A few years ago I got way into arcade game restoration. Let me tell you, it really wooed the ladies. One of the most interesting aspects of that diversion into nerdery was the insight into the commercial end of the arcade industry that I gained. Nearly all ‘modern’ (ie post-JAMMA) games have vendor-configurable difficulty settings – so high scores and other such arcade accomplishments can be ambiguous.
The video linked below, which I recently found via the Make Magazine blog shows the secrets of other bits of arcade machinery, including the tension adjustment on claw-grabber games, and the hidden coin harvesters on those ‘coin pusher’ machines. Sneaky! It’s realvideo (10 Minutes, 25 MB), but it’s worth it — just click here or on the image below for a direct link. The host of the video is Tim Hunkin, his site, which is packed with nerdy goodness, is here.