What’s up, gamers? This post right here is comes straight from my never-ending list of unfinished article ideas. At long last, I sat down and documented every arcade shirt in my collection.
Since all but one of these shirts were gracious gifts given to me by others, I want to express my gratitude in any way I can. The generosity of others is something I don’t want to take for granted, especially as we enter the “positive era” of Wilcox Arcade.
Without further ado, let’s dive into a pile of clothes.
The Black Emperor tee proudly proclaims its coolness, from its striking design to its appealing color scheme. The Black Emperor logo alone would’ve been wicked enough, but the green-outlined tiger definitely ties the entire composition together. Funnily enough, I was once asked if this was a band shirt—a fair comparison, no?
My Black Emperor shirt has a very special place in my heart. The day I turned 18, I received many wonderful birthday wishes—all of which I appreciated dearly and equally—but I can’t understate how overjoyed I was when the Black Emperor social media manager sent me a promo code for a free shirt. Talk about generous.
In the time since, this faithful tee has become a staple of my wardrobe. Without exaggerating, I’m like 99 percent sure I’ve worn this shirt at least once every week since I got it. That’s how much I love it. While I still haven’t even played the Black Emperor game myself, the aesthetic is enough to get me riled up.
Thank you, BumbleBear Games, for sending me this shirt.
The Cosmotrons shirt nails just about everything you need to know about the spirit of the game without fluff. With the game logo in the corner, the iconic Noob ship front and center, and a quirky tagline (“Proud to be a Noob!”), the design is genuinely fun to behold. Vector graphics, it seems, are just as crisp on fabric as they are on a 4K monitor.
My Cosmotrons shirt also means a great deal to me. The delightful Shane Gutbrod sent it my way along with a letter, Cosmotrons trading cards, and a payment for a year’s worth of advertising. Though I had always kept a keen eye on Cosmotrons on my blog, I felt that this gesture of goodwill really solidified my relationship with the Arcadeaholics team.
I admittedly don’t where this shirt quite as much as the other, mostly because the Noob drew some…unsavory allusions in high school. Regardless, I love being able to showcase another kick-butt arcade game by merely donning clothing. Ain’t that just the best feeling ever?
Thank you, Arcadeaholics, for sending me this shirt.
Of my arcade shirts, my Cruis’n Blast shirt is the only collared offering, and it’s all the better for it. The bold red is interrupted just once by the slick Cruis’n Blast logo sewn into the top-left corner. This feels like the kind of shirt Raw Thrills developers would wear to a trade show, which is a really neat thing to think about.
Like the two first two shirts on this list, my Cruis’n Blast shirt packs a lot of sentimental value. The folks at Raw Thrills have always been incredibly good to me, but I was especially ecstatic when they sent me this shirt alongside a signed Target: Terror flyer. Y’all know how much I love arcade shirts—and that good ol’ terrorist game. I’ll never take those gifts for granted.
I’ll give you full honesty again: I don’t wear this shirt nearly as much as the other ones, but that’s primarily because I don’t wear collared shirts as much in general. That’s just a goofy “me” thing. My quirks don’t change the fact that the Cruis’n Blast has served me right for a long time now.
Thank you, Raw Thrills, for sending me this shirt.
Galloping Ghost Arcade
The Galloping Ghost Arcade is the perfect piece of wearable merchandise thanks to the large company logo placed front and center. The design doesn’t need to be any more complex than that, as the message is clear enough from the beginning. Donning this apparel is the best possible indicator that you visited the largest arcade in the world.
You’re probably getting tired of me saying this by now, but it’s true: My Galloping Ghost Arcade shirt means so much to me. The week was already awesome—I got to interview the president of Namco USA—but the deal was truly sealed when I stepped foot in the Galloping Ghost. After talking with owner Doc Mack a bit, he was so generous as to provide me with this memorabilia.
This is another shirt that I try to wear as often as possible. As silly as it might sound, there’s just something I really enjoy about sharing the Galloping Ghost with others by the simple act of wearing a shirt. The GGA is the kind of place everyone should be able to visit at least once.
Thank you, Galloping Ghost Arcade, for giving me this shirt.
The Namco shirt gets right to point by minimizing the design components to a red Namco logo on a black background. While some might find it a tad too simple, all I want from most of my shirts are logos. Yes, I’m the kind of guy who loves video game company logos. For that reason, I love my Namco shirt oh-so dearly.
My Namco shirt was the first arcade shirt I ever received—for Christmas 2017—and as you might imagine, I’ve gotten a ton of mileage out of it. Thanks to a combination of age and iffy college washers and dryers, the Namco logo is slowly fading away, but I still can’t get enough of it.
Just like the Black Emperor shirt, I’m pretty dang sure that I’ve worn my Namco shirt nearly every day since I got it. I wear it to school, to bed, while playing DDR—heck, I wear my Namco shirt for just about everything. It was the first means I ever had of expressing my love of arcades through fashion.
Big thanks to my aunt and uncle for gifting me this shirt.
The Skycurser shirt is probably the single-most bad-butt shirt I have. From top to bottom, you have the sharp Skycurser logo, the foreboding likeness of Misson 1 boss Gaki, and a sick tagline: “I survived Gaki.” (Fun fact: I have.) This is by far the wildest shirt I have—and I mean that in the best way.
My Skycurser shirt came from the desire to support indie developer Griffin Aerotech in spite of my inability to purchase their games. I found the “Official SKYCURSER Online Store” on SpreadShirt and…well, my then-ladyfriend ended up purchasing it for my birthday instead. Regardless, I was so crazy pumped to finally have some Skycurser merch in my repertoire.
This is another shirt that I wear basically every week—because why wouldn’t I? My favorite game translates beautifully to the shirt medium. The only downside is that I’m no longer allowed to wear the shirt in my parents’ house because it looks creepy, but you know, that’s just how things go.
Thank you, Griffin Aerotech, for producing such awesome merch.
Including my Wilcox Arcade shirt might seem like cheating, but I’m totally going to mention it anyway, heh-heh. I possess the “Certified Sweaty Nerd” Wilcox Arcade shirt design, which was my first and is my favorite to date. If you read my blog, you’re party of the sweaty nerd gang, and I wanted to make that very clear.
Because I bought a long-sleeved Wilcox Arcade shirt, I tend not to wear it during the summer. However, that doesn’t mean I take for granted how neat it is to have my own “line” of merchandise. Sure, I’ve only sold four shirts thus far—but that doesn’t diminish the happiness I derive from doing what I do.
If you want to be the coolest cat in town, I highly recommend picking up a Wilcox Arcade shirt. You don’t have to—I’m not one for driving hard sales—but I would certainly appreciate the support. (I apologize for the shameless plug. I’m advertising the shirt in this list since the shirt is currently housed in my closet.)
I hope you enjoyed today’s article. If you enjoyed any of the shirts I showed off, you’ll surely be delighted to know that most can be purchased online for under $30. What better way is there to show your love of arcade games? (Besides, of course, playing the games.)
I still a lot more shirts to cross off my hit list. In the months, I’m looking to purchase merchandise by Arcade Hereos, Golden Tee Golf, Stern Pinball, Jersey Jack Pinball, LAI Games, and presumably many more. I eat this stuff up.
Until next time, I’m out. I’d love to see you in my Discord server!