Relic From ScrewAttack, a Former Gaming Media Giant, Goes on Sale

This custom arcade cabinet was a gift given at one of the many ScrewAttack Gaming conventions held in Dallas for the gaming media giant.
This custom arcade cabinet was a gift given at one of the many ScrewAttack Gaming conventions held in Dallas for the gaming media giant. JyDonn Griffith
If you scroll through Facebook's Marketplace, you're bound to find a bunch of used video game arcade machines and cabinets on sale, but a recent offering by a seller in Lewisville caught our eye.

It's larger and wider than your average gaming cabinet, and it's definitely unique. It has two joysticks and a set of buttons and even two sets of light guns for shooter games. It's also covered in doodles and signatures  — presumably from the people who've played it — and its title card calls it the ScrewAttack Arcade.

ScrewAttack refers to a groundbreaking gaming media company based in Dallas that operated from 2006-2019. It organized one of the biggest virtual gaming communities through its website and put together massive gatherings such as the annual ScrewAttack Gaming Convention (SGC). The Dallas company also launched the careers of gaming fan media giants like the Death Battle animated series and the Angry Video Game Nerd. 

click to enlarge
Yep, it's covered in doodles.
JyDonn Griffith
"That was kind of a thing we did at SGC, a piece of furniture that people who came to the event would sign," says Craig Skistimas, the co-founder of ScrewAttack, who also founded the Game Attack channel and hosts The CraigSkitz Podcast. "We had this refrigerator one year at the Game Attack office. People would sign it and put whatever they wanted on it. There [were] a lot of dicks."

Skistimas says the arcade cabinet was given to ScrewAttack at an SGC gathering in 2013 by some fans who wanted to start their own arcade cabinet business. They built a custom cabinet for the company as a thank you gift.

"From there, I took it back to our office for several years, and after I left ScrewAttack to start Game Attack, ScrewAttack moved down to Austin and since it was a gift to me, I held on to it," he says.

Skistimas left Game Attack a couple of months ago to focus on the podcast. He says he had no room for the game, "so I left it with my Game Attack co-founder Shaun Bolen."

ScrewAttack built an impressive gaming media community and company. It offered unique game-themed shows created by fans — and eventual employees — who gained a following among the "G1s," the term for ScrewAttack's most dedicated fan followers.

"It's a really cool thing and an awesome gift," Skistimas says. "It's one of those things I'd like to keep but I just didn't have room for it."

ScrewAttack was acquired in 2013 by Fullscreen Media and within three months of the acquisition, a huge investment made by AT&T into the Austin-based gaming media company Rooster Teeth led to another acquisition of ScrewAttack. The brand was shut down in 2019 and refocused on the popular Death Battle show.

Skistimas says seeing the cabinet brought back a flood of memories about ScrewAttack's salad days and the foundation it helped build for online gaming content beyond basic reviews and game retrospectives.

"At the time, we didn't understand the impact it was having, and now that I can take a step back, you can play the Kevin Bacon game with it," Skistimas says. "Pretty much every content creator in the game space either got their start on ScrewAttack or they were friends with someone who got their start at ScrewAttack." 
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Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.