When I was a kid, every mall had a video game arcade. I'd beg Mom to let me hang out in the arcade while she did the shopping. Even though I didn't have any money, I loved watching other people play. Hell, even the "attract modes" would capture my attention and keep me entertained.
One of the most fun nights I can remember was a lock-in at Pistol Pete's Pizza. Basically, parents would drop us off at 10p and we would spend the night in the restaurant (they locked us in. Yes, it was chaparoned). We had as much pizza as we can eat and all the arcade machines (there were a ton of them) were set for "free play." It was AMAZING!
I don't know if they do that kind of stuff anymore. Heck, I think Pistol Pete's is out of business. But I remember the awesome and vaguely creepy animatronic animals that put on a show every 30 minutes or so. Check it out!
I used to love arcades but they've grown scarce and expensive over the years. When I was a kid, a single play was a quarter unless it was one of those big units with the moving seats like After Burner. Then it was 50 cents. The last time I checked out an arcade was Dave and Busters more than three years ago and a lot of the games cost two bucks a play.
So, have you been in an arcade in the last year (multipurpose venues like bowling alleys, pizza joints and movie theaters count so long as they have an area dedicated to arcade machines)? How long's it been? Did you think they'd gone extinct? Vote in the poll and tell us your stories in the comments below. EZK and I will reveal the poll results and give the subject a good chat on the next podcast. Would you like to join us? Come back here Saturday night at 6p PST and we'll stream the thing live. There's even a live chat. Fun for all ages!
Except 27-year-olds. We're not sure why.
-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen