Back in the 80s, somewhere just after the dawn of time itself, there used to be a healthy number of video arcades across this land. The abundance of powerful home consoles ate away at the popularity of arcades, which eventually became dependent on novelty titles. If you couldn’t punch it or dance on it, then it didn’t end up in an arcade.
I spent a lot of holidays of my youth staying in or around British seaside towns – the natural habitat of the UK arcade. I got to the stage where I could tell which coin-ops were hidden in the smoke filled depth of each arcade just by the music and mechanised sound bites that drifted out through the entrance way.
Whether Robocop was telling me to ‘Drop it!’ or if the dungeon master from Gauntlet was informing me that the Blue Wizard needed food badly, I could tell what was waiting for me inside and how many 10p pieces I was going to need once I was there. I miss the days of the arcades, just as I miss those old style 10p coins.