Saturday, April 14, 2012

Remembering the 90s: Let's go to the arcade!

Continuing from the last post, where do I sneak off to when I ditch school? Being young and having no car my options were, well, pretty limited. I had to time my moves carefully so I don't get caught and the bus I take don't arrive back home late or else I'd have lotta explaining to do. Pretty much the only place I could go back then was the mall which on the bus was about a 20 min ride. I liked the mall actually, not the clothing stores no no I was a bonafide tomboy back in the day so such things were of no interest to me. I did lot of browsing in the bookstores and movie shops, but, most and foremost of all, the arcade.

As you can tell by some of the artworks I had posted here, from the time my mom bought us the Nintendo game console ( you know the very first 8-bit one) I became obsessed with video games. First with Super Mario Bros then the first arcade we went to were in Las Vegas since you know kids aren't allowed in the casino games I was exposed to plethora of machines with buttons and joysticks you use to move the little spritey heroes around the screen, I couldn't get enough of them. So much so that well my parents have had to restrain me ( long story not much fun ).

I can tell you the arcades now are not like it was back in my time. I remember generally the room was pretty dim ( the game screens provided for 90% of the lighting), and pretty stuffy too because all the machines were pretty packed in together and kids at times are so crowded around some of the machines. There were all sorts of people that came to play video games, not just kids but adults too. And they either played alone or with a friend or two, even with strangers. Back then everyone became like best friends teaming up together to take down the evil warlord and rescuing the princess in distress, didn't matter who you were just keep in tune with one another and you conquer the quest and a kindred spirit is born. And it's even more uplifting when there's a crowd behind you cheering you on. I remember how fun sometimes it was when me and my siblings would get together on some games and work as a unit. That is true quality family time.

That kind of camaraderie is what made arcade experience so memorable. Thanks to 9/11 the Internet and the ever fast moving advancement in digital paradise the arcade is now reduced to campy happy-boppy family friendly purgatory with games that literally suck you in to be part of the virtual world and far more like a tourist attraction than a utopia for the lost lonely boys ( and tomboys) who sought real physical companionship and innocent of all that now makes us fearful and wary of even our own friends. I don't get to see my own sibling in ways like when we'd be playing games anymore. True we all grow up and must move on, but it's that spark that makes us human, the need for physical and emotional contact, that is fast eroding. The world is ever changing, and in not so good, inhuman way.

I am so missing the arcade right now...

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