Death of an American Pastime

The Death of an American Pastime

 Not so many years ago there was a wonderful movement in the area of entertainment.  It actually became a pastime for many youths across this great nation of America.  Spread out through each mall in America and several other solo establishments catered to this need for games.  For me this phenomenon began in 1985 when I was just a wee lad.  My first video game was a game of pinball played with help from my dad.  He would pull the handle back to shoot the ball and help me hit the paddles.  That is when my joy of video games bloomed, and it was in a pizza shop, maybe Chuck E. Cheese.

The infamous driving arcade game
The infamous driving arcade game

In years since I would often find myself in arcades across many different malls enjoying new games and spending massive amounts of quarters at a time. The enchantment of these establishments started the second you walked through the doors. The flashes of lights, buzzes, bangs, zooms, and countless more electronic sounds created an excitement not since equaled. All of these sounds invited you to try your skills at winning the ever challenging arcade game. One time I came so close to winning one of these games but after ten dollars of quarters I was out and down to my last life. The end of the game was just around the corner and as I turned the corner in the game I was shot. I was playing Time Crisis II, the one with the foot pedal you push to hide. Well, right before I was shot the little red target symbol popped up over the guy that shot me so I pushed the pedal but was dead already. Needless to say I was very upset and was casually escorted from the establishment. They claimed I was making a scene and disturbing their other patrons, whatever.

The Cause

Time Crisis II
Time Crisis II


In this day and age as I cruise through the malls, whether I go alone or with my family, I pass the arcades only to find them empty and desolate, void of any and all activity and excitement.  I sometimes wonder why this travesty has been allowed to happen and how it even could happen.   I would suppose that with the emergence of home arcade game systems like, the Sony Playstation and Microsoft Xbox series of video game systems and the increasingly more realistic types of games there really is no more need to go to an arcade in a mall.  No more shall we waste our lives in a mall arcade burning up our money in a senseless waste of time.  But if we should stop there why not stop wasting our lives watching stupid TV shows like the Kardashians or Law and Order. 

I say we take a momentary stand against the loss of this fantastic pastime.  This is how we can do this; each one of us can take ten dollars and go to an arcade near us and play all of our favorite games for at least one day.  I guess after that, if it is to die we shall let it die with honor and bury it in the annals of history right next to vinyl records, eight track tapes, and VCR’s.  Now if you’ll excuse me, my Playstation and Tekken Tag Tournament game are waiting for me.

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Comments 14 comments

suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 6 years ago from Asheville, NC

Great tribute to the old arcades where I also spent time in my youth. I particularly liked that machine where little gophers would pop up at random and you would try to bonk them.

sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

The only ones I've seen used are at Hampton Beach in New Hampshire. Maybe kids on vacation don't bring their own games with them?

Dame Scribe 6 years ago

Hi WC, welcome back! I agree the Arcade was one of the favorite hotspots to mingle and have fun with our friends. They will be missed indeed. Great writing! :)

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 6 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Suziecat7: Thank you very much for the comment. I too liked to play "Whack a Mole". It's games like those that will be missed.

Sheila b.: Hmm, there's some food for thought. Then again there's PSP, Nintendo DS, and the game boy. Thanks for commenting and visiting.

Dame Scribe: Thanks, its good to be back to publishing on the ole hubpages. I used to go to them all the time now I just pass them up because nothing is going on in them. Take care.

Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA

Wes- Welcome back lad! Ah the " Good Ol' Days"! I remember Chess, Checkers and Cribbage actually played with a board and 'hardware' pieces. Good Hub!

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

Welcome back. You've been missed. I used to visit the arcades with my sister and my dad. You brought back some great memories for me.

ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

Modern memories. How quickly times change these days

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 6 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Hmrjmr1: Thanks john it's good to be back to publishing on hubpages, I wrote this article in December and figured I should share it. Thanks for visiting.

Breakfastpop: Thanks for visiting and commenting and I missed everyone. I used to love the day trip to the malls. My mom would want to go shopping, but my dad would want to go to the arcades, so I usually followed.

Ethel: Yes they are modern memories, and times sure do change quickly. Thanks for reading.

jim10 profile image

jim10 6 years ago from ma

It is nice to now other people miss the arcade as much as I do. I wrote a hub about this a while back and it seemed like a lot of people loved the arcade. My kids love playing arcade games. But, their are none around except for Chuck E Cheese and maybe one or two at the movie theater. It really is a shame. Great hub. You can't beat the satisfaction of going to the arcade for a day with just a few quarters. I always excelled at fighting games like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter.

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 6 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Jim10: Thanks for reading and I am glad that you enjoyed reading this hub. It brought a lot of memories back for me in writing it. Street Fighter was one of my favorites as well.

ralwus 6 years ago

Ahhh yes. Those were fun times in my youth, we didn't have what you had, but the thrill was the same. Many of the old ones are highly collectible now, and expensive. We have Cici's here and the game room gets plenty of action. I was only there once, don't much like their fare. good to see you son! Welcome back!

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 6 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Hey ralwus it's good to see you again too. I hope all is well. I agree, Cici's isn't very good at all. Thanks for visiting my hub.

Ms Chievous profile image

Ms Chievous 6 years ago from Wv

very good Wesley! I used to frequent the arcades a lot as a kid. I remember playing some kind of tank game..that I became quite good at. My favorite arcade game is and always will be ....Air hockey :)

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 6 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Yes the air hockey is a great one and also one of my fav's to play at the arcades. Thank you for reading and commenting.

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