My husband is a big fan of the 80′s arcade scene. He spent countless hours in the arcades as a child so when he heard about the legendary 1982 LIFE Magazine Video Game Photograph being retaken he wanted to be there to see it happen.
How could I say no? He supports me 110 percent in my blogging travels and I thought to myself, “Hey, I’ve never been to Iowa, this could be fun.” I’ll be sharing my own personal photos and experiences either here or on my facebook page, I’ll let you know as soon as I get them up. All I can say is I wouldn’t have missed it (The Video Game Trading Cards & Posters of Twin Galaxies event in Fairfield, Iowa) for the world. But for now, here is the press release and photos. Do you remember the original:
OTTUMWA, IOWA – AUGUST 4, 2014 — On Sunday, August 3rd, the citizens of Ottumwa, Iowa Celebrated the City’s 32nd-year as the “Video Game Capital of the World” by re-enacting a famous 1982 LIFE Magazine photograph.There was no way he could miss the opportunity of a lifetime, so William McEvoy, flew to Iowa at his own expense from his hometown of Ottawa, ON, Canada to volunteer his services as the official photographer of a photograph that commemorated Ottumwa, Iowa’s unique legacy as the “Video Game Capital of the World.”McEvoy says: “When I heard they were going to re-enact the legendary LIFE Magazine photograph from 1982 that honored the video game superstars of the “Golden Age of Video Game Arcades” — the picture that helped put Ottumwa on the world map as the ‘video capital,’ I knew I had to be there and take the photo. It was a dream come true.”The original photo was taken outside the landmark Twin Galaxies Arcade at 8:00 AM, on Sunday, November 7, 1982, on East Main Street, in Ottumwa, Iowa, by famed LIFE Magazine photographer Enrico Ferorelli. Some video game historians today considered the photo the most recognizable picture in the history of the video game industry.The 1982 photo was published as a two-page centerfold in LIFE’s January, 1983 issue – the “1982 Year-In-Review” edition — and included 16 superstar V.I.P video game players along with five members of Ottumwa High School’s cheerleading squad. For this modern remake of the classic photoshoot, three of the original video gamers (Billy Mitchell, of Hollywood, FL; Steve Sanders of Kansas City, MO and Joel West, of Gastonia, NC) appeared in the picture along with one of the original cheerleaders, Tracey Groy, now of Phoenix, Arizona.The re-enactment photo included 16 members of the current OHS cheerleading squad along with over 75 other individuals who came from as far away as Tallahassee, Florida; Winnipeg, MB, Canada; Hillsboro, Oregon; Center Barnstead, NH and Minden, Louisiana. For the gathering, Ottumwa City officials barricaded East Main Street and Mayor Tom Lazio personally gave the proceedings the blessings of City Hall by appearing in the photograph, as seen on the far right of the photo.The nation’s video game players have been actively supporting Ottumwa’s quest to create the official International Video Game Hall of Fame & Museum during recent years. The inspiration for the photo re-enactment was to generate more public and civic support for the project.Ottumwa’s claim to video game royalty stems back to the early 1980s when the city was the home of the famous Twin Galaxies Arcade — famous as the “scorekeeper” for the worldwide video game industry. On November 30, 1982, then-Mayor Jerry Parker proclaimed Ottumwa to be the “Video Game Capital of the World,” a claim that was later reconfirmed by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, Atari and the Amusement Game Manufacturers Association (AGMA).Ottumwa continues to enjoy its unique legacy as “the birthplace of organized video game playing” and hopes to develop themed tourist attractions in the city which capitalize on its remarkable video game heritage.
© 2014, Nanette Gomez. All rights reserved.