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 Both historical reference and mobile gallery for our nascent art form, a Torontron challenges you to stand up and approach it, to engage with it, to do your best in front of friends and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, Belgium, New Zealand, ItalyNew YorkAustraliaPittsburghChicagoShanghai, Austin, and Oakland. If you know of other active cabinets please drop us a line!

There’s a world map of the Spread of the Indie Arcade Cabinet.

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.

Current Exhibit: Curious Cabinets, Summer 2017


Curious Cabinets is a free 1-month exhibit devoted to the exploration of video game arcade hardware and public play.  A collaboration between the Hand Eye Society, Electric Perfume, and Spritebox Arcade with funding from the Toronto Arts Council., the exhibit will feature seven games created for two custom arcade machines — the One-Button Torontron and the SpriteBox.

The exhibit will kick off with an all-ages launch event which will feature presentations by the game artists about their creative process, a peek inside the technical aspects of both machines, and the chance to interact and play the featured games. Also, remember to bring a small trinket, memento, candy, or other curiosity to activate the SpriteBox: It has been modified to accept any small object (max 2 inches) instead of quarters!


Sunday July 9
1 to 4 PM
Electric Perfume (805 Danforth Ave., steps away from Pape Station)
Facebook Event RSVP

Free/PWYC. All ages. Light food.

Thank you to TOJamVector Festival and Maker Festival for cross-promoting this event! Please check out our community partners for more maker and media arts of all kinds.


The Cabinets



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: Tract 9


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: May Restaurant


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: The Storefront Theatre

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


November 13-14, 2010

Fan Expo

Aug 28, 2010

Nuit Blanche at TIFF Bell Lightbox

October 2, 2010


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

Know of a great space for a Torontron?

Torontron Patrons

Enterprise CarShare provides the vehicles that gets the Torontrons around.

Factor donated a half dozen old computers to keep the Torontrons humming.