Arcades in the 80’s, before consoles

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I haven’t been to the Chinatown Arcade in since I moved back, but a few years ago when I went, it was like stepping into a time machine, back to the arcades of the 80’s. I love that nostalgic sound of a quarter getting slapped down on the glass. It only seemed like yesterday, the excitement I felt claiming my position in line to challenge the winner, even though I knew I would get my ass kicked like usual! Anyways, I digress…

At the Chinatown Arcade people still gather around exciting games watching and cheering on players. The spectator role here is pretty significant. How many places are like this nowadays? (Maybe at street basketball games? W4th Street?) I am sure there are regulars who reign. The meta-game (one of the things I will refer to often) here is rich!

I remember in the 80’s in Tokyo, before consoles got popular and people started to stay inside to play games, there were huge, lavish arcades packed with people around the city. My sis and I would go play our favorite — the multi player racing car games — the stations would always be surrounded by people watching and waiting to play. I haven’t seen a crowd like that around arcade games since!