June 12, 2024


Nostalgia is something of a blessing and a curse.

It has the power to make food taste better in retrospect, awful music from your past still sound good, but most importantly, it makes you forget about the negatives to your past endeavours.

When left untouched, it can cast your past in a smile-inducing light. However, when revisited, you might find that you’ve awoken a demon, not a beautiful sleeping memory.

Exhibit A: arcades. Their relative obscurity in our current day and age essentially relegates them to a relic of the past. So when given the chance, many would jump at the chance to return to their past via a pseudo time machine.

But what you find will be far different from the fond memories you hold in such high regard.

Much of arcades’ novelty has been lost in the wake of better home entertainment, such as the Nintendo Wii, Xbox Kinect and PlayStation Move, which replicate the arcade experience. So, can an equal gaming experience be achieved at home in your pyjamas? Well, not quite equal.

At home you don’t have to stand around and wait while the clearly oblivious player in front of you takes his time playing game after game.

While your rage builds due to this self-centred individual’s ignorance to your obvious need to sit in and drive a fake car – another activity that has lost its appeal since most of us can now drive a real car – so does your headache.

Maybe as a child you were resilient to the constant barrage of other screaming children, flashing lights and loud machines, but as an adult, the resilience is replaced by resentment and ruined hearing.

However, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel – prizes. But wait, I don’t want any more light; the bright screens and blinding lasers have already given me more than my fix. A bouncy ball, a barely-sewn-together stuffed animal or a candy you can buy for less than $2 – even after inflation ruins the nostalgically cheap past prices – these are the rewards for my suffering?

Excuse me for being an old codger, but could I exchange these tickets for some Tylenol instead?