By Rmack 3 Comments
The last arcade in my area has officially closed, and at the worst time possible. I don' t think many people understand how much I was looking forward to going back to my old stomping grounds just to play Street Fighter IV. Seriously, I know I'm in my twenties and I'm talking about this as if I were twelve, but dammit, arcades were like my Christmas; they made me feel like a kid again.
Albeit now a slightly scruffier, drunker kid.
Quite a bit of my childhood was spent in arcades, putting quarters up on the machine and waiting to get my ass kicked kids in their teens when I was in my...sevens. It was all part of the experience. You know how I finally learned how to do Sub-Zero's fatality? The kid next to me told me. What about the time I figured out that Akira was actually the strongest character in Virtua Fighter, and I just sucked with him? The expansion of my vocabulary is also due in part to arcade patrons; button mashing, turtling (get your mind out of the gutter), and buffering all entered my zeitgeist.
I was also introduced to glitches, infinite combos, and chain throws. Those were pretty painful. Not to mention finally finding a King Of Fighters machine and coming to the horrible realization that getting good at those games were going to take a lot more time, effort, and tokens. Good old tokens.
What makes the closing of this arcade even sadder (it's Good Times in Somerville, MA, if anyone in the area is interested) is that it wasn't even considered a "true" (for lack of a better term) arcade. It was basically a bar that held some local concerts, wrestling, and showed PPV events for a cover charge. It just happened to have a very large arcade where parents could drop their kids off while they got to drinking and eating horrible pizza while yelling at the Patriots. It was sleazy, unsafe, and in the worst area it could have possibly been located.
I'm going to miss it.