Showing posts with label sea wolf. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sea wolf. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

My earliest arcade video game experiences

The first video game I saw was Pong in a restaurant I visited with my parents visited. Must have been 1974 or something. Two years later I saw Gun Fight on a fairground and a year or two after that Seawolf II, or was it Depthcharge?

The pizza restaurant in our small suburb put 1980 the game Asteroids in a corner of the hallway near the entrance and youngsters lined up. He later added Defender and more youngsters showed up, while the restaurant had only few visitors. By 1982 he dedicated the smaller room to arcade games, removed tables and chairs and by the time Donkey Kong by Nintendo or Sega's Astroblaster hit the German market he offered ten or so cabs. Every other week a new game came and each time I was blown away. This room was cramped with teens and twens, while the restaurant was mainly empty.

Now the "shocking" part. On April 1st 1985 the German government put a law into action to protect the youth. Violent video movies were moved into a separate room. Vending machines selling booze were removed and besides more things so were video game cabs. So this pizza restaurant probably went bust that year. If you wanted to play video games you had to go to dedicated arcades where the minimum age to enter was 18. And when the guy in front was in doubt you needed to show ID. I was lucky because I just turned 18 a few months prior. Not so lucky to friends being one and two years younger than me.

Imagine you love to play arcade games and are hooked since a couple of years and suddenly this love is taken away from you. I can only imagine how hard that must have been for them.