Torontrons

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The Torontrons are classic arcade cabinets retrofitted to play contemporary games by local indies.
Unlike the digital nature of games themselves, the arcade cabinet has weight. It takes up space. It catches the eye from across the room. Not hidden away in basements or nested directories, it protrudes into the real world. Both historical reference and mobile gallery for our nascent art form, a Torontron challenges you to stand up and approach it, to engage with it, to do your best in front of friends and strangers: to play in public.

Inspired by MAME cabinet makers, the first Torontron was released in November 2009. It was cited as inspiration for the Winnitron, released in Winnipeg about a year later, which in turn went on to spawn an international arcade network. There now are active indie arcade cabs in the Netherlands, BelgiumNew ZealandNew YorkAustraliaPittsburghChicagoShanghai, and Oakland. If you know of other active cabinets please drop us a line!

The Torontron cabinets were engineered by Jph Wacheski (who has written a how-to), and the current deployment officer is Adam Axbey.

The project is produced by Jim Munroe.

The Cabinets

Torontron

Place and Date of Birth: Canzine, Nov. 2009

Special Power: The Original Indie Arcade Cabinet
Previous Life: Magic Maggot, an Italian Centipede bootleg
Curator: Jim McGinley
Designer: Nadine Lessio
Financial Support: Toronto Arts CouncilOntario Arts Council
Games: AlbacrossLockON 2Mondrian ProvokedMonster PuncherHeavy Weather, & Night of the Cephalopods.

Current Location: Art Gallery of Ontario, Weston Family Community Gallery (map)

Torontron High Roller

Place and Date of Birth: Toronto Comic Arts Festival, May 2011

Special Power: Trackball enabled
Previous Incarnation: Gimmie a Break! pool game
Curator: Miguel Sternberg
Designer: Miguel Sternberg
Financial Support: The Ontario Media Development Corporation
Games: ShlonggGesundheit!Airshot ScottStrategic Oil ReserveStar Fall High Roller & international guest  Calamity Annie.

Current Location: Art Gallery of Ontario, Weston Family Community Gallery (map)

Torontron Twinstick

Place and Date of Birth: Toronto Animated Arts Film Festival launch party, Nov. 2011

Special Power: Dual joysticks
Curator: Jim McGinley
Designer: Craig D. Adams
Financial Support: Toronto International Film Festival
Games: Amici ExeuntCephalopods Co-op Cottage DefenceN ArcadeA Friendship in 4 ColoursSeeds of Descent, & international guest Forget-Me-Not

Current Location: Art Gallery of Ontario, Weston Family Community Gallery (map)

Past Appearances

Academy of the Impossible

Mar-Nov. 2013

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thompson Hall

Mar. 2 2013

The Monarch Tavern

Nov-March 2013

Canzine DIY Games Room

October 21st

Site 3

October 2012

Toronto Underground Cinema

September 2011-Sept 2012

Mississauga Celebration Square

September 2, 2011

Centre for Social Innovation

June 2011

George Brown

May 2011

Toronto Comic Arts Festival

May 7-8th 2011

Gamercamp

November 13-14, 2010

Fan Expo

Aug 28, 2010

Nuit Blanche at TIFF Bell Lightbox

October 2, 2010

InterAccess

June -September, 2010

Function 13

May, 2010

Toronto Comic Arts Festival

May 8-9, 2010

Flash In The Can

April 24-27, 2010

Canzine Artcade

November 1, 2009

Want a Torontron at your next event?

Torontron Patrons

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Toronto’s co-working space is a warm and frequent host to the Torontrons.