Arcade Tour: Lost Ark Video Games
Lost Ark Video Games is a retro arcade and classic gaming store located in Greensboro, North Carolina. I visited Lost Ark Video Games this week and spent time walking around with Lost Ark’s owner Daniel McMillan, who was kind enough to give a complete tour which we filmed and posted below.
Lost Ark Video Games is steeped in arcade culture with a really cool vibe all it’s own. The store has a feel that I’d best describe as “retro-otaku.” Ark carries a wide selection of classic games for sale and trade, specializing in rare and retro video game consoles, and Japanese import games. As you walk further into the store, you see that Lost Ark also has a retro arcade that includes classic arcade games, pinball machines, and one of the largest collections of Japanese candy cab import games in the United States. General admission to the arcade is usually $5, and all coin-op machines are on free-play.
In the interest of full disclosure, it should be said that we love to support this place. Lost Ark Video Games is small, comfortable, locally-owned, and the people are absolutely awesome. They’re all real gamers with stories to tell, and that adds to the experience. Spending time walking around Lost Ark getting to know people is often as enjoyable and engaging as the games themselves.
Lost Ark is a temple to the culture it helps to define. The walls are overflowing with old Game Boys, Retron consoles, and used cartridges for Atari, Nintendo, and Sega systems, but there’s a lot of stuff at Lost Ark that you wouldn’t normally find in a typical video game store. Imported Famicom cartridges sit in crates against the wall. New NEC TurboDuo consoles sit inside pristine, unopened boxes, locked behind glass cabinets. When I visited Lost Ark earlier in the year they had an original 1972 Magnavox Odyssey for sale, complete in the box with original overlays and light gun. There’s also an autographed copy of Ms. Pac-Man for Atari 2600 sitting on display behind glass.
What really connects with me when I go to Lost Ark is that vibe. This is a place with a soul, and people who care about what they sell and what you feel when you walk in the door. They go out of their way to carry collector supplies, Gundam model kits, Japanese toys, import figurines, tabletop games, Magic: The Gathering card sets, and classic volumes of video game magazines from the ’80s and ’90s. Volumes of NES-era Nintendo Power magazines sit piled on a shelf. Thirsty? They import limited supplies of glass-bottled original formula Coca-Cola, and have large cases of the popular 1990s soft drink Surge shipped in from Amazon.
If you’re ever in North Carolina and able to check out the Lost Ark, you’re in for a real treat. It’s a destination any classic gamer should add to their road trip. Stop by Lost Ark Video Games, ask for Dan McMillan, and let him know Atari I/O sent you! Hope you enjoy the tour.
▸ Lost Ark Video Games on the Atari I/O Forums: http://forums.atari.io/index.php/user/13-lost-ark-gamer/
▸ Lost Ark Video Games Website: http://www.lostarkvideogames.com
▸ Lost Ark Video Games on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lostarkvideogames
Justin is a Technology Entrepreneur, Futurist and Raconteur, and an avid Atari aficionado behind the creation of Atari I/O. He is also a contributing writer at The Retroist under the name Atari I/O. You can follow him at his website http://www.atari.io