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Arcade weirdness abounds at California Extreme

August 04, 2019 1 min read

"So what's California Extreme?" I hear you asking. Simply put, it's a yearly convention where arcade cabinet and pinball collectors converge in San Jose to show off their favorite machines. Enthusiasts bring their perfectly maintained arcade cabs from all over the state, then set them to freeplay for the weekend for everyone to examine and enjoy. I like to think of it as something like a classic car show, except there are arcade rarities on display rather than vehicles.

The best part is, even if you don't have any arcade games of your own to display, you can still play all you want for a flat fee. While retro games are the focus, the show's also become known as a great place for showing off new or upcoming pinball tables. Hundreds of different games are represented, and with so many options there's hardly ever a long wait to play your favorites or try out something bizarre. 

I've attended every convention since 2015, and although there are several games that make appearances every year, the roster changes constantly. You never know what you're going to see until you walk through the doors. In no particular order, here are a few of the standouts I got to try out at this year's show.

Arcade weirdness abounds at California Extreme screenshot