Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, St. Patrick’s Day boxing at MSG being sponsored by Corona, Andy Pettitte coming back to the Yankees, or wishing RPadholic Big Blak a belated happy birthday, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.
News of the Chinatown Fair arcade on 8 Mott Street reopening made my heart soar. I love that place — so many awesome memories there. While I definitely love console and mobile gaming, I miss the days of arcades. Growing up, they seemed like wondrous — almost mystical — places where friends and I could go hang out while being dazzled by digital creations. I loved when my Mom would go to the market near the arcade. She could take her sweet time shopping while I played arcade games, watched people play arcade games, and talked to other kids about arcade games. My favorite games of all time are mostly console games, but I miss the social element of arcades, as well as the difficult-to-define sense of magic they had for me.
Modern arcades like GameWorks or Dave & Buster’s are neat, but they’re not the same. Part of it is that they have no personality. If you’ve seen one Dave & Buster’s then you’ve pretty much seen them all. The arcade chains don’t have the character or charm of their old-school counterparts. Part of it is that the market changed. Back in the day, arcades trumped anything I could experience on my Atari 2600. These days, consoles trump pretty much everything you’ll see at GameWorks.
While I indulge in this lovely bit of nostalgia, I wanted to see if any of you miss arcades. Did you play a lot of arcade games growing up? What were some of your favorites? Describe the best arcade you’ve ever been to. For those of you that have kids, have you explained that people used to have to travel to play videogames? How did that go over? Dang. Now I feel like filming at California Extreme….