January 19, 2019 10:33 pm

‘It’s addicting’: Edmonton-area man transforms garage into vintage arcade

Sat, Jan 19 - It was one a great joy of many childhoods: playing arcade games. An Edmonton area man has transformed his garage into a vintage arcade. Albert Delitala has his story.

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An Edmonton-area man has transformed his garage into a vintage arcade, complete with more than 80 machines — some dating back four decades.

Mathew Russell, who lives just east of Edmonton, started collecting games 12 years ago, fixing them up as he went.

“It’s addicting,” said Russell, who works as an electronic technologist. “All the memory — you remember playing these games. It’s like, ‘Oh, I remember that game. I should buy it.'”


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His garage, dubbed Short Circuit Arcade, now has 86 working machines, all made between the years 1979 and 2005. They include a row of pinball tables, a mix of video games and an air hockey table.

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Restoration

On average, Russell says, he spends a few hundred dollars on each machine, but often thousands on restoration. Some of that work includes replacing parts, restoring artwork and making the machines “pop.”

“My wife and I, we usually come up here Friday, Saturday nights for a few hours,” Russell said. “Most of the time is spent actually repairing the games and getting them ready to be played.”

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Open to public

Russell intends to share his collection with the public by renting the space to groups for two- or three-hour periods.

“Every time I come up here, it’s awesome,” Russell said. “It just feels good, and I just want to go play games.”

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