Rolls and rolls...

... of quarters is what is needed for this week's challenge.

This week’s challenge to the Pop Culture League is…

First Quarter

What’s your earliest arcade or video game memory?

First arcade I stepped into was a little whole in the wall* across the street from the apartment building I lived in.  I guess I should clarify some things a little bit.  Fortunately for me, I did not grow up in Sin City, aka Las Vegas.  I had the privilege of growing up in the greatest city in the world, New York City.  I grew up in an area known as Lower East Side (LES). I don't remember the exact day but I will say it had to have been sometime after 1981 and before 1984.  I know this because some of the first games I played were Donkey Kong (who didn't play that game?), Pole Position and Satan' Hollow (I totally rocked that game). 

The arcade was a dark place.  Very minimal lighting.  But what it lacked in lighting, it made up for in sound.  I do remember hearing all the distinct video games and how you can tell what someone was doing or what level they were on by the blips and bloops.  And you didn't have to worry about standing in line to get your next turn.  You just had to place a quarter on the cabinet and everyone knew who had next.  I don't know how everyone knew, they just did.

I remember the big event was when Dragon's Lair showed up at the arcade.  I waited a few weeks before I played it.  There was actually a line to play those first few days.  When I decided I wanted to play, I made my way up to the machine and. . . What in the WORLD?!?!  They wanted 50 cents to play?  First time I ever played a game that was more than a quarter.  But what the hey, let's try it.  I plopped my quarters in and... I was dead before I even knew what happened. 

It was very disappointing.

Thank goodness Pac-Man was the next cabinet over.  Time to eat some ghosts.

From around the League

GI Jigsaw predates my experience by a few years.

Ian Wells remembers Sonic.

I'm not the only with memories of Dragon's Lair.  Check out The ToyBox.

* - Yes, I know it's not a video arcade anymore.  You didn't expect them to last forever, did you?