Sometimes things just seem to go off the beaten path and you find yourself faced with the most surprising obstacles — even in the world of classic gaming. Chris Steele and I invite other gamers to submit their fondest memories of events that blindsided them back in the early 1980s; memories that are outside the box of normality. To start the ball rolling, here are a couple first-hand quirky experiences that Chris and I remember from the Golden Age of Gaming
I WAS THROWN OUT OF NUMEROUS ARCADES — AND EVERY TIME IT WAS FOR THE SAME REASON.
By the time Twin Galaxies opened on November, 1981, the arcade industry was embroiled in a sort of Oklahoma Land Rush: rival arcade chains everywhere were rushing to beat each other to prime locations. Within months, even the smallest towns had their own modern video game arcade. Doctors, dentists and lawyers joined the fray as they competed against the legacy families who had already been pioneering the coin-op industry for the last four generations. Suddenly, everyone wanted in on the action, counting on immense profits and easy pickings. My partner, John Bloch, and I were also infected by the “land rush fever” that saw the nation’s game operators frantically expanding their arcade routes. After opening a Twin Galaxies location in Ottumwa, Iowa and Kirksville, Missouri, we headed into Illinois to set up more arcades. It was in Illinois (and also Missouri) that I was found myself thrown out of arcades for a very innocent reason. I was counting the machines that were in the respective arcades. We were on the road looking for new locations and we would stop at every arcade that we found to play the games and to see if they were doing anything that we could copy to improve the quality of our own arcades. But, inevitably, I would soon find myself sur- rounded by the local arcade attendants on duty who would tell me that I was not allowed to count the games and that I would have to leave. So, I was thrown out of arcades again and again.
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