One of the coolest gaming events I’ve ever attended is the California Extreme classic arcade game show. For this fan gathering, arcade and pinball enthusiasts put their machines on a truck and bring them to a ballroom in Santa Clara, California, and set them up in free-play mode. You can then buy a ticket and play whatever you want. If you’ve never made it out to the CAX yourself, a new 360-degree video tour can give you an idea of what it was like during this year’s show at the end of July.
Cloth Map, a game-related travel channel on YouTube, partnered with Video Game History Foundation cofounder Steve Lin to walk around California Extreme. The event was larger than ever this year, and you can pan around in 360 degrees in the video above while Lin gives some insight into the machines and the people of CAX.
Some of the highlights include remixed ROMs of classic arcade games like Donkey Kong running on PC and built into standup cabinets as well as hyper-rare conversion kits for Nintendo cabinets. You could, for example, turn your Donkey Kong cabinet into a game called Hunchback — which is something no one ever did because Donkey Kong earned a lot of money.
I also dig seeing a full setup of The Grid, which is a third-person shooter that has a joystick and trackball for controls. CAX has four of these set up back-to-back, so players can compete against one another.