Arcades have been a staple of pop culture since the 1970s, when Space Invaders helped usher in the “Golden Age” of arcade games. They were a place where you could get together with friends after school, relax, and beat each other’s high-scores. Following the rise in popularity of home consoles and online gaming, the arcade industry’s popularity had steadily declined , although there has been a slight resurgence in recent years.
Doc Mack, the owner of the Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield, Illinois, has been a significant part of that resurgence. The Galloping Ghost Arcade is the largest arcade in the world, with over 440 arcade cabinets that people can come in and play on. For just $15, you can come in and play as long as you want and as many times as you want until you pass out.
We sat down with Mr. Mack to get to know the man behind the machines, so lets get to it!
SEGA Nerds: Tell us a little about what you do
Doc Mack: I’m the owner of the Galloping Ghost Arcade (the largest arcade in the world) and Galloping Ghost Productions (which is currently in development of the arcade game Dark Presence)
SEGA Nerds: What made you want to go into this profession?
Doc Mack: I knew at a very young age that I wanted to be in the industry. Before the age of 10 I was talking with people who had developed games and higher ups at various big name companies. It was very inspirational and lead me to get into game development.
For the arcade side, seeing the industry in the state it was in made me think if only things were different for arcades. If only they had the prestigious grip that they used to have over gamers. It made my come up with the formula that would become the Galloping Ghost Arcade.
SEGA Nerds: What would you say is the most difficult and enjoyable part of the profession?
Doc Mack: The difficult part to the arcade and game development is time. There just isn’t enough of it.
Everything about both the arcade and productions is enjoyable. I get to put incredibly rare games in front of great players. I get to host incredible events with legendary game developers. I get to bring defunct broken arcade games back from the dead. Then on the production side, I get to work with a group of very talented people and create games that will hopefully help revitalize the arcade scene!
SEGA Nerds: What is your first gaming-related memory?
Doc Mack: I remember playing Pong at home and then shortly after playing Asteroids in the arcade. I had played in on the Atari already but it was so amazing to be out of the house playing video games!
SEGA Nerds: Did you have a favorite SEGA game growing up?
Doc Mack: I was a die hard SEGA fanatic not only back in the arcade days but when the Genesis came out. All I did was work and buy Genesis games, and had every commercially released game (over 700 games on Genesis, Sega CD & 32X). I played so many great SEGA games in the arcade like Altered Beast and Golden Axe. SEGA just had so many great games.
SEGA Nerds: What do you like to do outside of this profession?
Doc Mack: In the brief times that I’m not at work, I get to spend time with my girl (who fortunately likes to spend time at the arcade too) and occasionally hang out with my family.
SEGA Nerds: Tell us a bit about your upcoming projects
Doc Mack: We are about to expand the arcade which will allow us to add another 40 arcade games to the floor. Then we have a few surprise events coming up too. We also have been releasing a new arcade game on the floor once a week which has kept us very busy. We also are looking forward to the next show we have coming up in which we will be allowing more people a chance to get to play our arcade game Dark Presence.
SEGA Nerds: Where can people follow you for the latest news and updates?
Doc Mack: Please follow us on any or all of our media outlets: