Oh, I’m probably not going to be liked after this one, but I was assigned write my memories about video games. But keep in mind, I was a kid and there wasn’t any money stolen, but here we go.
As a kid, I was always wanting to find that outlet to play the video games. Be it with the Atari 2600 or just playing a standard game of Pong or Space.Invaders. But the biggest problem was money. Yeah, I had the allowance weekly but as you may have read my past posts, that doesn’t last long. But I was always desperate to play any type of game.
Even when I was going to youth group events with my synagogue out of state, I wasn’t that much of a social person and wanted to just play the Donkey Kong that was at the youth hall. But one year, we had a youth convention that was in Colorado and it was being held at a hotel. Darned if I can remember the name of it. But I was there. My roommates and I were doing stupid things like taking the slippery when wet signs from the hallway and bringing them home. Like I said, it was stupid!
But downstairs in the lobby, there was a bar in the corner that just happened to have…..wait for it, a video game. It was actually the first time I was introduced to a cocktail version of Kung Fu Master. It actually was a pretty cool game. I think I spent a good $3-4 on it. Well, it was the only game there. But I still wanted to keep playing. I didn’t want to spend anymore money on the game because I knew we were going to a big mall out there. And yet I was disappointed.
But during the time of playing the game, my friend and I did notice that the game was unlocked. The table part of the machine can be lifted and the coin slot also didn’t have a lock on it. However there was a makeshift pin on it that all you had to do was remove and you can get into the game. We had talked several times about opening the game and taking a quarter and putting it in over and over. But we didn’t want to be accused of stealing anything. But I was curious about the coin slot at least. So I removed the pin and opened the coin slot and it exposed all of the mechanics of the door. I had never seen inside of an arcade game before so I thought it was cool. I also saw the coin container where all of the quarters were. Before I go on, a main disclaimer.. WE DID NOT TAKE ANY OF THE MONEY!!! That would be totally wrong!!!!
Anyway, I saw where the quarters go through the coin slot and hit one part to trigger the “credit.” I was worried about getting zapped or something but still wanted to see what happened if it got moved. And then it triggered a credit. I tried it over and over and in the end, there were a total of 20 credits in the system. I was nervous and closed the coin door and put the pin back on the door. I looked at my friend and he said, “well start the game!” I did and we only had time to play it once.
After we left for a couple hours, we came back and there were still 15 credits in the machine. I actually felt guilty about it and went to tell the bar manager. I swear to this day, I can’t believe the manager actually said this to me, but he said and I quote “That’s ok, I do that sometimes too. As long as you don’t take the money, you are fine.” Excuse me, what? I wish I was making this up, but it is true to this day, that is what he said.
But still, after I told him that, we actually left the game alone and went about our way. Were we lucky to not get in trouble? Yes. Were we right for doing it in the first place? No. But there were times when I was a kid that I just wasn’t able to…….
Keep Calm and Insert Coin