As a kid I would play arcade games – Soul Calibur, Tekken and Pacman – religiously at a local pizzeria. I looked forward to these moments like no other in my childhood. Therefore when I was told there would be a class field trip to an arcade for the sole purpose of playing arcade games I became ecstatic.
I came early to meet the group outside of Converse and I planned to stay for the full four hours because I was so excited for this trip. I walked into Quarters and immediately the nostalgia hit me. I watched the flashing lights in the dark atmosphere with the unlimited token band on my hand and praised the heavens that the place was practically empty – The Quarters was mine for the taking.
I rushed over to Galaga and its likeness to Chicken Invaders enthralled me as I had played Chicken Invaders throughout my entire childhood and Ioved it immensely. I played endlessly constantly trying to beat my previous score like a true kid in his glee. I spent thirty minutes reliving my youth on this machine when I heard the sounds that would turn my entire evening in a different direction – children’s laughter. I turned around and 15 kids and their parents had entered while I was engrossed in my arcade game experience. They flooded the games and it became a nightmare to move from game to game. I found myself reflecting on my childhood self even more “Was I also this unconsciously annoying?”. I patiently waited my turn in a line of youngsters to play as my namesake, Scott Summers in the X-men arcade game. I spent all of my tokens and after getting jostled by a tipsy father – reaking of beer and cigarette smoke – who was trying to teach his daughter how to play 1943 I decided to take my leave.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Quarters and the trip down memory lane but I was reminded of the inescapable nature of arcades being swamped by kids, me being one of them at heart, and you just wishing they would leave.