I wish I could claim these words as mine, but sadly I’m a mere believer in the gospel of my friend A.M. I was talking to him about my trip to the Chinatown arcade on Mott Street and how the Tekken 5 machines have ports for Playstation controllers. This pissed him off to no end, and his rant went roughly like it does in this comic, though I’ve significantly reduced it here for simplicity’s sake. The general idea comes across though.

He compared his growth as a fighting gamer to that of a young boy watching guys play basketball in “the cages” over on 6th ave and West 4th street. Playing the same machine into submission to the point that certain buttons didn’t work that well requiring you to figure out the ways around your disability. To this day when I play him in fighting games my hands sweat and thumbs cramp before his calluses start to itch.

One reason I love websites like Gamespot.com is that these guys are really hardcore gamers who grew up in arcades shoving quarter after quarter into a machine to figure out all the secret moves. These are the guys who tell new gamers the best console out there is the Neo Geo. One of my favorite essays they had was about how arcades have been reduced to novelty games where you kick soccer balls and aim firehoses at the screen. Also how the famous Pac Man Arcade now has computers on a LAN so you can play Counterstrike.

I think that our generation will yield some of the funniest crotchety old men ever. That is, assuming our joints haven’t turned to dust from years of gaming, and we can still practice what we preach. If there’s anything I’ve learned from anime and kung fu movies is that there’s nothing more badass than an unassuming little old man who can totally kick your ass.

My nostalgia for 2D games already makes me feel old. Is this how it all begins?


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