It’s time for another round of Timeless Thoughts, a monthly blog link-up hosted by Georgie and me. This month is being hosted by Georgie, so head over to her blog and join up by submitting your post to the widget at the end of Georgie’s entry! This link-up is opened for two weeks, and your entry can be about anything you find unforgettable from your past or present! It can be an object, an event, a person — anything goes — and you can have more than one thing you miss. For this month, here’s what I’ve been missing lately!
My parents bowled in bowling leagues, so growing up I spent a lot of times at the bowling alley. While they bowled, I’d read, play with other kids who were there, and play arcade games. Of the three options, playing arcade games was probably my favourite thing to do in the bowling alley. Back then, the bowling alley had a ton of arcade games, and if I wasn’t playing them at the bowling alley, I’d also play them at the food court and the hotel on base. Let’s just say I had immense fun with button mashing in games like Mortal Kombat, playing shooting games like House of the Dead, and pinballing with games like Rescue 911.
I vividly remember playing Pac-Man. I was four or five, and I recall my parents giving me a quarter or two so I could play the game. I was fascinated with video games since. I never could play Pac-Man well, nor is it a game I actually like, but it introduced me to a world of video games and I haven’t looked back since.
The only problem was, as a kid, I didn’t have the funding I have as an adult, so getting the money to play the games required me to beg and plead for those quarters! Normally my parents only gave me like $2.00 worth of quarters, but I always wanted those $10.00 roll of quarters! Those thing meant hours of gaming for me, but I hardly ever received those. I think I received three or four rolls in my childhood. To me, those rolls were precious!
The bowling alley, food court, and the hotel no longer have those arcades, but there are the Korean ones off-base. However, with home consoles and handheld consoles, I don’t go to arcades any more. In a way I don’t miss them much because of the games I have now, but I miss what they represented for me as child and how the physical arcade machines feel. Things like pinball machines are better when you have the actual machine in front of you for the entire tangible experience. You can hear and feel when the balls collide into all the obstacles in the machine. The 8-bit music of those games has a charming quality to it. There’s all the buttons to push and the joysticks to twist and turn. I miss that, and I’m not the only one apparently. My boss was telling me that she saw a Pac-Man arcade machine at the bowling alley in another base, and while her kids bowled, she played the game, which made her feel so nostalgic! She told me this event, and that’s what inspired me to finally pick a topic for this month’s Timeless Thoughts column!
Did you play arcade games? What were some of the ones you enjoyed playing? Do you still go to arcades? Share your experiences with me in the comments!