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Archive for August, 2013

Arcade on Fire

I was at an end of school year staff party looking at my phone to see what time is was, I was double booked for another event, and my ride who had brought me to the party was checking in with me about where to drop me off on her way home.

“Wonderland Arcade” I tried to say quietly to her (although most likely failed)

“You’re going to an arcade?” one of my other co-workers asked

And it seemed at this moment that the whole room stopped with their individual conversations and became quiet, totally engrossed at my new disclosure of my next location.

I stood there among my fellow employees most of them middle age or older, feeling suddenly like I was 13 years old.

“Uh…yeah, it’s this thing my friend organized” I said sheepishly, bracing myself for some unknown reaction.

“You’re SO lucky!” Another co-worker exclaimed

“You’re going to have so much fun!” another co-worker added

And all of a sudden I DID feel really lucky to be spending my night in an arcade.

Now to be fair, you could probably bring me anywhere and I could make it work. I can see the appeal in most things, and if I don’t, I’ll most likely try to see the appeal in the people that might be there. In this current situation, that wasn’t going to be an issue though. I’d never been to this location before, and as a Regina newbie (well kind of), I was excited to see a new location and my friend had rented out the whole establishment so that all of our other friends could go hang out there exclusively, as long as our little hearts desired. However, there was one important factor in me going to the arcade, I’ve never been a ‘gamer’. Honestly, I’m not a fan of electronic games, I wasn’t that kid that was addicted to video games, I find them stressful, I tend to press down on the buttons too hard, and have stressful dreams about levels I didn’t beat, and constantly agonizing over strategies to beat levels I have no business facing.  So what was I going to do at an arcade?

Have the time of my life, apparently.

I finally got dropped off by my kind co-worker and I stood in front of this sign.

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The doors were locked, and inside I could see a nicely sized crowd of ages ranging from mid twenties to mid thirties laughing and giddy with excitement. It was at that moment that I was reminded of the excitement you would get before going to a really cool birthday party. Since adult birthdays are generally restaurant, pot luck or cocktail related, you forget the anticipation of hanging out with your friends in a really cool place sometimes.

The doors were unlocked by the lovely lady hired to chaperone/run the arcade for us throughout the evening and she ushered me in like a VIP, locking the doors to the public behind me. No matter what the venue,  there is something pretty special about renting a whole space for your people and your people alone. People walking by on the street wondering if the amount of fun we looked like we were having reflected the amount of fun we were actually having, the answer is yes.

Immediately, the place filled me with a deep sense of nostalgia, bringing me back to a simpler and younger time. 2013-06-15 22.53.452013-06-15 22.53.33

I looked around to see bowls of party mix, and other familiar party treats, and looked down to see a huge cooler full of beers, putting the adult spin on this location.

My friends greeted me, quickly looking over and yelling to me, but desperately trying not to break their hard earned concentration and scores. I walked over to them, drinking in everything with my eyes, and so happy to be in such a place doing such wholesome things while having a Kokanee in hand.

We all had our vices, the game you just couldn`t walk away from, the one where you just had to try one more time. My friend V`s was the basketball net, she just couldn`t get enough. Mine was Skee ball.

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I felt like a Disney underdog playing that game. Having no idea what score was high or not high, not having one sweet clue what constituted a game well done, or a dud. It wasn`t until a friend of mine passed by, looked at my score and whistled, with a `wowzer, you’re incredible at this!’

Was I? Their reaction was to this score:

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I’ll have to take their word for it.

My stress case of the night was this game.

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It was a game in which I had a gun and basically had to machine gun kill tons of zombies flying at the screen. I’m not a Zombie lover, I can’t even watch “Walking Dead” because I’m so afraid of them. And there I was, gun in hand, shooter position, massacring every terrifying thing that lunged toward me. It felt like the game was never going to end, my shoulders were up to my neck, my hands gripping the gun tightly, and my occasional yelps. The game ended with what felt like an hour long battle with some zombie like Marie Antoinette flying around, to which I shot her to a bloody pulp.

I could see the concern in people’s faces as they witnessed my stress as they passed me.

I’m not built for these kinds of games, I probably wouldn’t make it in a Zombie Apocalypse, or maybe this game was some kind of test that I passed? Let’s hope it’s the latter.

These games:

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Car racing games, I could have played for the rest of my life.

And of course I played a lot of this:

Ms pac man

Does anyone else always think of ‘Wayne World’ when they hear of Ms. Pac Man?

And finally, I glanced up while watching my friends do ‘Dance, Dance Revolution”, I saw this familiar and yet disturbing image that certainly was a blast from the past:

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Is it supposed to be Elvira? Can someone help a sister out? And while that’s cleavage I’ll never be able to pull off (both because of biology and pure modesty), I do respect  her hair feathering, that’s a real commitment to beauty.

I played a solid three and a half hours at the arcade after I decided to gracefully bow out of my evening of gaming.

And on my way home I came across these lovely Reginian landmarks.

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All in all, it was a uniquely splendid evening that was too cool to repeat. Thanks N for organizing, I never would have thought of it, and it ended up being one of my favourite evenings maybe ever.

Game on Wayne.

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