Like a lot people of my generation, I recall standing at a video game cabinet, a bottle of beer sitting on the table beside it, battling the electronic demons, aliens, and gorillas for hours. The video game industry was booming in the mid-1980s. Back then I was in my early twenties and video games were in every bars, bowling alleys, and corner store. Beer and video games have gone hand in hand since the first buzzes and bleeps were emitted.
Apparently for some, the nostalgia of those days was just too much to ignore because now there is a video game that not only fulfills the yearn to command a joystick, but it also rewards the winner of the game with beer. Yes, you read that correctly, there is actually a video game that pays its winners off in golden, delicious brews.
The game is called The Last Barfighter and is a standard fighting game that pits two players against each other in a battle royale for a hoppy payoff. It is the brainchild of the McKinney as agency and was devised as a way to showcase the beers of Big Boss Brewing in Raleigh, N.C. The agency allows its employees to use 10 percent of their time developing innovative, outside-of-the-box methods of advertising through the use of technology. In the case of The Last Barfighter the staff developed a product dubbed the Beercade. Created completely in-house from the game itself to the splashy cabinets the game features cup holders with spigots over them instead of coin slots.
According to the brewery’s website, Big Boss Brewing Company was started in 2006 and shipped it first beer in the 2nd quarter of 2007 in the triangle area of North Carolina. It was formed as collaboration between Geoff Lamb, a UNC graduate, who returned to North Carolina in 2006 to join forces with Brewmaster, Brad Wynn, who has 12+ years of brewing experience including several years with Victory, Wild Goose and Native Brewing Company.
But, do not expect to see this game in your local tavern. For now, neither McKinney nor the owners of Big Boss plan to make any more of the games. Instead, they plan to use the Beercade for promotional and charity events. To see the game in action, watch the video below – it might just make you wish for a cocktail table version of Asteroids or Ms. Pac Man.
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