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Button Mash
Photograph: Courtesy Button Mash

One-up your quarantine with Button Mash’s new fundraising gamer kits

Stephanie Breijo

One of L.A.’s best arcade bars is running short on lives and it needs our help. Button Mash is an Echo Park institution that’s just as beloved for its creative bar bites and beer selection as it is its dozens of pinball and old-school arcade games. Like many L.A. restaurants and bars right now, it has a fundraiser going on to help employees stay afloat. But of course, this is Button Mash we’re talking about, so this fundraiser is all fun and games.

Local video game and vinyl shop iam8bit collaborated with L.A. artists, animators and video-game creators to put together “Button Mash quarantine boredom packs,” and all of the proceeds benefit the arcade bar’s staff. 

There are five levels of quarantine packs, and each comes filled with ways to cure your boredom, be it coloring books, video games, recipes from Button Mash’s Starry Kitchen, digital comics or rare zines. To top it all off and get you excited about visiting the funky stalwart when it reopens, each level also includes game tokens that you can use when this is all over.

Packs range in price—from $25 to $1,000—and while some of these quarantine packages are in unlimited supply, ones with rarer items have as few as eight available. It’s one of the more creative and colorful fundraisers we’ve seen so far, and a great way to support Button Mash, which is still open for delivery and takeout (plus wine and beer sales) from Friday to Sunday.

“The incredible staff at Button Mash, many of whom have been there since opening night, have been serving us for years,” the iam8bit team says on the fundraiser’s site. “They’ve been there for us—and now it’s time for us to step up for them. During this global pandemic, they need our help. Button Mash had to lay off almost their entire operating staff—hosts, servers, bartenders, kitchen team, etc.—retaining just a skeleton crew, and barely making ends meet, to service weekend deliveries. We don’t mean to sound grim, but without your help, Button Mash, a neighborhood favorite for so many, might not be around in a few months. The time is now to act!”

Here’s a breakdown of each kit, available for purchase here through April 22, so you can get to saving both Button Mash and your sanity while in quarantine:

LEVEL 1 - $25 (Unlimited Available)

  • $5 in Button Mash arcade tokens (local L.A. redemption only)
  • Samurai Gunn Steam code (Scrambler)
  • Button Mash recipes by Starry Kitchen
  • Button Mash digital coloring book by Joseph Harmon ft. Amanda Visell
  • iam8bit 20% OFF coupon (for future purchase, not applicable for pre-order product)

LEVEL 2 - $50 (Unlimited Available)

  • $10 in Button Mash arcade tokens (local L.A. redemption only)
  • Iron Brigade Steam code (Double Fine Productions)
  • Stacking Steam code (Double Fine Productions)
  • Hyper Light Drifter Steam code (Heart Machine)
  • ABZÛ game original soundtrack (Austin Wintory)
  • A Guide to Dogs digital comic (Jon Vermilyea)
  • Cat Agent digital comic (Kent Osbourne)
  • Ménestrel digital comic (Valentin Seiche)
  • Plus all rewards from Level 1 (excluding tokens)

LEVEL 3 - $100 (Unlimited Available)

  • $20 in Button Mash arcade tokens (local L.A. redemption only)
  • Costume Quest Steam code (Double Fine Productions)
  • The Banner Saga Trilogy original game soundtrack (Austin Wintory)
  • Journey original game soundtrack (Austin Wintory)
  • A Fine Day to Be digital comic (Jon Vermilyea)
  • J+K: Eggy’s Party digital comic (John Pham)
  • Plus all rewards from Level 1 and 2 (excluding tokens)

LEVEL 4 - $500 (8 Available)

  • Unlimited Button Mash arcade tokens for one night (local L.A. redemption only)
  • One (1) random *RARE* Steven Universe collectible physical zine
  • Plus all rewards from Level 1, 2, and 3 (excluding tokens)

LEVEL 5 - $1,000 (15 Available)

  • Unlimited Button Mash arcade tokens for one night (local L.A. redemption only)
  • Plus all rewards from Level 1, 2, and 3 (excluding tokens)
  • Receive at random one (1) of below:
    • Steven Universe set of three collectible physical zines (*SUPER DUPER RARE*)
    • Personalized drawing by Chris Prynoski, founder of animation studio Titmouse (Big MouthThe Midnight GospelIndivisible)
    • Personalized Family Guy portrait ft. Stewie or Peter by show director Greg Colton

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