Alameda, California-based arcade musem High Scores Arcade has fought an uphill battle in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even so, co-owners Shawn and Meg Livernoche aren’t giving up on their sizable collection of classic games.
I spoke with Shawn to gain further insight into the situation.
Shawn reported “great business” the first week of March, followed by “10 percent” business the second week of March. By March 10, he said people were growing increasingly wary of coronavirus. High Scores Arcade closed its doors March 15, two days before California’s official “shelter-in-place” mandate.
High Scores Arcade has since been closed for more than 200 consecutive days and has received $5,000 total in grants and relief from the state.
Now, the two Livernoches are making efforts to future-proof their livelihood and preserve their games in case reopening their current location proves unfeasible, purchasing a house and land 2 hours and 30 minutes away in Live Oak, California. They have not yet moved any games and will not until/unless necessary.
Their goal is to “honor the investment other people made in their company,” such as the fans who have donated to their GoFundMe and DonorBox pages. Deciding it was better to use their savings on different land than to “pay rent indefinitely,” the co-owners want to store the games long-term for when they can legally open.
Shawn expressed that he and Meg are very serious about keeping their collection of arcade games alive in whatever way they can, even if it means putting business operations on hold.
Only time will tell what the future holds for High Scores Arcade. In the meantime, interested players can follow them on Facebook for regular updates.