Or, at least, an adult approximation. Some of my fondest memories from childhood are from birthday parties at places like this – if not Chuck E Cheese then Funtasia, Funplex, or later Gameworks. Nothing to do but cruise around, waste money on games, drink Dr. Pepper, and listen to terrible music. Of course, in my private Chuck E Cheese, things would be a little different.
It would still be stocked with arcade classics old and new, from Pac-Man and S.T.U.N. Runner to modern masterpieces like Crisis Zone and, yes, even Golden Tee. Instead of a TV in the pizza room, I would have a hi-def digital projector hooked up to all manner of consoles, DVD-players, and a dedicated multimedia PC with 4TB of RAID storage for all my totally legal TV shows and such. There would be a fully stocked open bar and several of the arcade machines would be hosted in Gamerators full of chilled High Life for when you’ve just got to have it. There would, of course, be wi-fi, and a kick-ass sound system controllable from any device on the network.
Now that I’m visualizing it, it actually sounds a lot like Penny Arcade’s Olympus.
There are lots of cool little doodads out there right now, but it’s all about convergence. I want the old school mashed right into the new school, with cutting edge and retro bumping uglies and coming up with something freaky like an interactive Zelda map projected onto a huge touchscreen we can put our drinks on. Sure, I’d also like an iPod Touch or maybe Super Mario Galaxy, but even if I got one, I’d probably be too busy chilling in the ball pit or playing Cadillacs & Dinosaurs to even care. Don’t worry, though, you guys can come over if you want.