The more I think about it the more thankful I am for having grown up at the period of time I did. I had the best cartoons for my childhood; Transformers, GI Joe, Ninja Turtles, and X-Men. I got to experience playing a Nintendo NES when it was still new and remember when the coolest computer game out was Oregon Trails, which everyone played at the school computer lab. For a nerd, I was born into the perfect generation.
Among all these things I’m thankful for I get the distinct honor of being able to say; yes I use to go to the Arcade. I’m not talking about the arcade imbedded in the movie theater or your local pizza joint with 4 or 5 games. I’m talking about a business dedicated solely to the purpose of arcade games. I remember the feeling of saving up my allowance money only to turn those crisp one dollar bills into quarters for the arcade gods to eat. One thing you learned in the arcade was that the better you were the farther your money went. The kids that were bad at arcade games would blow through their money in a matter of minutes, while someone good could take on challengers for hours.
I was never amazing at Street Fighter; this was one game that often left me watching more than playing. However enter Tekken. Tekken was a step far enough away from Street Fighter that being good at one didn’t automatically mean being good at another. Therefore I took it upon myself to use my school computer lab to look up all of the 10 hit combo’s for each character and commit them to memory. Believe it or not being the guy at the arcade that can pull off a 10 hit combo with 5 or 6 characters in one game makes you popular, and feared. My money started going a lot farther.
I may not have been a pinball wizard, but for a time I was a Tekken master. Time passed and as I love my friends I taught each one of them the ways of the 10 hit combo which lead to them passing me in skill. I became the teacher; often times telling them which combo to pull or what their opponent’s openings are at the arcade machine. I also made a few enemies that way. It would seem people don’t like you telling their opponent what their weaknesses are. Yes I got in more than one fight their too.
The arcade I use to go to has long since closed. I think it’s a furniture store now in fact. Most of the other arcades in the city I grew up are all closed. The only place I can think of with a decent sized arcade is the mini golf course. Like your parents get to reminisce about walking up the hill, both ways, in the snow on their way to school I too get to talk about being at the arcade. In a way I pity today’s gamers. They missed out on the Gamer Cultural Revolution by only a few years.