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READY PLAYER EIGHTY THREE: Old-school gamers ready their thumbs for new arcade in Tuttle

Photo courtesy of Dean Wenzel
Eighty-Three, a new arcade, will open it's doors Saturday, August 12 at 6 p.m.
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TUTTLE, Okla. — In 1983, the video game industry made more revenue than Hollywood. It was considered the apex of the video game revolution and, talk to any child of the 80s, a moment in time that still brings back warm feelings of 8-bit nostalgia. For some gamers, like Dean Wenzel, he was able to turn that magical year and those special feelings into a lifelong career, one that he’s ready to share with the rest of the world some 35 years later with the grand opening of his old-school arcade, Eighty-Three.

“I grew up in that golden era of arcade games and I’ve collected games for many, many years and have always had this idea to open up a little place where people can relive their nostalgic youth,” Wenzel said.

“I’m very passionate about these games and Eighty-Three is all about trying to recreate the atmosphere of an arcade back in the 80s, places like Aladdin’s Castle.”

Located at 5909 Aero Dr., Suite Two in Tuttle, the Eighty-Three Golden Age Arcade opens its doors this Saturday, August 12 at 6 p.m. and even though it has a policy the anyone 18 and under must be accompanied by a parent, Wenzel said that he is aiming for it to be the type of place old-school gamers can bring their kids and turn them on to these classic games.

One remarkable change from the arcades of yore, however, is instead of the constant need to feed the machines quarters or tokens, patrons pay a flat admission of ten bucks for an all-you-can-game experience, with all the machines set on a free-play mode. Wenzel feels that it’s the little things like that that makes Eighty-Three different than any arcade in the city and well worth the trip to Tuttle.

“We wanted to find someplace where we could just open up and let people enjoy and experience these games,” Wenzel said. “I spent a long time trying to find someplace in the city, and unfortunately, if you don’t have city money, then you don’t get city property. Even though Tuttle is a bit out of the way, we kind of like that. We want people who are going to come out here to come out here because they take their gaming seriously.”

Quick to point out this isn’t another one of these “hipster retro pubs” that serves alcohol, Eighty-Three is all about the games, and more specifically, the gamers. Featuring arcade classics such as Asteroids, Space Invaders, Tron, Ms. Pac Man and Galaga to rare, prototype Atari games few people have ever heard of, between the memorabilia on the walls and the authentic cabinet machines, Wenzel promises patrons a time machine that goes far beyond the simple idea of nostalgia.

“When people walk in here, their face just lights up, especially if they’re from that generation,” Wenzel added. “You’re not going to find any place like this in the city. This is the real deal. This is exactly how it was back then and all of these games…they’re 40-year-old games. We’re really trying to show people, you know, let’s just go back in time here and remember what it was like when you were a kid and how much fun these games really were.”

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Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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