat. It’s amazing how many 1980s video arcade machines are at Arcadia: America’s Playable Arcade Museum, in downtown McLean. Best of all, nearly all of them actually work:

The Arcadia, as it’s called by its short name, is owned by John Yates. The museum is open from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Fridays, and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays. Yates will also open the museum by appointment if you call 309-287-1725. Arcadia is located at 107 S. Hamilton St. in downtown McLean (map here).

The museum doesn’t sit on Route 66, but is just a few blocks away. In an email, Yates said he would absolutely welcome Route 66 travelers:

It frustrates me that Route 66 goes through McLean, but not through our downtown.  So my museum misses all of that traffic despite the fact that most Route 66 travelers would probably find the museum to be an interesting and worthwhile stop.

New toys, iPad app allow you to cruise Radiator Springs September 27, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Movies, Video games.
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A new Disney toy line and an Apple iPad app allow you or your kids to cruise the fictional Route 66 town of Radiator Springs as portrayed in the Disney-Pixar films “Cars” and “Cars 2,” according to Mashable Entertainment.

From the report:

The new toys, called Disney Appmates, interact directly with a free app for the iPad that brings them to life.

The first toys in the Appmates series are from Pixar’s Cars. Twin packs of toy autos — each representing a character from the popular film series — will be available in stores for about $20. […]

Each plastic car has specially designed capacitive sensors on the bottom. Once placed on the iPad, these sensors provide the app with information about what character the car represents (each pattern of sensors slightly different) and where it is on the screen.

The app then adjusts itself to match the position of the car and to speak and interact with the character. The voices from Cars and Cars 2 are a nice touch. Kids can freely explore the area around Radiator Springs and Route 66 during the day and at night.

In addition to a free play mode, kids can also compete in races and complete missions. This earns them coins that outfit their cars with power-ups, special tires and different kinds of fuel. The coins are virtual only — no in-app purchase or real currency exchange takes place — and Disney tells us it is still exploring how it might offer add-on levels or additional items.

Here a video that demonstrates the app:

Mashable’s writer said she was “shocked” with how well the toys interacted with the game on the iPad’s screen.

Appmates works only on the iPad 2 for now because of the game’s hefty processor and memory requirements. But future editions of the game will allow it to work with first-generation iPads as well.

(Photo courtesy of Disney)

Upcoming video golf game features Route 66 course July 21, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Sports, Video games.
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Golden Tee Golf, maker of video golf games commonly found in taverns and arcades, soon will release a new game called Golden Tee 2012 that features the Dusty Bend golf course built along Route 66.

Here’s a sneak preview released today:

I spotted replicas of the Wigwam Motel, a Bunyon Muffler Man, and a huge Sinclair Oil dinosaur.

Here’s a description of the game from Golden Tee Golf:

Built along Route 66, Dusty Bend Golf Course seems like a step back in time. You’ll never know what roadside attractions you’ll encounter as you golf along “the mother road” in Sayre, Oklahoma. Trees are scarce, but the farm buildings and tourist traps replace them with a landscape as well as some unexpected landmark new to the game. Venture off the fairway too far and the dusty dirt will make its presence known. It goes without saying that you’ve never played a course like this.

Golden Tee Golf says the game should start arriving in bars and arcades in “early fall.”

Virtual road trip June 23, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Road trips, Vehicles, Video games.
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The Desert Dispatch in Barstow, Calif., published a good article about the Cal State-Heyward students who developed a multimedia Route 66 experience.

As their masters thesis in multimedia design, the students have outfitted a 1969 Volkswagen Beetle that can take whoever sits in the driver’s seat to any spot on historic Route 66 via video screens with three-dimensional models of buildings and other landmarks along the route.

At stops along the way, the “driver” of the Beetle will also have the option of reading information and  viewing pictures of Route 66 landmarks in their heyday, as well as see video footage of interviews with the people who had (and have) close ties to the landmark highway. […]

Those who step in to the Volkswagen navigate through the virtual Route 66 by picking a destination on the map with the vehicle’s gearshift and steering down the road the road using the vehicle’s steering wheel.

“We hacked into a keyboard and connected the wires to the gearshift,” said Lai. “Wires and switches are hidden everywhere.”

The car also uses a Nintendo Wii tucked under the hood and connected to the steering column to sync the motion of the wheel to what the driver will see on the screen.

The students did finish the project and earned their master’s degrees for their efforts. Next, they hope to take the Route 66 simulator on a tour once the necessary funds are raised.

Here’s the team’s website.

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