The Memory Machine #52 – The Era of the Penny Arcade w/ Ethan Johnson

Arcade and video game historian Ethan Johnson joins Nate on this episode of the podcast to talk all about the penny arcades of the 1890’s to the 1920’s. That’s right, even before pinball! In the era of gaslight, vaudeville and the cylinder phonograph, automation came to public entertainment in the penny arcade. These establishments offered all manner of amusing gadgets, including (but not limited to) miniature mechanical soccer, electroshock machines, target shooting, and that slot-machine-in-disguise, the trade stimulator. So put a penny in the mechanical virtuoso, it’s time for the Memory Machine!

Ethan excellent blog is The History of How We Play. I highly encourage giving it a read!

You can follow Ethan on Twitter at @GameResearch_E.

And here’s a trailer for the documentary series Ethan is working on, Arcade Dreams:

You can follow Nate on Twitter @Nate_Lockhart and on Instagram @nathaniel.lockhart.

Special shoutout to Dutch chiptune composer RoccoW, who graciously allowed me to use his track “FamiFunk Over Breakfast” as the theme for this episode. Check him out on Spotify – Soundcloud – Youtube – Facebook – Twitter .

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