Gameroom Showcase: Braid Arcave

For some of our friends in the Great White North, acquiring items to fill a home gameroom can require a tremendous amount of dedication and perseverance. For Shayne Braid, owner of the self-proclaimed “largest classic arcade” in British Colombia, Canada it is a labor of love. Growing up with parents who supported his love of gaming by filling his pockets with quarters to spend hours at the local Circus Circus and Chuck E. Cheese, the seed of his obsession was planted early.

I have been collecting since approximately 1994 and love finding, restoring, and playing these old Classics. I always wanted to own a “real” Arcade machine so when the chance came in 1995, I jumped at purchasing a Williams Defender, my fav game from back in the day! I only collect games i remember playing from back in the day or what some refer to as “The Golden Age” of Arcades.

Since 1994, Braid’s collection has grown to almost 50 games, the newest of those being from 1985. His gameroom, dubbed the “Braid Arcave” can accommodate up to 40 games which allowing for some rotations to the lineup over time. Currently, his collection contains the standard classics such as Galaga, Frogger, and Tron, a Black Knight pinball machine, and even a rare Joust cocktail. Blacklight-reactive carpet gives the room a cohesive “otherworldly” feel, and a flat-screen LCD TV displaying classic music videos from the era enhances the ambiance.

Living three hours from Alaska, building the perfect gameroom hasn’t been easy.

Being located so far in the north I usually have to drive a minimum of 5-6 hours to pickup/find these old games, I have driven as much as 18 hours (one way) just to pick up a Star Wars, Pac-man, Phoenix, and Missile Command. There just aren’t very many machines around where I live so this is part of how I have to find games if I want to continue in this hobby.

As personally rewarding as this hobby is for Shayne, he doesn’t keep all the fun to himself.

My Kids are also very active in sports, so for fundraisers or for team bonding we have team parties at our house in the game room. My wife is also a Nurse and we plan on sharing the Arcade with sick children while they recover.

Be sure to check out the Braid Arcave website at www.braidarcave.com and see several more gameroom videos on his youtube channel.  Shayne proves that owning a gameroom is only fun if you can share the experience with others. Thanks for allowing us a peek into your arcave and sharing the product of your hard work with other gameroom junkies.

Preston Burt

The co-host of the Gameroom Junkies Podcast, Preston is a writer and designer living outside Atlanta, GA. He has an affinity for VHS tapes, and an obsession with arcade games and pinball machines. He is a contributing writer for GeekDad, Paste and RETRO Magazines, and a founder of the Southern-Fried Gameroom Expo.

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