Space Arcade

by Staff

Okay, so there are some arcades that could do with a mop, pail, and coat of paint. But the machines are just in from California, glowing with enamel and electronics. And the two feet too much my two feet take up in front of the console, well I’m just planning to stand on the space, I promise not to touch it.

Well, where do you expect to find these machines...in the lobby of an expensive hotel, in a corner at the supermarket, how about throwing out the books and using the public library? Just kidding. Anyway, arcades are arcades, part of a glorious tradition of amusement dating back to Arcadian rural simplicity. They’ve seen better times, some of them, but they were new once, and if people hadn’t stayed home watching cops on television for 25 years, they’d probably look a little less like their arches had fallen.

Ever see the movie Clockwork Orange? They had quite an arcade in that film, Welcome to the middle of nowhere, step into our time warp stuff. But the point it that arcades are potentially great places for players and their games. Already the men and women who create the games are thinking of ways to increase the atmosphere in which the game is played to the intensity of the game itself.

Does this mean we’ll eventually have totally computer controlled arcades, divided into electronic environments in which the player and game are part of a great whole? Most probably. Nolan Bushnell, the man who invented Pong and founded Atari, has 80 Pizza Time Theaters where games are situated in pleasing surroundings that allow people to feel comfortable while they play.

Personally, we’d opt for some theme arcades, let the sports games players have one arcade, the braindrain players have another, and sign us up at the space arcade where demons and dragons and space aliens and Pac-Man co-exist in an environment that is itself a giant computer game.

Some rock stars are confirmed screen game addicts -- it seems they find the game play just the right approach to relaxation from the rigors of being on tour and rocking out every night. In New York recently, photographer John Kelly captured the action as British stars Squeeze checked out the arcades U.S. style.
Squeezes John Bentley (left) and Glenn Tilbrook (right) concentrate on the game action, but Squeeze Gilson Lavis can’t seem to make up his mind what game he wants to play.

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