Behold Beercade, an arcade cabinet that rewards the winner with beer

A bittersweet, hoppy victory.

Video games and drinking have always gone hand in hand, but it wasn't until now that someone actually combined the two beloved pastimes with Beercade, a two-player arcade cabinet that rewards the winner with a beer. We can all begin collectively kicking ourselves for not thinking of this earlier (or maybe you did think of it and just never went about making it happen. In which case you can kick yourself twice.)

The rather ingenious premise was made a reality by ad agency McKinney as part of its campaign for Big Boss Brewing Company. The game powering the beer-dispensing cabinet is The Last Barfighter, a promotional 2D fighting game for Big Boss (the brewery, not the Metal Gear character, sadly). Players take the role of one of five mascots representing a different brew, then duke it out in a bar fight. Whoever wins the best out of three rounds gets a sample of beer.

The cabinet itself is retrofitted to its new purpose and its coin slots have been replaced with a drip tray while it uses cup holders and motion sensors in place of quarters. "When we started, we were trying to find a way for retro arcade machines to live again," said McKinney creative technologist Adam Carroll.

"I grew up playing video games, and I remember stacking quarters at the old arcades waiting in line to show off my virtual fighting skills," said associate creative director Owen Tingle. "I think it's a nostalgic experience a lot of people identify with... I've also grown to appreciate the craft and skill it takes to make good-tasting beer. So to combine these two passions into a unique experience other people can enjoy was just awesome."

As far as where one can play Beercade goes, it looks like it's only being relegated to promotional events and fundraisers for charities, so one can rest easy knowing their drinking is for a good cause. "We plan on featuring the Last Barfighter at events that help raise funds and awareness for our charitable partners in the communities we serve," explained Big Boss Brewing's marketing and distribution manager Dave Roger.

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While The Last Barfighter itself doesn't look particularly enthralling, one can't help but ponder the possibilities McKinney has unleashed if this idea catches on with other, more noteworthy games. I'm not sure if that will ever happen due to practical purposes and maybe copyright laws, but a guy can dream, eh?

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Jeffrey Matulef

Jeffrey Matulef

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Jeffrey Matulef is the best-dressed man in 1984.

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