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REMEMBER THIS… Part 2.

Remember This… ‘Video Arcades’              Goddammit remember when quarters meant something and not just jingo-jango dancing around in your pockets? Going down to wherever the hell you knew had at least one cabinet and spending hours pounding on the buttons, unless you sucked or just had only change for one or two


Remember
This

‘Video Arcades’ 

            Goddammit
remember when quarters meant something and not just jingo-jango dancing around
in your pockets? Going down to wherever the hell you knew had at least one cabinet
and spending hours pounding on the buttons, unless you sucked or just had only
change for one or two dollars and those moments sucked ass because you always
thought “if I only had a few more dollars”?

            Remember
how there was always the pro-kid with a whole row of quarters lined up on the
screen, decimating every kid who entered the arena? The pro-kids were also the
go to people for all your video game info: new codes cheats, strategy or you were
just lazy and watched him beat the game so you could go back to school and brag
how you saw the ending before your friends did.

            Some
of you had video arcades in nice areas like Multiplexes, Laundromats, the Mall and
the others, which is fine. However, I like to remember all the places that had
games but were in places that kids shouldn’t be in, like pool halls, drug
fronts, and possible today – a Magic Johnson theater. 

            I and my friends would go
to any place we could. We knew where the SNK games were, were the Tekken games
were, Time Crisis, Street Fighter 2, Street Fighter Alpha; we had that shit
down like GPS. One of my favorite places was the Dominican pool hall on
147street, one of local spots to score ‘Charlie’. I liked it mostly
because it had SF Alpha II. (I didn’t become friends with Charlie till years
later).

            But,
in Manhattan you had options. During the 70’s & 80’s there was PLAYLAND in Hell’s Kitchen in the
heart of Times Square, a large space filled with every damn game you could think
of. Street kids, kids cutting class and kids who couldn’t even spell school
were there. You could even get a fake ID there and yes I had one and it served
me well for years. Another arcade was further downtown and has since changed its
feel but, I’m talking about CHINATOWN FAIR situated at the end of Mott Street.
It was dark and dank and on and weekends hustlers would bet rent money and possibly
win someone’s pay check over heated matches on the latest fighting games.
The local gangsters would venture in and there were some rules you never broke
like “don’t throw”. At one time they even had the infamous Tic-Tac-Toe playing chicken.

            The
arcade days were fun… remember?
Nowadays, you get so pissed off after some
douchebag kills you with a knife during C.O.D. … On the bright side
I will admit it is pretty damn fun now to be a sociopath on multiplayer these
days but, it was even more fun and memorable when you knew a tense vs session
could lead into the best donnybrook of the year.
            Alas
nowadays, these are just memories and not many of the great spots are left.
Chinatown Fair closed and recently reopened but, it’s friendlier and looks like
something for the random passerby in spite of the Street Fighter and DDR still
present. No, those days are over and we must accept our place in the present; screaming
at the top of our lungs and throwing empty ramen noodle containers at the
screen because, SwaGG187 called you lame.

             So what are your favorite memories of the video
arcade? Leave some yarns in the comment box. And remember UP, UP, DOWN, DOWN,
LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT and tap the rewind button.

           

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