Ground Kontrol is a bar and video arcade in Portland, Oregon, United States. Recognized as one of the best arcades in the US it is known for preserving games from the Golden Age of Video Arcade Games. It also serves as a venue for DJs, live bands and Rock Band events. Also of note is its collection of 28 pinball tables. Ground Kontrol is meant to be a social experience blending the hard core and casual gamer with video games and pinball machines both new and old.
Notable events[edit | edit source]
A high score competition was held jointly at Ground Kontrol, Aftershock RetroGames Arcade in Madison, Wisconsin and the Houston Area Arcade Group Expo in Houston, Texas in June 2004. Twin Galaxies maintained the results of the competitions for world record consideration.
"Slugfest" is a fighting game tournament sponsored by and held at Ground Kontrol featuring a rotating selection of fighting games in a head-to-head elimination tournament.
On September 2, 2008, Ground Kontrol hosted a launch party for Rock Band 2 in conjunction with Liquid Development and Someday Lounge. Attended by developers from Harmonix Music Systems, it provided a preview of the game ten days in advance of its official release.
The second annual Portland Pinbrawl pinball tournament was held at Ground Kontrol on April 18, 2010. Jeff Gagnon won the tournament, with 2009's winner Cayle George placing 5th. The number two ranked player in the US, Keith Elwin, finished 9th overall.
Ground Kontrol was the winner of three arcades competing in Stride (gum)'s "Save the Arcades 2" contest. The owners have said they plan to use the $25,000 prize to expand the upper floor and buy more games.
Music Selection[edit | edit source]
A sound system inside Ground Kontrol is used for background music. In the evening, local and visiting DJ's play different types of music varying by the day of the week. The sound system and stage is utilized for Rock Band Tuesdays which also serves to provide the music for that evening.
- Monday "Service Industrial Night", Industrial Music
- Tuesday "Rock Band Tuesdays", Various
- Wednesday "TRONix", Electronic Music
- Thursday "Second Variety", punk rock/rock/garage
- Friday "Journeys by DJ", hip-hop, electro, dub, dance and more
- Saturday "Reaganomix" 80s new wave music, pop and electro
- Sunday "Black Sunday", Heavy Metal Music
Recognition[edit | edit source]
Ground Kontrol was recognized in the "Best of the City" list for 2008 in Portland Monthly Magazine for Rock Band Tuesdays.  In July, 2010, Sunset Magazine included Ground Kontrol in the "Best of Portland: Hotels, Dining, and Attractions 2010" publication calling it the "Old Hot Spot" in Portland's Chinatown.
History[edit | edit source]
Since opening in 1999, Ground Kontrol has undergone several changes. The arcade was originally created and opened by Betty Farrier, and Kneel Cohn of the band The Dead Stars On Hollywood. In March 2003 it came under new ownership by Timewarp Incorporated. Also of note is the September 2004 move to a new location and the addition of a beer and wine bar in May 2005. Guitar Hero nights began in the summer of 2007 and switched to Rock Band on November 20, 2007, that game's release date.
The 2006 documentary film "High Score" features an interview with co-owner Anthony Ramos at Ground Kontrol.
References[edit | edit source]
- "Insert Coins Here: The Best Video Game Spots In The U.S.". Complex Magazine. August/September 2005.
- "The Coolest Arcades in America". Tips & Tricks. August 2007.
- Duerson, Adam (October/November 2004). "The Last Great American Arcades". Sync Magazine.
- Machado, Jessica (July 30, 2008). "Is it real ... or is it 'Rock Band'? Who cares?". The Oregonian. http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2008/07/is_it_real_or_is_it_rock_band.html. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
- NEX (May 27, 2007). "Ground Kontrol; the evolution of the traditional arcade (now with booze and sex)". www.destructoid.com. http://www.destructoid.com/ground-kontrol-the-evolution-of-the-traditional-arcade-now-with-booze-and-sex--31758.phtml. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
- "Classic Video Gaming Championships Across America". spyhunter007.com. March 30, 2006. http://spyhunter007.com/dodge_city_video_game_showdown.htm. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
- "Ground Kontrol: news coverage / interview on Fox 12". KPTV, a Meridith Corporation Station. June 4, 2006. http://www.classicarcadegaming.com/media/GKHighScores.htm. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
- Cavalli, Earnest (February 26, 2009). "Saturday! Street Fighter! Ground Kontrol! Nihilism?". The Portland Mercury. http://blogtown.portlandmercury.com/BlogtownPDX/archives/2009/02/26/saturday_street_fighter_grou. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
- Rock Band 2 Hits Ground Kontrol 10 Days Early. Portland Mercury (2008-08-28). Retrieved on 2008-10-04
- Carlin, Peter (September 9, 2009). "Video game and CD releases reignite Beatlemania in Portland". The Oregonian. http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/09/on_9909_the_beatles_once_again.html. Retrieved September 9, 2009.
- Pinball wizards converge on Ground Kontrol. KATU (2010-04-18). Retrieved on 2010-04-24
- Save the Arcade's 2. Stride (gum) (2010-04-21). Retrieved on 2010-04-24
- Barker, Brian (August, 2008). "Best of the City 2008". Portland Monthly Magazine. http://www.portlandmonthlymag.com/arts-and-entertainment/articles/0808-feature-best-of-city/7/. Retrieved March 14, 2009.
- "Best of Portland: Hotels, Dining, and Attractions 2010". Sunset Magazine. July, 2010. http://travelupdate.sunset.com/free-travel-guides/best-of-portland-hotels-dining-and-attractions-2010/. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
- Geigerich, Andy (March 10, 2000). "Captivated by retro games". Portland Business Journal. http://portland.bizjournals.com/portland/stories/2000/03/13/smallb1.html. Retrieved April 11, 2009.
- Kryza, Ap (December 11, 2000). "Through different eyes". The Seattle Times. http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20001211&slug=4055620. Retrieved October 20, 2008.
- Machado, Jessica (September 26, 2007). "Game On". Willamette Week. http://www.wweek.com/editorial/3346/9596/. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
- "HIGH SCORE a Documentary by Jeremy Mack". http://www.highscoremovie.com/.