What's the soundtrack to your arcade life?

Chip Hageman's picture
ArcadeBack in the late 70's and early to mid 80's, arcades were the place to be. It was a time when there was a noticeable difference between what could be played in public and what you were playing at home. Once consoles and computers started to match the power and complexity of their arcade counterparts, there just wasn't a reason to pry your butt off the couch to get your video game fix.

It's sad really.. because there was a magic to the classic arcades.. a social dynamic that has been lost. Sure, some arcades still exist but they aren't the same- most are just a mess of dancing games, guitar games and redemption machines. And you might say that online multiplayer games with TeamSpeak adequately fill the void left by the arcades.. but I would argue against that. The spectators, high scores, trash talking, lining your quarters up on the marquee, the soda stained floors, the deafening din of the machines, and the music.. oh, the music. It was the soundtrack for your life.

What was the soundtrack for your "arcade" life?

What are your top ten songs that pull you into those glory days? What are the songs that take you back to when you were a kid and all that mattered was hoarding your quarters, chasing the high score and getting a ride to the mall?

My top ten are:

  • Tom Sawyer (Rush)
  • Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Tears for Fears)
  • Stone in Love (Journey)
  • Autobahn (Kraftwerk)
  • Down Under (Men at Work)
  • Dead Man's Party (Oingo Boingo)
  • Der Kommissar (Falco)
  • She Sells Sanctuary (The Cult)
  • Limelight (Rush)
  • Invisible Touch (Genesis)

-Gandalf42

Comments

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
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Joined: 12/31/1969
NJ arcades
Gandalf42 wrote:

Most of the arcades in the malls in New Jersey (and no, it's nothing like it's portrayed on TV) had the music pumped in via ceiling speakers.. so it was mainly the contemporary music of the time. At least for me, since I spent a fair bit of time at the arcades, the music became a part of my association to the experience.

I've lived in NJ my whole life. We would often go to the arcade in the Woodbridge mall and occasionally in the East Brunswick (Brunswick Square) mall, among others. What about you?

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Chip Hageman
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Joined: 10/06/2010
Echelon Mall, Moorestown

Echelon Mall, Moorestown Mall, Cherry Hill Mall and sometimes Burlington Center or The Gallery in Philly.

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Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Burlington
Gandalf42 wrote:

Echelon Mall, Moorestown Mall, Cherry Hill Mall and sometimes Burlington Center or The Gallery in Philly.

Never went to those much, though I live near the Burlington mall now, which still has a small arcade.

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Chip Hageman
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Joined: 10/06/2010
I've only been to Burlington

I've only been to Burlington Center a few times.. I think I'm farther south than you. I grew up in Medford (Burlington County) but these days I'm in Vineland (Cumberland County). Our local mall is the Cumberland mall.. which lost it's arcade about ten years ago.

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
The only arcades I ever

The only arcades I ever visited were in pizza parlors, roller rinks, and malls. I remember Chuck E. Cheese (later Showbiz) were a big part of my fun. The clearest memories I have are my dad holding up to hit the fire button on Sinistar--always fun, and playing Rush'n Attack (or maybe it was Green Beret) during a class field trip to a roller skating rink. I had played the game a lot on my C-64, and it was fun getting to show off my skills on the arcade machine. I also remember playing that 4-player X-men game back in the early 90s at a mall. I was there with my friends from the "Upward Bound Math and Science" program at Lake Charles, Louisiana, sponsored by McNeese State University. That little program was undoubtedly the high point of my high school days. What a relief to finally escape from the rednecks and get to hang out with smart people.

Otherwise, I remember a Ms. Pac-Man machine at a Chinese take-out place in Natchitoches, LA. My friend Clint could play on one quarter until our order was ready (about 10-15 minutes), and then have to leave the game while it was still going. :)

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Catatonic
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Joined: 05/20/2006
I do have memories of playing

I do have memories of playing Pac Man, Ms. Pac Man, Donkey Kong, and Moon Patrol in the arcades, but don't seem to remember WHERE I played them. In the early 80's they could have been almost anywhere.

The real arcade sound effects of Pac Man still send a shiver down my spine.

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