The Trip to Quarters

Quarters was a fascinating experience for me, reminding me of when I was much younger going to the arcade on Coney Island in New York City. There, I played very retro games with my twin brother, and we’d always have a blast playing the multiplayer games against one another. It was a sort of light-hearted, collaborative competitiveness that drove our interactions through these games, and this was definitely something that I felt when playing the games in Quarters as well.

One of the things I thought was very interesting was my favored game in Quarters, Moon Patrol. While the buttons seemed to indicate it was a multiplayer game, we did not fully understand at the time how that was the case, and in fact, the way my friend and I played the game was completely incorrect, where I controlled the gunnery on the flashy space vehicle and he controlled our driving and jumping.

Our mistaken interaction was arguably more enjoyable than the straight up competition of seeing who could make it further along the same level path, which was actually the correct way to play the game. The little misunderstanding became a source of great enjoyment for us, something which I think excellently reflected the nature of the arcade experience, which is as much about finding quirky ways to subvert typical gameplay expectations in the company of friends as it is playing the games the way they were intended to be played.

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