I’d never been to an arcade before, so I didn’t really have any associations going in or ideas of what to expect. It was very crowded and I think they could benefit from having a bigger space, but other than that, it was an enjoyable experience for me.
The whole atmosphere, complete with 80s music, created a unique environment I hadn’t really experienced before. I spent most of my gaming time playing Galaga, since it was one of the few games I realized I was actually decent at. And I enjoyed it, even though arcade games are a very different experience from typical games. The most interesting thing that happened to me at the arcade, however, wasn’t tied to the games themselves, but to the aura of /nerd culture/ that basically filled the whole place.
I went to the arcade wearing pretty much everything that could possibly identify me as a fandom-obsessed nerd. A Doctor Who dress, galaxy leggings, a Doctor Who sweatshirt, a Doctor Who necklace. Which is, let’s face it, fairly normal attire for me. And pretty soon after I arrived, I got into a long conversation with another Doctor Who fan who recognized my sweatshirt. He was an older guy who had brought his little kid to the arcade, and it was a really cool conversation – we discussed the current episodes, favorite Doctors, the Classic series, etc. He’d been introducing his son to the show also, and I remember thinking how cool it was that there were still little kids who are learning about nerd things and going to arcades, something that seemed to be over even before my childhood.
I left after a little over an hour since I wanted to be back at campus for the Brianna Wu talk later, so I didn’t really have time to get tired of the limited selection of games, which may have contributed to my enjoyment of the place. But anyway, I’m glad I met that guy and I really enjoyed our conversation especially because that isn’t something that’s normal for me. I’m not good at talking to people, especially people i don’t know. The only time this has really happened before to me has been at sci-fi conventions, so it was pretty cool that the arcade had a bit of that feel to it. Where everyone there’s got to be a bit of a geek or they wouldn’t be there in the first place, and it’s possible to get into an in-depth discussion over a science fiction show with someone you don’t have much in common with other than the experience of /nerds/, who you’ve met by chance five minutes ago.
(thank you to CC for both images)