The Quarters Experience

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.

Galaga

Chicken Invaders

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.

2 thoughts on “The Quarters Experience

  1. Yes! Chicken Invaders! I loved that game. I think I might go download it play it now; thanks for the flash of nostalgia.

  2. I totally clicked on this post because you mentioned soul calibur but it’s interesting that you played it at a local pizzeria — an arcade game, I assume? I played it on the Gamecube so I never realized it was a much much older game. My group went to Quarters a bit late so by the time we got there, it was already fully packed. I’m jealous that you got to enjoy a bit of the silence before all the kids came running. I totally agree though. I love kids but sometimes they’re so obnoxious and I just wish they weren’t there. I think part of the reason that I left early is because of all the kids. I’m hoping to go back another time when it’s a bit more quiet.

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