A short trip to Vero Beach last week re-acquainted me with the gaming days of my youth. The beachfront Holiday Inn comes complete with restaurant, bar and an arcade in the corner of the room. It included a single old fashioned video game housing Ms. Pac-man and Galaxia butting up against a large Claw grabbing stuffed animals for the price of a quarter. After a few drinks, my restlessnness and a wallet full of quarters led me to the machine.
“Let’s Play,” I challenged my husband.
I went first clearing the first round eating dots and the flashing blue tinted ghosts. I danced with the machine and whipped the controls left, right, up and down as I equally moved my entire body to the rhythm of the moment. Me against the machine until the monsters stopped flashing and killed me off. It was my husband’s turn. He didn’t move as quick his game ended in no time. “Winning,” I claimed as we went into round two. I won with higher points and renewed energy.
“Galaxia this time for a 10 minute massage,” he asserted.
He went first as I observed his mistakes. When it was my turn the memory of the game came back to me as my finger constantly fired at aliens while moving side to side avoiding their kamikaze dives. I was focused and determined. My spaceship was captured and then I had two. At twice the firing power I was unstopable going into overtime. The points accumulated and I was heading for high score. My husband’s game was over and I kept playing as he watched in amazement. More overtime, more points. “Winning,” I mumbled just prior to being killed.
He bought me a drink and commented, “That’s from working at Chuck-E-Cheese.” I smiled and recalled my teenage years with endless tokens intensly playing all the arcade games when I wasn’t dressing up as a mouse or working the ball-crawl. I was a gaming nerd and my experience there was a form of birth control after being surrounded by kids all day.
My husband regained his pride by grabbing a stuffed animal with the Claw for our little pup. I cashed in on my 10 minute massage.