Well, ain’t this a b*tch and a half! After sinking over $60K into the renovation of Super Arcade, the West Coast’s mecca of fighting games in Walnut, CA, a suburb outside of Los Angeles, the landlord of the property that proprietor Michael Watson was renting for the arcade forced them out through an astronomical rent increase.
Well, Mike Watson pled his case to receive a minor permit to open Super Arcade in Azuza, California, and was denied, on the grounds that an arcade would bring crime and bring down the quality of life of the community, among other claims. His bid was denied via a 3-1 vote against the opening, yet Watson will appeal during the next council meeting on July 15th.
There are many ways you can contribute to the cause and help Watson get the arcade opened up in Azuza:
- Sign this petition (the website is giving issues right now,)
- Contact the mayor and council members of Azuza, CA via the information in this open letter, and let them know how you feel about the decision (in a respectful manner,)
- Tweet the City of Azuza and let them know how you feel about not letting Super Arcade open.
You can watch the hearing and view the documentation related to the hearing at this link.
Editor’s Note: As an active member of the Fighting Game Community, I’m disappointed in the fact that the citizens of the City of Azuza feel in such an outdated way about arcades. Arcades aren’t what they used to be in the 1980-90s. A lot of them have closed down, and some of them advanced with the times. Places like Chinatown Fair, 8-bit and Up, and Next Level in New York are shining examples of arcades and gaming centers that attract clientele that come in, play their games, hang out with their friends and leave.
Arcade Odyssey in Florida and Ultra Arcade in Atlanta are the same way. They’re not places that attract the grimiest of the grimy, because that version of the culture died with the advent of the internet and online gaming.
Super Arcade attracts not only people from all over California, but also from the other 47 contiguous states of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Korea, Japan, England and France. Companies like Capcom, Arc System Works, Namco Bandai Entertainment and Sega have all had major events at this location when it was in Walnut. It is a breeding ground for the competitive fighting gamer, but also a place that people call a home away from home.
By denying the people a place for them to congregate and take part in what they enjoy the most, the citizens and government of Azuza, California have not only shown that they’re people who are unwilling to accept something new, that they’re okay with excluding people just because they are different from what they are used to. That’s completely unacceptable. – Clinton Bowman