Game arcades that were popular in Taiwan during the 1980s and 1990s are a source of fond memories for many people. Unlike home consoles, mobile games, or online games played on computers, the gaming scene of arcades typically took place in arcade halls. It was a collective experience where individuals or pairs played arcades, or groups of people gathered to watch live battles, contrasting sharply with playing games alone in one’s room.
However, with the introduction of gambling machines, often placed in the same venues as regular game arcades, security issues arose, prompting governments to regulate licensing applications. For example, in 1997, the Taipei City Government amended the “Taipei City Land Zoning Usage Control Regulations,” stipulating that arcade halls must be located at least 1000 meters away from places like schools and hospitals. This led to a sharp decline in the number of arcade halls. Furthermore, the widespread adoption of personal computers and online games significantly changed people’s gaming habits, with handheld game consoles and mobile games also competing for players’ attention.
Stark Peng’s game arcade collection primarily focuses on games from the 1980s when he grew up. He personally repairs all the arcades, explores connection setups between multiple arcades, and shares his repair experiences with the arcade collecting community. In this art festival, a couple of arcades will be exhibited, encompassing common game genres such as racing, fighting, shooting, boxing, etc.
Peng is a collector of game arcades. While running an air conditioning business, he collects and repairs game arcades he used to play when he was a teenager. In addition to recreating an arcade hall from his student days in his storage room, he also loads a “Street Fighter II” arcade onto a pickup truck and organizes street battles across Taiwan.