We’re thrilled that one of our recent Ph.D. recipients, Dr. Carly Kocurek (Illinois Institute of Technology) will be returning to the hallowed halls of Burdine to deliver a lecture about video game arcades. Please join us on Wednesday, September 10 at 4pm in Burdine 214 to hear more about her research.
A synopsis of her talk:
Over the past decade, the video game arcade has seen a small revival in the United States. Long-established arcades like New Hampshire’s Funspot have become destinations in their own right while new businesses like Austin’s own Pinballz and the growing number of bar-arcade hybrids scattered across the country draw a loyal, local clientele. This revival relies in part on a deep fascination with the video game industry’s early glory days. Arcades feature “classic” machines in meticulous repair or boast particularly exhaustive collections of rare games to distinguish themselves. In this talk, I excavate the nostalgia for the arcade’s “golden age” of the 1970s and 1980s and consider its position in contemporary narratives of American technological progress, entrepreneurship, and masculinity. Ultimately, I tie the nostalgia for classic arcades to multiple points of longing–for an imagined past that is defined by aesthetic style, by political positioning, by economic conditions, and by a particular kind of idealized young manhood.