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QuartersWe are going to the arcade today for lunch and that got me thinking about my childhood. The arcade we are going to is not like the modern ones with ticket spitting lame machines but the ones I remember from my younger days. The first time I walked into this place it was like I was a kid again, eyes wide and a pocket bulging with quarters. It also reminded me of some “must have” accessories for a day at the arcade.

  1. Quarters – I almost skipped this one but realized it is a must have and even though it should be obvious it needed to be said since it was crucial to the arcade process. How many quarters depended on what games you would play, how good you are and how long you want to be there.
  2. Caffeine – I think that the most common was Mountain Dew but I would not always go that route. If I was hanging out in town with friends in the summer we needed the hard stuff, like Surge and Jolt. These drinks were before energy drinks upped our tolerance and they had so much sugar and caffeine that you would be vibrating by the end of the day.
  3. Music – Back then we did not have convenient devices that held a wealth of music. I had a Walkman and a few good cassette tapes to get me by. You had two options with this, either wear a belt and clip it on, or have big pockets to hold it. I used the belt clip for easy access to rewind a song I liked (those of you born after 1990 that was our version of repeat).Walkman
  4. Foot wear – Why would I list this as “must have” accessories? Simple, you will be standing for a long time without moving. Do this in the wrong shoes and it will leave you sore. Back in the day I live a solid sneaker. They were stylish, functional and if you got the right ones they were comfortable too.Shoe
  5. Sunglasses – What? Why would you need these in a dark arcade? Wouldn’t that impact your mad gamer skills? You don’t wear them in the arcade people. If you have ever spent a better part of a summer day in an arcade you would know why the sunglasses are important. Walking into broad daylight after hiding in the dark confines of and arcade can be harsh on the eyes. The bright sun will leave you feeling a little like a vampire, so put on some shades before you walk out.Sunglasses

I really wish more “retro” arcades would pop up but I know it is quickly becoming an old man’s dream. I will settle for our local pizza joint with old arcade systems for now. I am sure I will spend plenty of time there remembering the “good ol’ days”.

Thank you for reading,

Tom Dorsey