-Drawing using minigolf pencil & score card (and coworker feedback)
Remembering my job as a ride attendant there, I wanted to do a nostalgic picture post of SportsWorld Indoor Amusement Park and Arcade (located in spirit at Paramus NJ), but any evidence that it ever existed seems to have disappeared… via Google at least (save for 4 images.)
-Front face of the building. Colors are right, but not 100% this is “my” SportsWorld.
I’m pretty bummed about this. I mean, Sportsworld was quite a ‘happenin’ place, and there was nothing really like it nearby (besides smaller arcades and Six Flags.) So, I know it’s been 6 years since its closure; I’ve dealt with driving by what had became the new Raymour & Flanigan store instead of SW every time I visited home from college. Not being able to drop in, see familiar faces (and most importantly) play arcade games was depressing. I’m way past grieving the loss of LaserTron and the Venturer Simulator. But what gets me today is how there are virtually NO RECORDS of it (that I can find) online. Videos. Pictures. Articles? Nothing, really.
-Here is a picture of their now offline website. YES.
I suppose I’m spoiled by things like Tumblr too often scratching that nostalgia itch to accept that such a place has ZERO online presence (images, maybe a birthday video here n there… nothing.) With cameras everywhere and in every device, along with the ease and encouragement to share everything, it seems bizarre that Sportsworld wasn’t heavily captured before its demise. I guess it just missed this more recent technological/social change of “capture everything that is shiny forever.” Thanks to sites like The Facebook, we are nowhere near as uptight about sharing our pics/vids, overall information, as we were not so long ago. More recently, it’s not great but I accept Google’s rummaging through my personal correspondence as a willing customer. I can’t imagine I’d even consider allowing that 5+ years back, though the methods and means weren’t quite there yet, I’m sure. I LOVE YOU GOOGLE I LOVE
-LaserTron. Fog on your clothes, lasers in your eyes. Working LaserTron was like being on the set of the shittiest 80’s SciFi movie 8+ hours a day. A W E S O M E
Anyway, it just kinda freaked me out as to how much has changed in that time. Were Sportsworld closed yesterday, I’d absolutely have at least 3 more pictures to post… »>Actually, I did have some pictures taken with friends… I tried to dig up an old high school Yahoo! Group to unearth photos I KNEW were there, but like my horrendous GeoCities site, the group was nowhere to be found. :(
-WonderWorld: For in case your kid prefers crying alone in a tube… Seriously, nut up. THIS IS SPORTSWORLD, HOME OF DDR CHAMPIONS
Despite not finding much evidence of the ‘World, I’ll always have a place for it in my heartbrain. Because!, besides being an exciting and fun place to be, being a ride attendant there gave me a lot…. Good coworkers. Countless fun arcade moments (TMNT, Simpsons, XMen, etc.) Excellent bumper car skills. A love for pinball. The ability to YELL AT CHILDREN. The ability to recognize shoddy materials in toys. A certainty that I don’t like crowds or loud music. Which is why…
Miniature Golf was my thing. Everyone knew that. William does Golf. And I loved being there, it offered a peace and quiet which could be found nowhere else in the kiddie-packed facility. It was a great echo chamber for thinking the thoughts. Reading, writing and drawing. I got to kiss my high school gf back there. It also gave me my own humiliating “ghost experience” to share.
-Drawing on 3x5 score card. WORSE was my fake band name
I’d detail any further history but nothing much is posted online… just notices of it closing and being turned into a furniture store. Do beds count as rides?
Via some shitty site, since SportsWorld’s official site is now Japanese:
(Sportsworld was…) A total indoor amusement park, featuring the action packed state-of-the-art laser tag game, LaserTron, Venturer Simulator Motion Theater with 8 exciting programs to choose from, and the Multi Sport Stadium with 5 exciting sports and 10 challenging games. For children ages 3-6, they also feature Wonder World, a riding, climbing, sliding, swinging colorful maze. There are over 200 rides, games, miniature golf, bowling, bumper cars, and much more. Corporate parties, birthday parties, fundraisers, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs are available.
After 15 years in business, Sportsworld suddenly shut its door February 12, 2006. The reason stated that profits were down and maintenance on video games became too costly and time consuming.
At least I now have amazing bumper car skills for life.
(NOT OFFICIAL SPORTSWORLD PICTURE. POST IS OVER.)