First off, I would like to give thanks to everyone that has been a part of this long journey. I can't express how much each and every person has helped in motivating me to keep going. Things obviously haven't been easy and I'm blowing wind now just trying to get to the finish line. What seemed to be a simple task has now turned into an all out war in a sense. I have done absolutely everything I can to get this far and it hasn't been enough. There's been many moments that I have questioned myself and wondered why do I keep doing this, and I truly do hope there is light at the end of the tunnel. Many people have helped me along the way and all their efforts, regardless of how big or small, will never be overlooked or forgotten. I really want to thank everyone once again as you have all made a difference in my life.
Before I started this blog, I was a pretty outgoing person. I never shied away from people as I was growing up in a time before people had access to the internet. As a kid I would hang out with friends, ride bikes, play ball, and do things any typical kid would do outside of the house. Life was obviously a lot simpler as a child and teenager back in the 80's. There was no such thing as cyber bullying or getting trolled, and people had to face consequences for their actions because there was no keyboard or monitor to hide behind. And I'm not saying this to put down the younger generation, but I have come across many occasions where I do feel that this new age is not changing things for the better. Not too long ago, neighborhoods and communities were much more tight knit. You could walk around your block and you would be familiar with all the residents and be on a first name basis with everyone. Saying hi to people on the street was a common courtesy and making eye contact while cracking a smile was an everyday occurrence. I can sit here and go on and on about this, but then people would think that I'm just some senile old man ranting about how things are changing in the world and I can't keep up. The truth of the matter is this. The world is now a much smaller place and information is at our fingertips. There is no limit of knowledge and you can find anything on the web. But there is one thing that we have and I can't stress it enough. We still have a "community," and this is the very thing I am fighting to keep alive. There is nothing that can replace the interactions you have in person while both enjoying the moment of competition, and sharing the time surrounded by people with common interests.
Anyways, let's not stray from the task at hand. This coming Wednesday will be the 2nd hearing involving Super Arcade's attempt to receive the proper permits required to operate in the City of Azusa. The first time around I was definitely not prepared for the battle at hand. I was blindsided by all the misunderstandings of a community and out dated information that was being presented by the opposing party. But this time around, lemme tell you, I have a lot in store and have put in many hours coming up with a plan. I have watched the hearing at least 20 times now and taken very precise notes. I have done the homework and each and every issue that was brought forth will be addressed. I really wonder what else they will have in store for us this time at the hearing. I hope it's my turn to blindside them with a showing of all the support Super Arcade can bring. I have quite a few people who will be speaking on our behalf from the community and have delegated different topics for each of them to speak on. As a community, we are very fortunate to have a few arcade owners that care enough about this lifestyle to make a huge effort in being available to speak at our hearing as well. Huge shoutouts to Doc Mack from Galloping Ghost Arcade, coming all the way out from Illinois, and also Mia and Mark, owners of Neon Retro Arcade right here in Pasadena, California. Now I just hope that we can fill the auditorium with the rest of the #FGC (fighting game community) and just overwhelm the council with a horde or faithful arcade and gaming fans.
I really don't know what to expect in terms of turnout, but I feel as though some things were said at the last hearing that really irked the gaming community as a whole. One gentleman was quoted saying "How are video games and an arcade a higher quality of life?" A council member was quoted saying "High quality does not really fit with games called street fighter and combat." This opened up a can of worms and offended much of the gaming community outside of just fighting games. Saying that gaming is not a higher quality of life seems a little ridiculous when put into just a perspective of money. Just to be able to play these games at home, it costs hundreds and hundreds of dollars just to obtain the proper equipment. Does your average "hoodlum" or "thug" have the resources to purchase a home gaming console and a couple joysticks adding up to roughly $1,000? Does your average "lower quality of life gamer" have the means to spends anywhere from $800 to $3,000 on a gaming computer just to play these games that bring a lower quality of life? It is really obvious what needs to be done to overcome the old stigma of arcades and gaming, and now it's really up to us to present the current facts to the council. Our main goal is to make sure our points are brought up very directly, and we don't have people repeat themselves over and over. We need to be well organized, well mannered, and well dressed, and then I believe we will finally be heard and our opinions respected. If you are available and care enough to make a difference, I ask you to please attend this hearing on Wednesday July 15th at 7:00pm located in the City of Azusa's Civic Auditorium.