Game Changers

Bigie Meanmugg is a big-time joystick Jedi. Has been for decades. In his adolescence, the local DJ and graphic artist used to waste away hours at the old Nickel Palace arcade over on the west side, feeding five-cent pieces into such classics as Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam. However, the game that ruled the school for Meanmugg was Neo Geo, the legendary multi-game home/arcade system created by SNK at the dawn of the 1990s.

It’s no surprise, then, that Meanmugg decorated a vintage Neo Geo machine for "The Artcade Show," an exhibition of refurbished classic quarter-pumpers. The Friday, February 1, showcase features 24 arcade games that have been given a bonus life and an artsy, urban makeover. Others involved in the project include Lalo Cota, El Mac, Ashley Macias, Mikey Jackson, and Josh Rhodes. After being assigned a game, each artist created custom murals and snazzy paintings on the cabinets.

The exhibition will open at Parazol Studios and will offer the chance to play the games for free, as well as a 20-person Street Fighter II tournament.

Fri., Feb. 1, 5 p.m.-midnight, 2013
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.