Arcadepreservation Wiki
Arcadepreservation Wiki
Bailey's Video Arcade

One of the Bailey's Video Arcade entrance signs.

Years active 1983-?
Number of games Several dozen
Located U. S. A.
Status Unknown


Joysticks was a 1983 American comedy about a game room in a town called River City. The movie covered the activities of several of the game room's regulars and a local businessman who is intent on shutting the place down.

The fictional game room in the movie was called Bailey's Video Arcade, which had several dozen video and pinball machines.

The arcade in general[]

Bailey's Video Arcade had only been open for business for a little over six months during the course of the film. It is unknown exactly how many games it housed, although it did seem to have several dozen. The games ran on tokens.

Extras of the game room included a concession stand with snacks and drinks (the latter of which had been known, at times, to be offered for free via the manager with a purchase of $5 or more) and video game tournaments and private parties were held.

Owner, employees and clientele[]

From left to right, Jefferson Bailey, Eugene Groebe, and Jonathan Andrew McDorfus.

The owner of the game room was a person only mentioned as to being "grandpa George", who was out of town during the majority of the movie, only showing up during the last several minutes of the film. His grandson, Jefferson Bailey, was the acting manager for at least several days while his grandfather was away. Jefferson quit playing video games due to a traumatic incident when he was caught in bed with his girlfriend by her father, who yanked her out and they moved away, although he would later be coaxed back into playing games during a tournament by employee Eugene Groebe in order for the game room to not be closed down.

Groebe appeared to be the only other employee, who started his very first work day at the game room when the movie begins. His duties included tending to the concession stand, cleaning the games and making sure there weren't any objectionable patrons present. (He also had what he thought was an official duty of checking a van of suspicious activity on his second day of work in the parking lot of the game room, although that was a joke played on him by Bailey and a regular named Jonathan Andrew McDorfus, as the latter two knew ahead of time the couple in the van were just having sex.)

McDorfus seemed to have a promising academic career, as he was class president at his school. A year later though, he wound up being unrecognizable by Groebe due to his severe weight gain, being constantly unshaven and wearing the exact same clothes for several days. (He was also known to pass gas, usually to the disgust of those around him.) McDorfus attributed blame of all this being due to "video games", as he was known as to being the best player at Bailey's Video Arcade, as he scored nearly a million points on Pac-Man at one point, along with totally walloping another regular known as King Vidiot at a game of Satan's Hollow during a tournament, even when he let his first two blasters get destroyed before he finally started seriously playing.

King Vidiot (center).

Vidiot always wore makeup, dressed in punk attire (with spikes and leather) and would always be accompanied by a group of "subjects" (as he called them) that never spoke, but walked around while making noises and flapping their arms. He was known as an occasional troublemaker who would later turn against Jefferson Bailey and tried to get the game room closed. He also participated in two gaming tournaments that were held, both of which he lost. He claimed to dislike offices, chairs and doors, but on the flip side, he had a bit of an affinity for hanging out in public restrooms.

Alva and Lola are two local college females that employed a wild side, due to exposing themselves several times, although one time was in order to gain acceptance into a sorority via taking a photo of Groebe with his pants down. They were often seen hanging out with Bailey at the game room.

Patsy Rutter is the daughter of local businessman Joseph Rutter, who frequently went to the game room against her father's wishes, due to having a crush on Bailey. She was known to enjoy games of Galaxian, had at least two male cousins, and always talked in a "Valley Girl"-type delivery.

Joseph Rutter, although not a paying patron/playing participant, frequently stopped by Bailey's Video Arcade to denounce it and the people who played its games, which his visits usually ended with him yanking Patsy out of the establishment. He deemed the game room and the activities that occurred within its walls as to being immoral and tried to get the local mayor to shut it down, although most of the controversies of the place he invented himself (see next section).

Max and Arnie are cousins of Patsy that usually accompanied Joseph Rutter during his frequent trips to the game room. Although Max once professed to enjoying Ms. Pac-Man at one point, they tried to please their uncle Joseph with his wish to close down the game room once and for all, as they donned disguises and snuck into the place at one point to try to figure out a way to accomplish this. They concluded that they could break in and steal all the games, but their plot was foiled, as the games were stolen right back by Jefferson and several patrons.


A shot inside the arcade.

Over the period of a few days, a game room patron threatened Arnie with a knife, Lola and Alva were caught topless with John Rutter on the premises, and a couple were caught having sex in a van in the parking lot. However, Bailey's Video Arcade did not seem to have much criminal or suspicious activity that occurred for the most part.

During a city council meeting where Rutter once more tried to coax the local mayor into shutting down the game room for good, he attempted to paint the place in a bad light, claiming it had frequent immoral activity that went on, such as one evening at the establishment where, during a private party, several minors were in their nightgowns. He also employed Vidiot and his gang to storm the place with a bunch of pocket motorcycles at one point, staged a protest against the game room (which he later denied having anything to do with) and insinuated that he would report Bailey to local inspectors for finding a dead rat in the kitchen (although it was never made clear if Rutter actually did find or planted the rat himself).

A local nurse also present at the city council meeting testified of germs being spread from arcade cabinets and controls, as well as gamers complaining of soreness and other video game-related maladies. A local coach also attested of most of his players spending too much time playing games rather than concentrating on sports.

The meeting ended with the mayor stating that, since there was no evidence of any laws being broken, the game room could remain open for business.

Known games[]

  • Burger Time
  • Centipede
  • Defender
  • Front Line
  • Galaga
  • Galaxian
  • Gorf
  • Millipede
  • Moon Patrol
  • Mr. and Mrs. Pac-Man (pinball)
  • Ms. Pac-Man
  • Pac-Man
  • Pole Position
  • Pooyan
  • Satan's Hollow
  • Scramble
  • Solar Fox
  • Space Invaders Deluxe
  • Stargate
  • Streaking
  • Super Pac-Man


  • Galaxian was mentioned during the first part of the film, but a cab was never seen.
  • Streaking was kept in a private room in the back when it first arrived in the arcade. It is unknown if it was later added to the arcade, due to its nudity.

This arcade was featured in November, 2014.