Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Death of Arcades

The Death of Arcades
by William D. SIEMER II

Finish Him! Ms. Pac-Man wins an ugly custody battle of the pac-kids and pellet support.

Do arcades still exist? Now that home entertainment technology has finally caught up to the electronics that once only existed inside an arcade machine, does anyone really need to leave their home to play the latest and greatest? Today's consoles have movement-capture technology, high-definition graphics, 3-D capabilities, and provide access to streaming movies, internet, music, photos, and more.

When I was young we had several arcades, or we could go to bowling alleys or malls. My friends and I would save our quarters and ride our bikes to the arcade to play Cruisin' USA, Killer Instinct, Street Fighter, or Mortal Kombat. We would try to learn the joystick and button combinations all the moves and Fatalities. It's a fun, nostalgic memory thinking back on it.

However, arcades are a dying art. Most of them are gone, and the bowling alleys and restaurants have quit updating their machines. You can still play some of the classics like Pac-Man and Galaga. I prefer pinball machines. There are a few places you can still enjoy an occasional game while drinking adult beverages. In the Cincinnati Tri-State area, we have Dave & Busters and Newport on the Levee's GameWorks to name a couple.

I have always had an arcade in my house in the Atari 2600. After all the technology comes and goes, it's the simplicity of classics like Asteroids, Joust, Frogger and Pitfall that continually stand the test of time.

Pac-Man: 1 quarter
Wii: 600 quarters
PS3/XBox 360: 1,196 quarters
iPad: 2,396 quarters
Typical Computer: 3,600 quarters

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