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The first Thing I remember with an electric/electronic influence was being on vacations with the parents and seeing game rooms with pool tables and pinball machines. I think Disney World was my first game room. The one in the Contemporary was huge.
Then in the summer of 72 I fell in love at the swim club. Twice actually. One was a girl and the other was a moving blip called Pong on a TV screen. Over the next 2 or 3 years that blip had evolved into something with an objective. Then Atari abandoned the blip and moved on to a new vector scan technology. While this was going on a new craze began. Space invaders had people talking. Then Asteroids had them lining up 3 deep with some arcades having 5 machines. Then a star was born. Pac Man and his girlfriend were soon followed by the rest of the family. With the emphasis now being on characters the first game with a soap opera plot came out. Can you guess what it was? Little carpenter dude trying to rescue his girlfriend. Other family members followed that one also. Then the first real 3d perspective game came out. Battlezone. I remember having dreams of driving and driving but never reaching the volcano.  Berserk introduced speech as well as evil Otto the smiley. Then Atari made a beautiful comeback and amazed arcade visitors. Pole position brought realistic 3d racing and Xevious started the vertical scrolling shooter revolution. These two games were advertised on radio commercials. When is the last time an arcade game had a commercial?  My memory fails a little at this point because I was going to a computer school that was a half block away from a downtown arcade. I was there every day for my half hour lunch. It was the first time when I got hooked on a game for the first time. That game mixed the best of Disney movie magic and a plot. It was TRON. And here I was learning all about CPU's and memory and bits and bytes and it was just SO cool. 

Tron vid goes here

A year or 2 later real animation made it's way into the arcade. Laser disk games. Dragon's lair was the first arcade game I actually beat. After three months of playing and watching I finally made it into the lair. And got the kiss from Daphne. Q-Bert introduced feedback of a sort. Mr. Do brought back cute. They were coming out like wildfire now. I will keep adding more to this as I remember.

Is my brain capable of remembering back 20+ years?  :) It does help to have MAME :)

Unlike collecting retro video games most people, short of winning a lottery or scoring big IPO options, could not afford to collect arcade games. Although they are out there. The best here near Philadelphia is Quarter Arcade. So instead of a "Must Have" list there will be a "Must Play" list :)

 

Hit Counter arcade lovers.

 
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