GREENVILLE — Doug’s Arcade in downtown Greenville has rebranded. According to an announcement on the store’s Facebook page posted January 17, the business will now be known as Doug’s Electronics.
According to owner Doug Barger, the change is more than just a cosmetic one.
“I’m basically closing the arcade down,” Barger said. “I’ve been doing electronics for 25 years, but the reason I want to rebrand myself is that a lot of people really don’t know that. So I wanted to bring that to the forefront, that I’m doing repair work. Basically antiques and electronics, things like that. Tube radios, record players, cell phone screens. That kind of stuff.”
Barger’s storefront on South Broadway, next to The Merchant House, will remain open, but will now serve as a location for Darke County residents to bring their old electronics, including arcade games, pinball machines, antique radios, and old Victrolas, to be repaired and restored. Barger also plans to buy and restore old jukeboxes and other such items himself, then offer them for sale at the newly rebranded shop.
Barger’s current stable of arcade games will still be available for play, however. Just not in their traditional location.
“My machines aren’t disappearing,” Barger said. “Instead, they’re going to be in different local venues, like The Merchant House. It seems like the combination of food and games works, so I’m not actually selling my machines. But you’re going to see them scattered throughout Greenville, and then the shop here is going to just focus on repair work.”
Barger also wants to use the extra space at the arcade, once available to rent for birthday parties and so on, to host free electronics and computer programming classes. In fact, he’d like to start what he calls a physical computing club, where he’d teach local residents his unique brand of electronics expertise.
New technicians, according to Barger, are taught to manipulate high-level software programs and programming languages, without necessarily understanding the base-level coding required to make it all work.While a newer technician may learn how to use a software program to send commands to a robotic arm, for instance, Barger wants to teach students how to write the programming that actually tells the robotic arm how to execute those commands in the first place.
“We’re also going to have a little hobby store in the front,” Barger said. “With electronics kits and things like that for sale. And if you buy a kit from me, I’ll periodically hold classes where I teach you how to assemble it. And those classes don’t cost anything.”
Finally, Barger is also willing to do computer programming for hire, having written accounting and inventory software for previous employers like Fowler’s TV in St. Mary’s, Ohio and Auto Trader in Middletown.
“I’m the last of the old technicians,” Barger said of his repair and programming background. “There’s no more like me out there. Everybody else that’s coming out in this industry is being taught differently, and doing different things. But I still have these skills, and I think they’re still valuable.”
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