Ever wish you were twelve again?

When one spent time in the arcades of old...

Before the age of the debit card system...

Before tokens made it somehow fake...

Before games costed 2 or 4 or even more...

You had a pocket full of quarters. Each one was a chance to play a game. To escape for just a few minutes. To kill a few seconds in a fruitless pleasure: not your homework. Not a book. Not learning a thing.

To grab onto a joystick or a knob. To wail on a button or three. To control a little tiny clump of light, which itself was just electrons bouncing against the other side of a CRT. Joust or Pac-Man? Maybe Asteroids is your cup of tea? Defender perhaps? Arkanoid, Road Blasters, the arcade was littered with them.

And in my pocket, a dozen little pieces of metal clink together, reminding me that there are pellets to be eaten, people to be saved, and warriors astride mighty birds needing to be taught a lesson.

In the end your pocket was empty and you really just wanted more... if you were lucky your initials might be standing atop a dozen others: proof that your little quarter was well spent.

Not that your mom would agree.

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