If you are 40 oder 50 years old you know that thing are about to get pretty nostalgic. If you are 40 oder 50 years old and you are still a gamer, things are about to get emotional. Arcade are the first big milestone in the gaming universe and a huge wonderful memory in your father’s mind.
When i started this column, i knew that i had to fight with my emotions, because lot of the things, i talk about, i have personally used and loved, like the Record or the cassette. Talking about the Arcade, i have to tell you that i was born maybe a little bit too late and i probably didn’t really fully enjoy them, but i had however the opportunity to play with them during very hot summer days in holiday, at the bar in the camping where i used to spend my entire summer in. I was six, maybe seven years old when i had the honor and privilegue to put my hand this something that have written the history of gaming, because without arcade, the playstation or the XBOX would not be in our homes. And that’s a fact.
I’m not talking about technology, because arcade and console have nothing in common, but the idea behind videogames: arcade made playing videogames so awesome that people at Sony first and then at MIcrosoft started to think about the possibility to play videogame at home. I am sure that if arcade had not have the global success they had in the past, we would not be here with the E-Sport and with the huge hypre around a title about to be released.
Arcade have started a huge movement and opened new opportunity to entertain people and make them earn from it, something that in the past was just unthinkable. But how exactly did an arcade work?
Even if the Arcade has a special place in my heart and even if i have sweet and lovely memories around it, let me tell you something: that metallic things were a legal robbery. I have no freaking idea of how much money i have wasted in just three summer months thanks to them…i am pretty sure my parents could afford right now a Ferrari with all the money i wasted just to get to the end of “Pizza Delivery”. It was absolutely a nightmare playing with those devilish mettalic boxes: The game where sometimes freaking hards to complete and you have too few opportunity to repeat the level.
Now it’s just to simple: you save your progress in the hard disk and you can repeat the critical level as long as you don’t finish it. With the arcade it was impossible: for some games you had only maybe three opportunities to complete the game and once you failed for the third time, the game ended and you had to re-start from the very beginning. Just a nightmare. For that reason there are young guys who spent entire afternoons in front of this arcades just to make sure to finishe the game.
And to play the game you needed money. You have to “insert the coin” to play the game and the coin were not for free. You had to buy them. The more money you had with you, the more coins you had and the more opportunity you had to play with all the arcade you want.
None of us had arcades at home….just to big and i had no idea where to buy them. They were designed to get into those places where all the arcades were and the young had to go there if they wanted to play some videogames. It was a wonderful times, both because all the young guys were out and there were huge opportunities to talk with other, make some friends and maybe know some pretty girls. Technically we paid a lot of money to be together with other people…even if it’s not quite right, because we just wanted to play some videogames and we were “together” with other guys either because the guy, who were there before us, was sometimes too good and we waited often an eternity until he was finished or sometimes the guy was just too good that you became a “random fan” and you started to watch his ability to play that game
I had the privilegue to see gaming becoming something “collective” and accessable for everyone. It was the beginning of something even bigger, but we didn’t know that at the time, and i am proud to have seen this wonderful piece of retro technology and to have played with them!