In this Community Spotlight, The Arcade Couple tell us about their favorite arcades and share how they got hooked on filming arcade videos.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
We are Ben & Aune Johnson. We currently live just outside of Syracuse, NY! Outside of the arcade industry we live ordinary lives! Aune is a stay at home mom to our newly born baby boy, Orson, and Ben works as an Associate Pastor at a church. We are Christians who try each day to demonstrate the love of Christ to others. We have a wide range of hobbies and interests from card breaks to rollercoasters – just to name a few!
How did your love affair with arcade games begin?
We were always into going to arcades. Well before we started videoing our adventures, we would go to Dave & Buster’s and rack up a ton of tickets and walk out with the coolest prizes. Ben has fond memories of going to Chuck E. Cheese and other arcades as a kid which has carried over through to his adult life!
What gave you the idea to start producing arcade videos on YouTube?
I (Ben) love to make videos, and it was Aune who suggested that maybe we should record our arcade adventures. We weren’t so sure at first, but after watching some other Youtubers (Plush Time Wins, JJGeneral1, Dragon Claw Games, ClawD00d, Carson Claws, Claw Craziness, etc) we decided to give it a try! It was one of those, let’s just see how this goes, kind of things. After filming and posting the first couple of videos … we were hooked!
What’s your favorite game and why?
Ben – My favorite arcade game is Down The Clown. That was the FIRST arcade game I remember playing at Dave & Buster’s and it was the first one that I learned how to get really good at. Besides, who doesn’t like knocking over clowns!?
Aune – Anything coin pusher! But my favorite coin pusher is Ticket Circus! We’re always on the lookout for that machine when we visit an arcade.
Do you have a favorite arcade or a local arcade you want to give a shout out?
Everyone knows about the BIG arcades (Dave & Busted, Round 1) … but there are two arcades that we would LOVE to give some attention to. Time Out Arcade in Clay, NY is a classic Namco arcade. It’s not a HUGE arcade and you won’t find a lot of high-end prizes like you do elsewhere, but it’s always clean, the staff are very friendly, and they consistently get new games in. We’ve filmed many fun videos at that location. Another arcade that needs some recognition are the Clubhouse Fun Center Arcades in Greece and Henrietta, NY. These arcades have both undergone renovations recently and they are always stocked with the latest games. We’ve been to big-name arcades that haven’t gotten new games in stock for years. The Clubhouse Fun Center locations are well maintained and every time we visit, we find something new to play!
Do you follow any other arcade Youtubers or bloggers?
Oh my … our list of arcade Youtubers that we watch would be so long! Plush Time Wins, JJGeneral1, Dragon Claw Games, ClawDood, Carson Claws, Claw Craziness, Arcade Warrior, DJBwellz, Arcade Matt … the list could go on! But we also love watching videos from some of our biggest fans, Moosetube, Drew The Disney Dude, and Bargain Barons. There are so many other great channels out there … we know we’re missing so many. We just love them all!
What is the best prize you’ve won?
THE CONSOLES! We love going for the high-end prizes when we go to arcades. We both won our Nintendo Switches from the arcade! Although the most useful prize we’ve won has to be the Roomba we won from Apex Entertainment (which is another FANTASTIC ARCADE)!
What are your predictions for the future of the arcade industry?
The future of arcading could be full of amazing potential! It’s a difficult time to predict what it’s going to look like because of the current COVID crisis, but generally speaking, we believe that arcades will stand the test of time. We could both easily see more VR games being added with unique integrations of VR & redemption style games. Crane games are becoming increasingly popular as well as coin pushers. We see new arcades opening around the country ALL the time and that’s an encouraging sign for the industry!
Is there anything you’d like to see manufacturers do differently for the modern arcade?
It’s all about getting creative! One of the biggest frustrations that we have is that so many games seem to follow the same basic premise. Recycled ideas that another gaming manufacturer has already produced gets boring really fast. That’s why we’re genuinely excited about some of the new gaming products coming out of LAI! We got a chance to play HYPERpitch before our local Dave & Buster’s closed down. What a refreshing SKILL based game! We haven’t seen anything like it before and that makes it so exciting for us and our viewers! And don’t get us started on Pearl Fishery. One of the most unique and fun “coin” pusher games we have ever played. If we could have one in our house we would! We’re already dreaming about returning to the Clubhouse Fun Center to play that game! Keep giving us new and fresh gaming ideas and we’ll be happy.
What are your plans for the future of your channel and arcade work?
Future plans for our channel include making more exciting arcade videos! We’ve been sidelined with the restrictions here in NY for the past 3 months. We can finally see a little light at the end of the tunnel where it looks like we will be able to get back to the arcade soon. We’ve also been filming some card unboxing videos which has been fun, and we look forward to adding more amusement park/rollercoaster videos to the channel in the future! On a personal note we are enjoying our time with our 7-week old baby boy, Orson! We’re learning a lot as parents and we’re doing our best to raise him in a loving, godly home. Our ultimate goal in our personal life and even for our channel, is that God would use us to share the Gospel with friends, family, and our fans!