Arcade Infinity, the Final Round: Video Game Hot Spot Closes
At first glance Arcade Infinity seemed nothing more than a noisy and dimly-lit hole in the wall room full of obscure Japanese arcade machines. In truth, Arcade Infinity at Diamond Plaza in Rowland Heights was the heart and core of the gaming community in Southern California for more than a decade.
Saturday February 26 was the last day the arcade would open its doors before closing permanently. A large crowd filled the small space leaving hardly any room to maneuver down its narrow aisles. Many came to play their final tokens and to say goodbye. A mixture of economic hardship and leasing contract difficulties led to the arcade's unfortunate demise. This is a hard hit for many of its loyal customers. It is a place that has been referred to as legendary, not only by local arcade aficionados, but fans across the country.
He commented, "It promoted people to be social in a physical sense, unlike if you are playing on your home console. You're playing across electronic lines. You don't get to meet friends."
Aaron Blean, Jet and Andy Piepho are great examples of what kind of social outlet Arcade Infinity had provided its patrons. The three have been hanging out at Arcade Infinity for the little over the ten years that it has been open.
Jet said, "Just coming here and getting to meet and greet with all the skilled players, it makes you grow as a person and as a player. The place has its own charm and the environment is so intimate that you just can't help but get to know other people."
Blean pointed out the huge crowd present that night, how they're playing on machines that will be gone the next day, and how all these people were a "collective of over ten years of people's lives coming to this place. Almost like a high school reunion."
He added, "It's not just about the games, it's about making friends."