There’s a new arcade cabinet in University of Wisconsin–Stout’s Memorial Student Center (MSC) with sixty completely free-to-play classic arcade games. Proposed by MSC Associate Director Jennifer Lee after she saw one in the University of Wisconsin–Lacrosse Student Center, the cabinet is likely the first of many.
According to Lee, the original plan was to get two machines, but the MSC decided to test the appeal with one cabinet. “This is the first in a series,” said Lee. One of the proposed systems is a four-player table.
Undeclared freshman and aspiring game design student Christian Krohn is a fan of the 1983 classic “Mappy,” which is available on the MSC cabinet. “I grew up playing this kind of stuff. Having this kind of thing on campus and having it be free—it’s really kind of nice to have a place to enjoy these classic games.” Krohn said, “They easily could have put a card swipe on there. Whoever got this and installed it without a coin slot really cared about the students.”
According to Lee, the decision to make the games free was an easy choice. “From the get-go we decided it’s the student’s money, so they shouldn’t have to pay,” Lee said. “It’s really fun to hear the students really enjoying it.”
The sixty-game library may be reduced in the coming months and set to a rotation to keep the games fresh. Students can vote for their favorite games soon on campus social media.
With a thriving game design community on campus, there’s talk of a cabinet to showcase student games. “We are looking at the opportunity of getting a cabinet designed to play UW–Stout games.” Lee said, “It’s kind of cool that it has the opportunity to interface with class and fun.”
The table is often busy, but if you aren’t a fan of waiting in line, there should be another system in the near future. In the meantime, go ahead and try to beat the high score in the 1982 spaceship shooter, “Time Pilot.”