With the COVID-19 pandemic feeling more and more like an inescapable reality with each passing month, I think it’s important for us to remember what daily life used to be like, lest we forget altogether.
Not too long ago, visiting arcades comprised a major portion of my daily life. While attending college in Murray, I made a point to hit up the local gaming spots as often as time and money would allow. Why, you may ask?
Because arcades are a great reason to leave the house.
Now more than ever, people everywhere are practically itching to leave the confines of their own living quarters. But even in pre-pandemic times, I myself needed a good reason to take a break from the books periodically.
Listen, I have no problem with staying inside. Heck, between school, Wilcox Arcade, Replay Magazine, Racerthon, and Five Below, I’ve got far too much work to play arcade games all day anyway. Even so, I recognize the value of exploring the world around me. There’s only so much fun I can have in a teensy dorm room.
That’s where arcades swoop in to save the day. Once I’m officially sick of playing my PlayStation 2 or watching Cartoon Network, I always have an “out.” I always have a reason to get in my car and go somewhere.
For me, the fact that arcades are just as much a fun trip as they are compelling media is part of what makes them so alluring—and so different from console and PC games. It’s the same reason why I like attending movies at the cinema. Staying inside all the time is incredibly lame.
I was starkly reminded of this when I played Jurassic Park Arcade at the Gatti’s Pizza in Murray with three of my friends on Halloween 2020, or when I played The Walking Dead pinball with two of my friends January 21, 2021. That kind of social experience would’ve been tough to recreate at home. Truthfully, it’s something I want more of as the pandemic eventually fades away.
I’m not sure if other arcade gamers will agree with me, but I hope at least some do. Maybe the pandemic will have permanently accustomed us to huddling up at home. Maybe we’ll want to leave home more than ever before. Only time will tell.
In the meantime, I hereby resolve to get out more often. I kid you not when I say it’s been ages since I’ve played Street Fighter II, Need for Speed: Carbon, Dance Dance Revolution Extreme, Jambo Safari, Big Buck Hunter World, or any of my favorite games in an arcade setting. I recently found a CarnEvil cab in a lodge semi-near me and still haven't played it.
But yeah, that’s all I really wanted to write today. I guess it’s not exactly breaking news that I like visiting arcades. Regardless, I hope you enjoyed this little blog article of mine.