Occupy Arcade

It seems like we have reached a point in society where revolutions occur by the minute. From Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, and Bahrain, to Greece, Spain, Italy and Iceland, to Wukan, China. It’s impossible to start listing them without omitting dozens of others. In the US, the Occupy protests started at Wall Street in September and spread all over the country, and eventually, the globe. Of course, each has had different conditions and experiences, and one can argue the semantics of “revolution” versus “protest”, but they have all created a revolution of the mind—showing people that they can stand up to power and giving them the tools to do so (be it the People’s Mic, street protests, business shutdowns) and the tools to self-organize (General Assemblies, working groups, spokescouncils, etc.)

So many things have inspired me personally: the sense of community I have felt from being a part of Occupy Oakland, the proliferation of conversations that were never happening around this country before, the new people I have met and worked with, and the work that has been done: feeding thousands of hungry people, welcoming marginalized people into the community, building labor solidarity, supporting those whose human rights are being repressed, and every single act of creative resistance.

On Saturday, January 28th, Occupy Oakland is going to take the next step, occupying a vacant building and turning it into a social center with room for a community kitchen, a first-aid station, meeting spaces, a free school, a space for children, a library, a media room, and more. There will also be a two-day street festival with music, movies, arts & crafts, food and speakers during the opening weekend of the building. You can read more about the event, including the festival schedule, on the Occupy Oakland Move-In Day site.

For a while, I was trying to figure out how I could best use my skills to add to this event. occucadeWhen I heard that someone was planning to bring a pool table to the initial march to the building, mounted on wheels so it could be played while being pushed through the streets, I knew what I had to do. Every community center needs a game room to draw in the general public, to give people some respite and lighten spirits, and to give people an opportunity to meet others in their community. And every good game room needs an arcade machine.

To that end, we are constructing an arcade cabinet to be completed by the 28th and donated to Occupy Oakland. It will also be mounted on wheels and be able to run off a battery so that it is completely mobile and can be played in the streets during the march to the new space. Yeah, you read that right.

On Wheels.
In The Streets.


Local Oakland indie game developer anna “don’t call me ‘indie’” anthropy signed on to create a game specifically for this event! I also wrote to the Winnitron folks about the possibility of having the cabinet be an official Winnitron machine, and they are all for it, which is awesome because the Winnitron represents the true, independent DIY spirit of Occupy Oakland!!



2 Responses to “Occupy Arcade”

    January 23rd, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    [...] tried to set up a Kickstarter project so that anyone who liked the idea of a public, mobile, indie, street arcade could help out with some of the material costs to get the thing off the ground, especially with the [...]

  2. Jonas Says:
    January 23rd, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    This is a fantastic idea!

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