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Retrospective: The American Arcade (Part One)

GameCyte: "It's been a while since we at GameCyte felt the need to wax nostalgic and share our memories in a retrospective article. However, as another year draws to a close, and the gaming world takes a look back at some of the more memorable titles of 2008, there are those of us who take a moment to reflect a little further - to ponder the state of the industry, our identity as gamers, and how gaming became such a significant portion of our lives. It's also an opportunity to remember a vital piece of gaming heritage - a pillar of gamers' shared culture, celebrated and cherished in its day, yet nearly dead and buried in today's world.

I speak, of course, of the video arcade, the historic gathering spot of dedicated, hardcore players, and curious newbies alike. The arcade's many enticing titles and shared, unspoken social standards made gaming more than a hobby for many players - it provided them with a concrete, reliable destination for their gaming passions. In an age when video games had not yet become the billion-dollar mainstream industry we enjoy today, the arcade was, for many, the sole monument to the medium. Furthermore, to visit the arcade was to commit oneself to gaming for a significant portion of the day, requiring players to plan and dedicate themselves to the activity, just as one might look up movie listings and seek out nearby restaurants for the evening's entertainment. When someone declared, "I'm going to the arcade," there was no question of what he or she meant: "I am going to a place where the newest, most impressive games are kept, and for as long as my quarters can hold out, I am going to stay there and play those games in the company of my friends and like-minded fellow geeks."

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ahnonamis3186d ago

I loved this. It reminded me of all the times I would go to arcades with friends back in LA. Of course, I had no idea 7-Eleven ever had arcade games like that, but the experiences are mostly the same. Aside from the whole Soup Nazi-esque manager, that is.

GameCyteSean3186d ago

I've certainly played a few good rounds of Street Fighter II in pizza parlors and burrito shops, but to be there *the day* it became a sensation... I'm envious.