The World’s Largest Arcade, Funspot in New Hampshire, Is a Must-Visit for Gaming Fanatics
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In 2008, the Guinness Book of World Records designated Funspot — the three-story arcade in the lakeside village of Weirs Beach, New Hampshire — as the World’s Largest Arcade, a title it continues to hold today. I spent a lot of time there as a child, never realizing its importance to the gaming world.
If you’ve seen The King of Kong, the popular 2007 documentary about Donkey Kong whiz Steve Wiebe, then you might recognize Funspot as the place where Wiebe reached the game’s elusive kill screen in front of a large live audience.
Funspot owns about 400 arcade games from the ’70s and ’80s, about 300 of which are on the arcade’s third floor at any given time (and more than 600 games total). They include Computer Space, a 1971 shooter that predates the retro classic Pong by about a year — don’t worry, they have Pong too, and Q*bert, Centipede and Contra, not to mention lesser-known oddballs like Tapper, a Budweiser-produced game in which players pull a draft handle to serve beers as quickly as possible.
The nondescript Funspot building is a beige block surrounded by a bingo palace and a zip-line course. It’s built into a hill so the third floor is actually the floor you walk into. Inside, beige carpets and dropped ceilings downplay the arcade’s majesty suggesting that the place is due for a reboot, or at least a new life.
The 18-hole indoor mini-golf course seems there mostly to take up space, while other sections of the arcade sprawl with vintage games, organized by manufacturer. There’s also a fun bowling alley featuring both regular and candlepin bowling, a variation on the game with skinny pins that you’ll only rarely see south of Boston.
The arcade’s owner, Bob Lawton, now 90 years old, has run the business since 1952.
If you find yourself in New Hampshire and want to play Space Invaders or Dig Dug, consider stopping by Funspot. The world’s largest arcade is obviously worth the trip for gaymers and other queer people.
Have you ever been to Funspot, the world’s largest arcade?
This article was originally published on Oct. 23, 2015. It has since been updated.