How to clean an arcade cabinet (Game Spot 21 method):
(1) To clean the front edge of the control panel, peel an adhesive label from an old cigarette packet or caffeinated drink bottle and apply it to the area you wish to clean. After several months, the label will probably be peeled off by an idling player, revealing a patch several months cleaner than the surrounding area.
(2) To clean the corners of the cabinet, place it on a busy thoroughfare in your arcade with the corners you wish to clean facing the flow of traffic. After 5–10 years, you should see the dust, dirt and surface layers of the cabinet plastic lift away naturally.
For deeper cleaning, move other cabinets, vending machines and furniture clumsily along the thoroughfare over the years.
(3) To maintain a consistent colour on your cabinet, avoid exposure to sunlight, which will yellow the plastic in the exposed areas. Instead submerge your cabinet in dense cigarette smoke for 1–2 decades, which will yellow the plastic much more evenly.
JK Game Spot 21. Love ya!
Photographer and writer covering Tokyo arcade life – the videogames, the metropolis and the people