I remember playing my first arcade game in a bar in Montreal. It was 1981 I was underage, drunk, in a digital delirium, and the arcade game was the original Pacman. This was about the coolest thing I had ever seen. I’d always had a thing for games, even before the first arcades and arcade games sprung up. Even before computer games for the home PC. I used to subscribe to games magazines that never, ever mentioned the word computer. This was something totally new and sumptuously fascinating. Countless hours of my well wasted youth were spent in arcades, long after plenty of beer swilling at the local pub. Arcade games, and computer games have come a long way since then, but there’s nothing like your first time.

Frag This You Bourgeoisie Backgammond Barnacle

Shortly after my lascivious encounter with arcades and the hypnotizing arcade game jewels hidden within, my family purchased it’s first home PC. A radio shack trs-80. More commonly called a trash-80. It was here that I learned the cunningly devious game of backgammon. Not sure I would have ever learned that game without being introduced to it by a computer. It’s not the kind of game that would have appealed to a veteran of the arcade game wars. Something that belonged more to the smoky backrooms of a retirement home. Computers, arcades, and arcade games were already broadening my vistas.

Avast Commodore, Ya Scurvy Megabyte

Next on my list of technological wonders ya scallywags, is the Commodore 64. Now here was an arcade game killer if I every gazed upon one. Arcades are few and far between now, and the Commodore, is one of the reasons why. Why spend hours in an arcade, having a machina suck and swallow every last quarter in my pocket? When I can sit in the less the luxurious decadence of my basement playing the likes of jumpman, and setting arcade game style high scores for my baby brother to frantically try to match. Not like in the arcades where he could be humbled in front of the masses, but this arcade game jewel would serve my purposes none the less.

Arcadia Arise Oh Mighty Griffon

Old is new, black is blue, and from the depth, arises the legends of old and times forgotten. Huh? What I’m frothing forth about here, is that arcade games are back with a vengeance. All us old fogies, who remember time spent in arcades watching the neighborhood masters pummel evil incarnate up till level 9999 rejoice! You can once again relive the glories of the golden age of arcade games. Just google around a little, and you’ll find free versions of all the great arcade game from the past. Not to mention a few new legends being born in the ancient art of arcade games. And hey save your quarters. These games are free as the air you breathe. Of course you better not let those quarters get too far, your gonna need them to keep that old jalopy of a Commodore in running order.

By Chris Campbell
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