Luxury Gaming

Recently, my May 2021 issue of Gentlemen’s Quarterly magazine arrived. I don’t subscribe to GQ magazine. The mailing label on it said “Welcome to GQ” with my full name. My wife had brought the mail in. She was wondering who the target demographic was for a magazine which seemed to be about 50% pictures of Justin Bieber with his shirt off and why I was receiving it. I genuinely don’t know why I got it. I hope I just got a free issue because I was scraped by some mailing list instead of accidentally subscribing to a fashion magazine.

I am probably in the target demographic for GQ in that it’s an aspirational magazine. Reading GQ is an indication or self-projection of status in and of itself. But being in the target demographic for weaponized marketing doesn’t mean that you choose to participate in it. I started reading the magazine for fun before bed last night as an artifact from a culture that I just don’t get exposed to.

I read a[ profile of actor Delroy Lindo]( and remembered how much I like the movie _Romeo Must Die_ even though that movie isn’t mentioned in the profile. In full disclosure (and to make sure you don’t think I’m claiming to be immune to aspirational marketing), I think the dark pinstripe suit and purple scarf combo **absolutely looks sweet as hell**.

I also read a [shorter profile of the “Men’s Artistic Director” for Hermès]( Hermès is a fashion label that I’m aware of in the same way I know that Rolex is a watch brand that is fancy and expensive. Unlike the piece on Delroy Lindo which was genuinely interesting and gave me perspective on a set of experiences that I don’t have, this Hermès profile is brand building and advertising.

Here’s the line that caught my attention:


Arguably, the vogue for expanding a fashion brand into what is often called a lifestyle brand began with Hermès. Those Supreme ashtrays and Saint Laurent marble arcade machines have a clear predecessor.

Wait, what marble arcade machines? I couldn’t go a full issue of GQ without thinking about nerd stuff! Turns out it’s [these arcade machines]( According to that click-bait article, the original MSRP was 2,500 € for the model with the checkerboard sticker sides. But you’re not going to buy that one when you’re here for luxury goods. You want the one with marble sides and a marble balltop for 22,500 €. As a reminder, the standard price is 825 €.

So we’re actually looking at a Pocket model made by French company [Neo Legend]( This “bartop” form-factor single-player cabinet actually sells for 825 €. The luxury cabinet from a few years back is based on a commodity 680-in-one unlicensed [Pandora’s Box 4s]( board. Neo Legend doesn’t seem to run this hardware anymore, they seem to have either updated their line to a newer Pandora’s Box board, or have built a custom front-end for a MAME launcher. The thing that drove me the crazy is that the monitor is widescreen and the software doesn’t understand this, so [all the 4:3 games are stretched, even in their YouTube marketing](

What did you get for your Luxury Gaming dollar or Euro? You get a pirate JAMMA board displaying games at the wrong aspect ratio on which you can’t play Street Fighter II against your friend because it’s only got single-player controls. They do seem to actually have “Japanese Controls” so I’m hoping you get either Sanwa or Semitsu sticks and buttons.

Unsurprisingly, the Saint Laurent arcade machine is status symbol gaming, not Luxury Gaming.
Looking at who else has Search Engine Optimized their website for the term “luxury arcade” generally gets you arcades that focus on food and impossibly expensive redemption prizes. I don’t know who will ever win an X-Box of any kind from Pinheads in greater Indianapolis, but they sure do have a “[Luxury Arcade](”.

Luxury is something that should feel extravagant and opulent to the user. Someone who has dedicated a space in a room with a beanbag chair and a CRT with an FPGA console has more claim to the term “Luxury Gaming” than Saint Laurent. Anyone with a SCUF controller, or a PS5, or a nice OLED TV has more claim to the word. New Old Stock SNES controllers are Luxury Gaming. After market-modified PSPs with OLED screens are a luxury. This HORI RAP4-N joystick I’m going to use to play _Guilty Gear -STRIVE-_ tomorrow is more luxurious than that heavy chunk of marble.

Luxury gaming should provide an environment that is luxurious and uncompromised. I fundamentally believe that Luxury in games means that you have dedicated any space to the hobby with appropriate hardware. If you’re going to go for a retro or arcade setup, a luxury cabinet can certainly have excellent craftmanship and finish and materials. It should have superb ergonomics rather than a miniature put it on your kitchen counter form factor. It should also have a monitor that displays the games at the correct aspect ratio.

@antillese#32870 seems to me a lot of the time “luxury” products are just pieces of shit that a marketer convinced someone with more money than they deserve to buy. By that definition, this arcade cabinet sounds exactly right! It reminds of some luxury cars (I don’t know cars so I’m sorry don’t ask me for any more details) that cost like $100,000+ but are notorious for breaking down constantly and need constant repairs.

Basically rich people are dumb.

For fear of offending the uber-billionaire IC mavens out there like @exodus, I’ll just say here that you’re “one of the good ones.”

looks like something they’d sell in skymall

man; why aren’t all of us scamming rich bastards? other than sourcing marble you could make one of these in a week.

There‘s a Sega arcade warehouse not far from where I live; if I had more money than sense I’d march over there, point at the most ludicrously priced machine and get that thing delivered into my “shed”.

Though, in all seriousness I have a small, spare room at my house that I intend to use as a room for, for the want of a better term, luxury gaming with the intent of providing a space for my friends to enjoy the best and most enjoyable experience that I could provide within my means. I think having a dedicated, comfortable space goes a long way to creating a luxury experience over simply having expensive, unusual hardware.

This is one of my favorite parts, from the Zula clickbait article:


Presumably, some very lucky people received this non-basic gift over Christmas.

Did you know the only way to not be basic is to be stupid rich?


Basic Gaming: </s>GORILLA.BAS<e>

Luxury Gaming: </s>GORILLA.BAS<e> … but with a Sound Blaster, or better yet, Gravis Ultrasound.

I do love making the distinction between status symbol and luxury, in the sense that, at least ideally, I think everyone deserves access to the full extent of luxury that one‘s society can equitably provide, and in that sense luxury is something I openly and unashamedly love, whereas status symbols almost without exception demonstrably and actively make the world a worse place for everyone, often even including the people who have access to them since lots of status symbols are equivalent to if not just worse than more accessible alternatives, like for example anyone enough of a rube to buy a Saint Laurent “arcade machine.” I mean, not that I care about them, it’s just the reality of it

All gaming is luxury gaming: It's an activity undertaken for pleasure.


What did you get for your Luxury Gaming dollar or Euro? You get a pirate JAMMA board displaying games at the wrong aspect ratio on which you can’t play Street Fighter II against your friend because it’s only got single-player controls.

Did Love Hulten start this? I think some of his designs are nice, but there does seem to be a trend of opulent piracy machines, and I don't really remember seeing any prior to his.


i think VR is luxury gaming because just like a yacht, it‘s way too expensive for most people, there’s a gaudy, decadent quality to its design, and it makes you want to throw up.


@Geoff#32937 All gaming is luxury gaming: It’s an activity undertaken for pleasure.

I resent the equivocation of luxury and pleasure! Where's your _joie de vivre?_

A Little Caesar's Hot n' Ready brings me pleasure, but there is nothing about it that even remotely suggests luxury.

The most luxury game thing I can come up with would be a Lucky & Wild arcade cab.

@Geoff#32937 I wrote a fat draft reply to this thread, but didn't post because I was still trying to put my finger on what exactly I was trying to say.

  • - Love Hulten is my hero, I dream of custom 3-legged CRT enclosures and hardwood DMG shells…
  • - 40% of the world doesn't have internet
  • - all video games are a luxury
  • - capitalism is probably why I so easily get off track in this post, trying not to go full-rant.
    Love Hulten is what I call video game luxury though.
  • Anyone remember an arcade game that blows cold air condition on you while you play? I played this down hill snowrunner game I think? or maybe it was just a motorcycle game but it had fans built in… In Florida as a sweaty kid, that was luxury.

    How about hot tub gaming? I dropped my mother 3 gameboy micro in a hot tub once, it still works.

    What about playing SEGA while you get a pedicure??

    I lived in a warehouse as a teen where there was a full backyard size trampoline at the base of my 2nd story loft with no walls, I set up a CRT with a wii up in the loft facing outward and played sonic while trampolining with a wii remote.

    I want to be fed grapes while playing Outrun in a custom race car bed outrun cabinet

    I know everyone is dying for an update. Seems like I am still receiving GQ Magazine as of today when my June/July 2021 issue arrived. It arrived on the same day an LED light bar arrived which I’m using to backlight an arcade marquee. So there is probably still hope for me.


    @“esper”#p32877 man; why aren’t all of us scamming rich bastards?

    The real problem there is:
    1) you have to be a jerk yourself
    2) you have to "have a brand" that surrounds luxury
    3) it's ultimately not very satisfying probably

    But that's what a billionaire like me WOULD say

    anyway I sure did not know about these marble machines, what a bizarre tragedy of a construction, and for it to be sold out, as well!! Neo Legend sure looks like an odd organization - the very first thing you see on their page is a little arcade console playing stretched metal slug.

    Also they have their own "console" - turns out it's a tiny PC! Kind of cute though?

    @“exodus”#p37036 that does actually look a little bit rad

    surely the ceiling for luxurious, baller, MTV cribs gaming setups is just to have a full arcade inside your mansion, richie rich style. or go one step further and set up your own video game museum! “it's a charitable enterprise, i promise!”

    @“rootfifthoctave”#p37065 bonus: tax dodge!

    @“rootfifthoctave”#p37065 I hate to bring this guy up, but speaking of which: