Brookfield residents might be surprised to hear the village is home to a bona fide Hall of Famer, someone renowned and celebrated both nationally and internationally.
On Jan. 16, the International Video Game Hall of Fame presented Brookfield’s own Doc Mack – owner of Galloping Ghost Arcade and other related businesses on Ogden Avenue – with its Community Action Award at the SixtySix Games eSports Tournament in downstate Bloomington.
Mack had been officially inducted into the Hall of Fame at the organization’s 2019 induction ceremony last October in Ottumwa, Iowa – the unlikely but long-accepted “Video Game Capital of the World.”
“It’s very humbling that people enjoy what we do to that level, to where they would give us such an accolade,” said Mack during an interview in his office at the Galloping Ghost Productions office, located a few blocks east of the videogame arcade on Ogden Avenue. “It’s not just something that I did. The people I work with are what make it all really happen.”
Mack started Galloping Ghost Productions in 1994 when he was just 18 years old to create a game called Dark Presence, and ever since that quest – and all things related to video gaming – have consumed him.
He’s an international arcade game evangelist, who by his own count has helped 32 arcades open worldwide. Mack is also a voracious collector and savior of some of the rarest specimens in existence.
Mack is also dedicated to making sure his heroes – the videogame designers and artists of the 1980s and 1990s – receive their due: Guys like Brian Colin, who Mack describes as an industry legend and whose unfinished game Spectre File: The Death Stalker Mack’s production company finally made a reality three decades after it was mothballed.
Mack hired Colin to Galloping Ghosts staff and worked side by side with him to get the project finished. Now the game can be found in dozens of video arcades across the nation.
Last October, it was Colin who introduced Mack at his Hall of Fame induction.
Videogame designer Chris Tang has lauded Mack and Galloping Ghost for saving and making available to the public the game Primal Rage II, which Tang had designed for Atari in the 1990s and was crushed when it was canceled and then apparently lost to posterity.
Tang hadn’t seen the game for 20 years when in 2014 Mack announced on Facebook that he’d acquired a Primal Rage II prototype and was putting the game out on the Galloping Ghost Arcade floor for the public to play.
The game is so rare people make pilgrimages to play it, said Mack, including a couple who hitchhiked from Oregon to do just that.
In 2017, when Tang was inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame, he asked Mack to make the introduction due to his influence in making the once-presumed-lost Primal Rage II a phenomenon.
“Videogames have been my life since I was a kid, and to be inducted into something where I get to stand next to guys Brian Colin and Warren Davis [designer for the game Q*Bert], who have made all these great games, it’s an unbelievable honor.” Mack said. “I get the ability to do everything I love doing. I see it make people happy and create good times. That in itself is so satisfying, but to be recognized for and put in the Hall of Fame next to these guys that made all these games, and great players, it’s mind-blowing.”
Galloping Ghost Arcade, 9415 Ogden Ave., which celebrates a decade in business this year, now boasts more than 750 games – not counting the 40 vintage, rare and classic pinball games over at Galloping Ghost Pinball Arcade at 9211 Ogden Ave.