Zachary Quinto lent his fame to Stride Gum last week in an effort to promote their Save The Arcades program. Very much a good geek cause, yet still very much a publicity grab for… um… gum.
With arcade gaming in danger of going the way of the dodo and multiple iconic arcades in jeopardy, Zachary Quinto appeared at Video West Arcade in Glendale, Calif., to take part in STRIDE gum’s Save the Arcades campaign.
Quinto was on hand to raise awareness for the cause and keep the dream alive for gamers everywhere. He posed for photographs, interacted with employees and went head to head with local consumers on classic arcade games.
The event kicked off the Save the Arcades campaign, in which STRIDE is featuring profiles of four iconic arcades from around the country on its Save the Arcades website. Visitors to the site can play an arcade-style video game, with their points scored benefiting the featured arcade of their choice. At the end of the campaign, the arcade that has earned the most points, as determined by participating consumers, will be declared the winner and receive $25,000 courtesy of STRIDE gum.
To further kick off the campaign, STRIDE also recently saved an arcade. After STRIDE discovered that a Philadelphia-area arcade (Challenge Arcade) was within days of closing down, they decided to help by providing $10,000 to ensure that Challenge would stay in business.
-via Sci Fi Wire
This seems to be a bit of a schill job, as it appears Mr. Spock Quinto did not, in fact, go head to head with local consumers as they were not allowed to participate- contrary to the press release that went out before the event. Reports of disgruntled fans and gamers who were not let in abound, though some were able to sneak in.
Follow the STA link above and you’ll find a simple little game you can play. Rack up points and donate them to one of four independently owned and operated arcades Stride has picked to support. The business with the most points at the end of the contest gets $25,000.
Having just returned from the Jersey Shore where I spent a mini-vacay with my brother and cousins, and where, in our yoots we spent nights on the boardwalk of Pt. Pleasant gaming to our hearts’ content, I can tell you it’s a sad state of affairs for arcades these days. Well, the few that are left anyways. It seems I’ve sought out the local gaming hall everywhere I’ve gone around the country (NOTHING beats The Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. Nothing.) and the majority of what’s out there has been reduced to a barren wasteland of junk ticket machines and skee ball, fighting games (thanks for ruining everything, Street Fighter) and Buck Hunter. Thus, it’s become imperative for arcade fans to do whatever they can support the good ones.
I suppose it’s very much a chicken or the egg kind of thing when it comes to solving this particular industry’s problems, as video game publishers have drastically pulled back on production, innovation is almost nil, and the costs of running and patronizing an arcade are exponential. But you can’t have a triumphant video without Eddie Van Halen, and you can’t get Eddie Van Halen without a triumphant video. Patrons have so much similar stimulation on their home consoles, where publishers have invested the overwhelming majority of their finances and effort. Also, arcades can’t remain a viable and vibrant business without patronage- and who wants to go to a dumpy craphole imitation of a good arcade?
And while I applaud Mr. Quinto for supporting a cause that’s dear to my heart, I find myself having to agree with a commentator to Sci Fi Wire’s coverage of this story who posted, “Considering the good private education Mr. Quinto received in high school [not to mention his highly visible portrayal of the smartest, coolest nerd of all time -ed.], I would have thought he may have spend [sic] his time getting kids to read or promoting learning or even outdoor activities…”