Just how addicted are you to Arcade Games? Just how far have you been willing to go? This page is for the humorous and tragic stories concerning our love of the games!
Have you ever been unable to sleep, and just had to go out in the middle of the night to play one more game of Pac-Man?
Send me your story, I'll post it here and give you credit!
Submit your own story to Phydeaux_Brigands
I'll even go first!
Submitted by Phydeaux Brigands (4/9/00)
1985. I went to Marietta Ohio for a Summer Vacation to visit my Grandparents. It was a rural small town, protected from the real world. In many ways, going to Marietta is like going back in time 10 years.
I was there for about a week, when I NEEDED to play a game to feed my addiction. I spent over an hour cruising the pizza parlors and bars looking for a game with a monitor and buttons. No luck. I ended up in the next town at the Parkersburg mall. This mall had NO Arcade. I was shocked!
After searching the Mall, I finally spied 3 machines. They were in the Movie Theater. One was an AstroBlaster. I don't remember what the other ones were.
I started to enter the Movie theater towards my prize when the Lady at the Door says "You need a ticket to enter."
I said I wasn't going to see a movie, I just wanted to play some games.
She said, "You can only come in if you buy a ticket."
A ticket was $2.50. I had $4.00. That left me $1.50. Enough for 6 games! It was only a little over 50 cents a game. Unheard of at the time, but I was desperate.
I bought a ticket for a movie that I never went to see, and put 4 quarters in the AstroBlaster machine. :) The other 2 quarters went to the other two machines.
I survived the week!
Submitted by JP4 (4/9/00)
For the longest time, there were NO arcade games in the town I grew up in. Of course, I'd be ecstatic whenever one my friends' birthday party was at Showbiz Pizza, and I would badger the crap out of my parents to take us out to eat at the nearest Pizza Hut (which had a cocktail Galaxian and Ms. Pac Man), but there weren't any games within bike-riding distance.
I don't know how we happened to find this out, but myself and the kid across the street from me learned that this seedy bar (which was a mere 2 mile bike ride) had a video game! Sure enough, around mid-afternoon one day, we slunk in the door and found a cocktail Asteroids Deluxe! We thought that we were the shit.
And when I say "seedy", I mean it. These were hardcore drunks slamming 'em down at 2:00pm. The bartender sees us - these 12-year-old kids in his bar dorking around - and he flipped out. But we someone cajoled him into letting us stay. I think that we just promised him on our mother's graves that we would NOT get in the way of anyone there, and that we'd fly out the back door if any cops came in. I don't know how we did it, but he let us stay. Yay!
We didn't venture back in there though, for fear of getting the crap beaten out of us. I've always wanted to go back into that bar (yeah, it's still there) just on the hopes that Asteroids Deluxe table - MY Asteroids Deluxe table - is still there.
Submitted by OHSO (4/10/00)
My game back in the 80's was Dragon's Lair. I remember an arcade in the
local mall posting monthly and all-time high scores on the marquee of each game
and Dragon's Lair had my name on it for 3 years running...
Submitted by P. Crum (4/21/00)
Back in 1983 myself and a friend would go to the local arcades every day and we were both pretty good players. We were good at different games with the exception of Berserk. We both played that pretty well and were waiting for the sequel to show up called Frenzy.
The only arcade that got one in was a dingy, smokey, dark arcade that was
located downtown, about two miles from our regular hangouts. We went down and
started playing it and within a day or two we could rack up extra men with ease
(the bonus was set at 5000 pts for an extra man). We played one day for about an
hour to kill some time and put up a high score over 100,000 points. (It takes
about an hour per 100,000). The next day I was at one of our regular hangouts
and a guy who knew both of us had just come in. He said he was downtown and my
buddy was down there playing Frenzy and had just passed 500,000 points when he
left. I didn't believe him because it would have taken over 5 hours to get to
that score. He was pretty sure so I headed downtown and when I got there my
buddy was gone, but his initials were up in first place and his score was around
810,000. He had to have been there at least 8 hours. I was not going to let him
get ahead of me so I decided to go down the next day early and try to beat his
score. I got there at 9 am and started playing, and around 5 pm I was at
770,000. Because I didn't have anything to eat or drink during during the game I
was getting sick and felt like I was going to barf over the machine. I decided
to kill off my men and put up the second place score, leaving my buddy with
first place and me with a totally wasted day. Needless to say, a couple of days
later the machine was set at 8000 points for an extra man. I guess only making
50 cents in two days on that machine kind of ticked them off.
Submitted by Bill Rice a.k.a. RedBeard (4/29/00)
I used to live in Defiance Ohio. It was a small town, no malls, but really pretty cool. My neighbor Nick was a video game junkie too, so he and I became good friends. I had an Atari 800, and we used to play a lot of M.U.L.E. It was either that or go to a really seedy bar called the "Westwood", where in with the drunks and country music, there was a Pac man machine. It was OK, unless there was puke on it.
We even saw a drunk there actually EAT his drinking glass one night. The idiot sat there moaning about some woman, and biting off chunks of it right down to the base. Then he carefully and meticulously chewed it up and swallowed ALL of it. We were appalled! (I later heard where this same drunk, or one of his brothers passed out or went to sleep on a country road, and got hit by a truck.)
About 1982 or 83, there was a group of kids who got up enough money to open a nice arcade! This was when arcades just seemed illicit, but yet were so tempting with their seductive multitude of nerd noises. They were evidently leasing the arcade boxes, or giving a percentage of the take to whoever financed them. But they had all latest and greatest games. I think they had about 20 or 30 machines. This was really something for a small town of a few thousand like Defiance!
Things took off very well for them, and soon they decided to open up ANOTHER arcade downtown, which was only about a mile or so from the first one. Pretty soon, they were way over extended and had way too much overhead. They had ran smack into "the law of diminishing returns". (Remember, I'm a M.U.L.E. player!)
Systems were getting repoed, folks were lasting longer on a quarter, these poor guys were rapidly losing their asses. The one downtown flopped, so they combined all of them into the original arcade. Now they had about 50 machines! They eventually hit on the idea of a weekly "Arcade Night", from 7 PM to 10 P.M.. They would crank up the credits on all the machines, and then charge $3.00 for admission. This was a lot of fun, except it attracted way too many young kids. Now it wasn't illicit or tempting anymore.
They brought in a popcorn machine, pop and snacks, and even tried to sell beer, but the beer idea was firmly quashed by the city leaders. There was a carry-out next door, so it really didn't matter. Then they got smart and ran the kids out at 9:00, and let you stay till 11:00 for another $2.00. Nick and I were in nerd heaven! We were lucky in that arcade night fell on the same night that the "Westwood" had quarter beer night, (providing we brought our "Irish Mugs" that we bought there on St Patrick's Day, when we went out for green beer and some Pacman.)
We would go out and drink a bunch of draft beer, then head over to the arcade about 9 or so, and play Space Invaders and Asteroids Deluxe until they closed. It didn't take long until the few bars in town started thinning out about 9 PM on arcade night, and those poor guys were dealing with a bunch of drunks. It probably made them miss all the kids. There were fights and the place turned into a zoo.
The arcade went out of business within a year or 2 of the arcade nights, but every time I see the "Best of Times" video, it reminds me of those days.
I moved away in 1986 and I haven't seen Nick for about 10 years. He has a family now, and I'm sure they have a computer. One of these days I'm going to go visit them and turn him on to Mame.
(A.K.A. Redbeard in the old 8 bit Atari circle)