Bits, Sticks, and Buttons

Posted February 7, 2014

After hearing it brought up a few times on the Arcade Outsiders podcast, I ordered a copy of Bits, Sticks, and Buttons: The Unofficial Guide to the 50 Greatest Arcade Games. This 80-page, entertainingly assembled book is a fun look back at some of the more popular arcade games of the 1980s and 90s. I have to say at over $50 with tax and shipping, this is probably the most expensive video game book I’ve owned yet. But considering the costs of self-published, color, print-on-demand books, that’s to be expected.

It almost feels like a companion piece for those who actually own some of these cabs. I own zero but still found it enjoyable, despite my indifference to “best of” and “top” lists. Descriptions of the games and clear, colorful photos of the cabinets dot every page, along with quotes and photos of some game owners and KLOV crew looking like either eternal bachelors or family men reliving their youth. That’s the appeal here: you either wish you owned some of these arcade games yourself, or maybe better yet, that you just lived next door to those who do. When I have more space and an elevator door wider than 25″ I hope to join them.

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