I grew up in the US in the late 70s and 80s.The heyday of arcade games and the first game consoles.
But in Germany at the time, arcade machines were classified from the age of 18 and banished to the flippotheques.In other words, in (West) Germany they were relatively unknown to people my age. This also slowed down the proliferation of game consoles.
I say this to tell the following stories.
I was at CeBIT Home when the PlayStation 2 was introduced there.Sony had a huge stand with a few dozen PS2s and TVs — in front of each of at least two teenagers. (I was about early to mid-30.
I watched a couple who just played Tekken 4.I stood there quietly and waited. They didn’t notice me at all. At some point a game was over and I asked if I could play.
Their facial expression was gorgeous.Total confusion as to what this “old man” wants, then the joy of the idea that they will make me completely flatten. They say yes.
We play.And they had no chance against me at all. At one point, one of them shouted ” Wuau, you’re good?!” full of desperation.
In Berlin there is the Video Games Museum in Karl-Marx-Allee.Since they have some arcade games from “my” time — including my all-time favorite, Pac-Man.
No, dear reader, you do not understand.I loved the game.And had sandwich box, thermal bottle, T-shirts, drinking glasses, everything with Pac-Man on it. I also watched the cartoon series every Saturday.
So I go to the museum with the children and behold, my baby!
It is a one-on-one table top.There are two boys sitting around the age of my children, around the age of 14. They play against each other while me and my children watch. The guys shout: Boah, you have almost 3,000, you crack the high score, age!
Three thousand?Is this your seriousness? I think of myself. But I’m not saying anything. In fact, the high score is just over 3,000.
But he “dies” just before.Game over.
I ask them if they like to play against me.Again, the shocked, then damaging reaction. Mr. Not-Quite-Highscore tells his buddy derogatoryly, yes, play with him.
I’m allowed to start.
And with my first attempt (without having played it in decades) I increased the high score tenfold.
My children were so proud of me.
Oh yes, dear Reinhard Lohmann, Space Invaders have them too.Somewhere I have a photo of myself with it.
I don’t want to know how many quarters I put into Space Invadersmachines back then…
And as promised here the photos of me and my children from the Computer Games Museum Berlin.
That’s me in the Space Invadersgame.
Alert Reinhard Lohmann.
And here my wife and daughter with Pac-Man: