April 20, 2024 - Y2Kade, Part 2!

Not too many pinballs at Y2Kade, but all of them were constantly being played
Even in this video wonderland, a game where you guide a marble through a hole-filled playfield is one of them most played. Nobody can resist Ice Cold Beer!

You know, we've been doing this a long time.

SC3's April 20, 2024, event at Y2Kade was an occasion to reflect on just how many things have changed, at least for us organizers. The event was our first since founding member Christopher B. officially retired from the group. Over the years, the roster of SC3 organizers has grown and shrunk (mostly shrunk), but Christopher was a constant presence since the first meetings back in the prior century(!). Christopher was the guy who would figure out the optimal distribution of electrical load before telling you which wine best paired with a game of Intellivision Utopia. His organizational help will be very missed. Take care, Chris!

Christopher's departure reduces the number of official SC3 organizers to three, which is quite a bit less than in prior years. We get it though... putting SC3 events together is always more work than it seems like it should be. And – if you'll allow us to put on our Grumpy Old Man hats for a moment – a lot has changed since the group started. Everybody in Southern California is aware of how the cost of everything exploded in the wake of COVID. Food prices have doubled, if not tripled. Gas prices are consistently high, and it feels like every day there are more cars on the road, making it increasingly annoying to drive anywhere. And yes, none of us are as young as we used to be. Bah, back in my day, candy bars cost a quarter and the ColecoVision has the pinnacle of gaming technology! Get off my lawn!

Ok, sorry about that. We were just increasingly aware of costs this time, which always invites comparing the present to bygone days. Your $10 donations have kept SC3 afloat. But if inflation doesn't reverse course soon, we may have to start asking for higher amounts, which we really don't want to do. While we think 8 hours of free access to decades' worth of gaming machines, in an environment where a 4-player in-person game of Mario Party is actually achievable – with pizza, soda and snacks on hand to boot – is easily worth a few bucks, we don't want SC3 to feel like it's expensive. Hopefully all 100+ attendees of this event agreed that the experience was worth it.

Despite all our grumbling above though, this event went smoothly. Y2Kade is a great place, and the owner (Jim) is always well-prepared. He had electricity provided and ready to go, even working with his neighbors to distibute the load to avoid power failures. The truly prodigious amount of machines are well kept and play beautifully. The SC3 organizers' main job was to bring a bunch of monitors and vintage consoles to complement the arcade and pinball experience Y2Kade provides. Our setup this time consisted of about a dozen machines, dating from the late '70s with Atari and Intellivision – through the turn of the 21st century with the Dreamcast. William D. also brought his always jaw-dropping NeoGeo setup. The home consoles received plenty of attention, with a raucous N64 Mario Party session lasting seemingly the entire evening!

Something brand new this time around was a series of GameCube Smash Bros. tournaments, organized by Danny and Eddy. They've been at this game for only a few months, but are already Smash organizational pros. They arrived with several GameCubes, controllers, monitors, tables and canopies, set them up in no time, and even brought a projector to plaster the action on a wall facing the street. We joked that people would get into accidents trying to watch the projection while turning onto Studebaker Rd., but thankfully that didn't happen and the only destruction was on-screen. Congrats to all the winners!

Thanks to Danny and Eddy, William D., and especially Jim for making Y2Kade such an incredible venue. We'd say we were looking forward to the next event there, but that probably won't happen as Jim is looking to change facilities and maybe turn Y2Kade into something more. We'll be looking forward to those developments and we'll see if SC3 can pair with this future version of Y2Kade for later events.

We hope that the next SC3 event will be the traditional "backyard" gathering in Claremont, most likely in November. As you remember, we had to cancel last year's winter event due to unavoidable circumstances. We're hoping this doesn't happen in 2024, but as always, we'll update this site and our Facebook page with news as it becomes available. Until then, take it easy and keep gaming!


Jim (center), owner of Y2Kade, in his natural habitat
Instructing the kids on the proper way to race
"Don't fire till you see the pixels of their eyes."
So many great games at Y2Kade. That's Capcom's Block Block being projected high up the wall
Despite the nearby plethora of arcade and pinball games, the home consoles saw plenty of play
Nine Ball pinball came out in 1980, good to see today's kids can still appreciate it
N64 Mario Party had a happy crowd around it from the moment we turned on the machine
Thanks Danny and Eddy for the Smash Bros. tournament, and congrats to the winners!
It's not so impressive in a still photo, but the projection of Smash Bros. on the outside wall was quite a sight
Battling the champ in Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!
Super Sprint (1986) – the wheel makes the experience
That's a lotta pizza