I miss the old fashioned arcades. I remember walking into the old where house type buildings with the neon lights everywhere, posters and cardboard standees pasted all over the walls. The arcade I frequented a lot was called the SPACE STATION. It was laid out in much the same way a lot of the bigger arcades were. When you walk into the Main Entrance, you were immediately assaulted with the screams of the 5 and 6 year olds playing Wack-A-Mole and and riding the shaking rocket ship, trying to win enough tickets to trade for that really cool toy behind the counter. There was the average assortment of ticket winning type games like Skee Ball, Hoops, and the afore mentioned Whack-A-Mole various other games of "skill" for the preteen set. There were even a couple of pinball games that gave out tickets for those adults and teens that wanted to earn tickets. There was a room off to the left that held some of "retro" games like the stand up version of Pong, the Original Pac-Man, Breakout and Super Breakout, Joust oh how I remember Joust and my personal favorite Gauntlet (this was also the smoking room). But just beyond that room, actually on the outside wall of that room, was what most of us came for. There were two
large (about 6ft. by 6ft) projector screens that had the newest additions to the arcade wired into them. We used to stand in line to play them. The more popular games you actually had to pay for in advance at the counter and wait to be called over the intercom. This of course was so you could go spend money on the other games that filled the rest of the space in the building, while waiting your turn that could be more than an hour after you paid for your game! I remember the first time I walked in and there was a huge crowd gathered around the big screens. You had to walk around the Retro room to see what was on the screens, but you could see the crowd from the door. I walked over, turned around and there in front of me almost life size was this guy in a white karate gee and a green monster man facing off in a fight. The monster man pulsed with electricity and the karate guy shot a ball of flame at him. It was awesome. This was the first time I had ever seen Street Fighter and I think seeing it life size was what made me fall in love with it for the first time. Finally a fighting game I could get into. My friends and I played for hours the Space Station had to buy more units to keep up. Even with five cabinets, there were still always lines for that game for the longest time. I remember I met most of my childhood friends at arcades or in the game rooms, at theaters and restaurants. Hell, even dept. stores used to have video games in the entrance areas before they discovered that they could use that space for more product and advertising space. I miss those days. There was a pizza place across the st. and a movie theater next door that showed previously run movies for just a dollar and a penny. It was owned by a radio staiton that was 100.1 on the F.M. dial and the price was part of the gimmick. Any way we could hang out from morning till dusk on that block. Now none of those places exist any more the only thing vaguely the same is the theater except now it's a restaurant that caters to yuppie scum and preppy types, but it still plays movies on 2 of the screens. I'm not sure why I'm writing this. maybe I just wanted D-toid to know a little of my video game history, or maybe I just wanted to reminisce. Or maybe I'm just feeling a little old and out of place in time right now. I know my thoughts tend to jump around a little, I kind of stream-of-consciousness write as I think, with little or no editing. Any way, now you now a little more about a fellow D-toider. Hope you enjoyed the read.