Unfortunately there was a recent incident that occurred here at Super Arcade that left a bad taste in my mouth. I feel as though it was one of those give an inch take a yard type of ordeals and there is possibly some miscommunication involved along so I will not accuse anyone of any malicious intent. I will explain this entire situation from my side and I will also include some background in terms of the games functions and the community prior to this incident.
In The Groove is a knock off of Dance Dance Revolution and has many more functions which made this game in many ways much better than it's predecessor. There is a USB port where players can bring in their own songs and programmed dance steps they have set up. That's the good news, the bad news is that as a player you can adjust the volume to a ridiculously loud level and there is also a way to insert free credits by entering a code.
This game is very rare due to the legal battle it lost, so finding a location with it is almost impossible. As a #WNF or #TRB attendee i'm sure you have heard this game blaring loudly while you were playing a match. I had asked many times for the players not to put this game so loud but there will also be that one guy/girl who refuses to listen and just goes about things how they please with no respect for others around them. I would like to also say that I am not singling out anyone but you know who you are and I do understand that during tournament days our location is extremely packed and you do need the volume up to get the full experience, but even during these days, the game is way too loud in my opinion.
Now let me talk a little bit about the community. There is a handful of people that come here that are supposedly "top" players in this game just like we have "top" players in our fighting games. These guys are very knowledgeable and know how to alter the machine so they can add or delete songs, change the theme, and also...... turn the game on free play. I have trusted a few of these people and things seemed to be going fine. We have allowed them on multiple occasions to change the hard drive and alter things with our permission. They are also highly competitive so they want the dance arrows (pads) set up and tuned perfectly which is fully understandable. These are things a normal arcade would not allow anyone to do but I know how much trouble it is to keep this machine fully maintained so I put down my guard a bit for their cause. Once again, aside from the volume issue, I have never had a problem with any of these guys/girls and I feel like I have done my best to accommodate them and maintain a mutual respect between arcade owner and player.
This group set up a tournament and just like any other tournament held here, there was a venue fee charged and game was set on free play. The only difference was that this tournament was thrown to support to arcade, so aside from venue fees, the entry fee was also given to Super Arcade. That was a nice gesture and greatly appreciated. So assuming everything went well last time, there was a request to throw another tournament here, and given the past history there was absolutely no reason to say no. This is where trouble in paradise occurs. So the tourney is set to take place on Saturday, and for tournaments the game needs to be set on "Event Mode" which does not require you to put credits in and in other words, game is set to be on "Free Play." Not a problem right since we are charging a venue fee and the arcade will still be making income while also providing a venue for these players to compete. Now I will go into more detail as to what happened exactly and I really didn't want to get into it but my manager Armando aka Commando just told me people were talking smack about what happened behind our backs on Facebook. (real cute considering I do not have a facebook and maybe the overlooked the fact that Commando is part of their group and can see what they are saying.)
Okay, so here goes. Thursday night, game is set on event mode, without my consent or knowledge obviously, but the place is busy on Thursday so I don't even notice until one of our regular customers comes to the counter to tell me what's going on. I let this slide for the moment as I understand that this is the proper way to practice for the tournament and I want to see what happens at the end of the night as far as if they will tell me or offer to pay me for playing. So we are getting ready to close and a gentlemen by the name of Nelson comes up to me and tells me that the machine was set on "Event Mode" and gave me $10 to cover what the machine would have potentially made that night. Very trustworthy and kind gesture for him to approach me and I expected nothing less from that community. Friday comes, machine is set on free play again, also without my knowledge or consent again........ This day I did not open the arcade but I arrived and noticed the machine was set that way and thought nothing of it. I figured hey, they paid last night, why would they not pay me tonight without me asking? Only difference was that on Friday I didn't see Nelson there and no one offered to pay a cent at the end of the night. I let this slide because I knew there was a tournament the next day and hey, play for free for a night, even without my permission, I can live with that knowing we would be charging a venue fee the next day and I just chalk it up as maybe an oversight on their end. So here comes the best part. Saturday is here and the tournament goes on. Unfortunately I dont arrive to work till roughly 10pm as we are not running a Capcom tourney that requires my attention and the place is being run by Commando with help from GeriKuso. So as i arrive i see the ITG players leaving and I ask GeriKuso if they paid a venue fee and how much he collected. He replies he received no venue fee from them and I questioned him more than once to make sure I heard him properly. I then proceeded to find Commando and ask him the same question to which he replied with the exact same answer.... dun dun dun dun.........
Well, that's very cute. So the machine is set on free play Friday night and no one pays or mentions anything. Then the machine is set on free play the entire day Saturday and once again no one pays or mentions anything to me about it. Not a good look ITG people........ So I want to make 1 thing 100% clear here. Some people might want to chime in and make claims but I can say without any doubt, NO ONE informed me or asked me if it was okay to put the machine on free play any of the days or nights it was set. The arcade received 0 dollars in revenue from running this tournament and having the machine on the night before. So while you let this all sink in I would also like to discuss another couple of events that took place after the tournament as I am just in shock at what took place yet I manage not to kill anyone.
For starters, after the tournament the game was left on FREE PLAY still..... Were you guys planning on going to eat then coming back for some more FREE action? I'm not going to worry about this slight situation as things have already taken place and more important at the time. So we have a couple more ITG players come in and approach me at the counter. I am fuming but try to maintain my calm and ask them kindly if they entered the tourney so I can ask them a few things. They replied no and then asked me if I could put the machine on regular play so they can use it normally aka pay to play. I am steaming at this point and I tell them to do me a favor and just go play for free till i can get to the bottom of things. Before they head off to play they gladly give me about $15 in quarters that they were planning on spending anyways. I try to refuse but they insist so I take the money and say thank you. I also request them to not let anyone else play and to say they rented out the machine for the evening and to send anyone that wants to play to the counter so I can talk to them. So roughly an hour later the tournament organizer returns and comes to the counter to ask me if he can set the machine back to normal play and I tell him nope. He also asks me why they aren't allowed to play and I spend a few minutes explaining my anger over the situation and as if it wasn't any more obvious already, I said to him "The arcade made 0 dollars, the game was set on free play, how does this benefit a business?" Mind you this whole time I was very upset but never once raised my voice. I did use foul language as I said "I'm f*cking steaming over this situation" and "This is b*llshit." Not once did I act aggressively towards this individual but I was rude with very short replies to questions and wanted to show my lack of interest in speaking with him at the time.
There is also another couple players that come to the counter after my conversation with the tournament organizer and they are asking if they could play. I asked them if they entered the tourney and they reply yes. So I instantly reply no. I recognize both of them as they frequent my establishment and I feel bad for not letting them play, but I am forced to put my foot down after what has happened and just need to enforce some rules. One of the guys named Miguel I believe replies a little rudely by saying "I am a customer and want to play." At this point I am furious but I still keep my cool. I tell the both of them I will not be letting anyone play aside from the 3 people who are currently renting out the machine for the night. I also explain that I am very mad at the situation and use the same line "I'm pretty f*cking pissed about all this, and I don't want to talk about it." Miguel tells me not to curse at him in which i reply that I am not directly cursing at him and he doesn't need to stand at the counter if he does not want to hear what I am telling him. He is there with another guy who can tell you the story and I'm sure he can vouch for me in that I was telling them both my genuine feelings about the situation and sorry that I could not let them play. Now here is where the kiddie nonsense starts.
Today I receive a phone call telling me that Miguel is claiming I was yelling and cursing at him. Nope. I have multiple witnesses, one being his own friend, that can assure you this is not the case. Not once did I raise my voice nor did I act aggressively towards any of our customers or ITG players. Now also put yourself in my shoes. I am a business owner and arcade operator. My establishment has just been taken complete advantage of, and now I have people running their mouth and talking as if I'm the bad guy all over facebook and who knows where else? I have done my absolute best to accommodate this particular group and now that an incident arises to which I am 100% the victim, now I'm the one getting blasted for it? No chance guys. This incident has left such a bad taste in my mouth that I have left the ITG game off ever since and only allowed a very very select few people to turn it on to play. And as most of you know, we will be only open one more day this coming Wednesday prior to our remodeling. I have seriously considering not bringing this machine back as part of our new game line up and I am willing to sacrifice the revenue it brings in so I don't have to deal with bad situations like this. All the events I have listed are all complete and not fabricated in any manner. I have spent my day off typing this because I feel bad for the people who love this game yet are not involved in this situation. The saying holds true as it only takes 1 rotten apple to spoil the barrel. So as you read this very long post please be aware that I am available to talk to many hours of the weeks as we are open many hours. Please don't go the sissy route and bad mouth me behind my back thinking I won't see it. Keep in mind I have been very open minded and allowed you guys to mess with our machine as if it was your own and this is why you return to our establishment over and over. If I was such a bad arcade owner and rude to you, then it would be very stupid of you to continue to come back over and over right? Think about what you type and don't go blabbering on about what you wish the situation was. The arcade was slighted, you got to play for free for a couple days, and now the machine is off because of you. Plain and simple.