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Light Research @ MMU

Blackpool Amusement Arcade Interiors

Posted on behalf of Martha Lineham: MA Visual Culture student at MMU

‘Where the commodities are suspended and shoved together in such boundless confusion… like images out of the most incoherent dreams.’ (Walter Benjamin on arcades, 1892 – 1940)

An anarchic collage of conflicting sounds, crass imagery, seductive text and rhythmic light sequences; the amusement arcade is a disorientating experience of real and imaginary conditions. These labyrinthic spaces have an absence of external reference points and are reminiscent of the fairground’s hedonistic lure.

Mechanical and video games outstretch in a noisy juxtaposition of physical demand and surface effects. Consumer and object merge in these virtual, drug-like, timeless places. Everything in the arcade appears immediate and accessible.

My thesis project is an exploration of Blackpool’s amusement arcades in the late 1970s / early 1980s, when video game popularity peaked in British arcades. I am interested in the make-up of the interiors, the arcade’s contribution to Blackpool’s cultural significance, and how amusement arcades functioned as social spaces during this time.

To contribute your thoughts on this project please email:

Source: Wikicommons

March 20th, 2013 - 21:44pm

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