DSM Arcade: bringing people together with gaming cabinets

What started as a single gaming cabinet in Dan Fessler’s basement for him and his friends has grown into something he hopes will help bring about social gatherings, DSM Arcade.

Started in January, DSM Arcade is a company that collaborates with indie developers and local artists to make one-of-a-kind gaming cabinets. DSM Arcade works directly with independent game developers to bring their creations to the arcade scene.

“I was at UpDown in Kansas City and they have a game called Killer Queen and in a matter of minutes I was interacting with nine other people I wouldn’t have talked to at all otherwise,” said Fessler. “That was this big awakening for me showing what these arcade games can do in a social setting.”

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Switch N’ Shoot Arcade Cabinet. Photo Courtesy of DSM Arcade.

DSM Arcade’s flagship product is Switch N’ Shoot, an arcade shooter with one button that turns your ship and fires your guns at the same time. Switch ‘N’ Shoot is currently on sale to game bars, arcades and individual buyers for $2800.

The Switch N’ Shoot cabinet can be found at the Beer Hall in Valley Junction and Analog in Davenport.

Fessler is currently in talk with Des Moines Social Club about getting a Chasing Birds into their location and hopes to have it there within the next few weeks.

Working with local talent

Every DSM Arcade cabinet Fessler builds himself by hand and all of the artwork on the cabinets are painted by local artists.

So far, Fessler has worked with Gustav, a Des Moines based art collaboration created by local artists, Scott Kaven and Ben Schuh.

“From the beginning I wanted to work with local artists to highlight the cool stuff they’re doing and create some really eye-catching designs,” said Fessler.