Last summer, Stride Gum -- which had previously promised Steve Wiebe
$10,001 in quarters if he could set a new Donkey Kong
hi-score record during E3 2009 -- started what it called "Save the Arcades
." The campaign encouraged visitors to its website to rally behind one of three coin-op cathedrals, the winner receiving $25,000 to help it keep the arcade fire burning. Well, the competition is back, and three new arcades are vying to win the same amount: Arcade Infinity
of Rowland Heights, CA; Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade
of Portland, OR; and Rocky's Replay
of Winter Park, FL.
The competition works like this: Visitors to the Save the Arcades site
can play a re-skinned version of Robotron
called Cowbots 2010
and donate their scores to one of the three arcades. The arcade with the most points as of noon EDT on June 15, 2010 gets the prize money. The only catch: In order to donate points, visitors are asked to sign up for Stride.com, thus providing details like email addresses to the company. If you don't mind receiving spam mail about bubblegum, this seems like a pretty cool way to help keep America's arcade culture alive.