arcade

BRING BACK THE ARCADES AND THE SMOKE FILLED POOL HALLS

The image above may bring out a GASP in some of you – in others it will simply look like a pile of abandoned scrap. I fall firmly into the first group and almost felt a teardrop form as I glanced upon a graveyard full of my childhood. Growing up a child of the 80’s and early 90’s I had the chance to have the arcade experience while it was in full swing. You walk into a smokey room, your ears filled with the bloops and bleeps of the low quality audio from machines all around you – it was hard to decide where to start pumping in your quarters first. So many games worthy of play and yet so little time to get to all of them.

Sure you had your downsides during every trip as well but they were never able to dampen your spirits. The dickish kid with the stack of quarters from parents that didn’t feel like spending time with him hogging your favorite machine all day. The kid jumping up and down stomping his feet and crying for more quarters blocking out any bit of hearing you had left while you were in the middle of a boss battle. The guy behind the counter that looked at you just a little too longingly. Alright, that last one might have just been an experience I had – but you get the picture. Nothing anyone could say or do short of pull the power cords out of the wall could keep your spirits down while you gamed. It was a glorious time to be a kid.

A few years later as a part of growing up most young people is when you discover the smokey pool halls that might as well serve as dungeons under some shady establishment that you can only get to down a rickety flight of stairs and through a security door.

Who wouldn’t want to get kidnapped and possibly killed somewhere like this? As a young person you feel like this is your ticket to freedom. “I’m going to play pool, mom. Be back in a few hours.” Going to the pool hall in most cases felt as if you were breaking some rule that you weren’t supposed to be breaking when the grim reality was you were just breaking common sense for your own safety. If your local pool hall establishment was anything like mine you had all sorts of characters that you wouldn’t want sharing the same room with your kid.

From the jukebox in the corner playing Whitesnake half the night to the sharks gulping up smaller fish left and right and taking their next-day’s lunch money it was an atmosphere all it’s own similar to the other worldly feeling you got when you stepped inside an arcade. From the rise of home game consoles to the ban in most cities on indoor smoking and just a rise in personal common sense – many factors have played into the death of arcade and pool hall establishments.. but I for one would somehow welcome them back regardless.

Those of you lucky enough to have a Dave and Busters or one of the few remaining mall arcades near by should take the kids out one of these days and show them what they missed. You’ll all have a great time!

[url=http://www.virtualshenanigans.com/community/Thread-Bring-back-the-arcades-and-the-smoke-filled-pool-halls]Have your own memories of smoke filled arcades and pool halls and what it means to be a kid in the 80’s or 90’s? Share them with our community by clicking here.[/url]

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