Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Game Galaxy: The Happiest Place on Earth

As a 32-year-old, I would never qualify myself as a gamer. I haven't touched a console in 10 years...likely because I the idea of playing today seems overwhelming. [Tangent: My mom just got a FB page, which is probably a whole blog altogether, but I imagine it's a similar feeling. Even though it's not a new thing, it's new to her, which makes it scary. That's how I feel about modern gaming-everything is a foreign concept, so instead of feeling in over my head...I just pretend video games created beyond the year 2000 don't exist in my world.] This is a huge 180 from my childhood where we owned several consoles and  my parents would drop my off at Cool Springs Galleria with $10, and I would waste all my money at Power Play playing the Simpsons game. Arcade games were a great babysitter and hold a special place in my heart.

the T-Rex would eat your ball! It was awesome!

For this reason, when I found out that my friend Nettie was having her birthday party at an arcade I was intrigued. When I learned it was an old school arcade with vintage pinball, console games and freestanding machines, I was super intrigued. [Tangent: I had heard of Game Galaxy before when another friend had a birthday there, but I had to miss it and kind of assumed it was like a Dave and Busters. Little did I know how magic it is.] Then I learned for $10 you can play use all the machines free all day, and the clouds parted and the angels began singing the theme to Zelda. How can this place be real?!??!?

Although I have heard there is one in Rivergate, the one we went to is the Hickory Hollow location, where it resides in a somewhat abandoned strip mall where the Best Buy used to be. There really isn't a huge sign unless you count the one on the window, so I can understand why it is easily overlooked...which makes me happy because that meant on a Saturday it wasn't busy at all. A WIN for me!

This place is definitely no frills, but I am substance over style generally so I didn't mind that the food served was cans of coke and vending machine snacks or that we had to wait a few minutes for someone to take our $10 because they had to finish up a game they were playing. That's just the nature of the beast. It's also SUPER crowded with machines, so I had to navigate a little differently to fit my chair down the aisles, but I didn't mind because that just meant more pinball options for me! [Tangent: I am so eternally indebted to the seat elevator feature on my wheelchair which allows me to raise up to better see/reach things. It came in such handy at Game Galaxy.]

As soon as Jamie and I entered, we were overwhelmed like children at Disneyland...I wanted to play every game immediately and simultaneously, and we COULD because we paid $10 and that was our prerogative! Also, because we didn't have to pay per play, we could just ditch a game if we were not into it. With this in mind, and to fulfill my The Who's Tommy fantasies [Tangent: Minus the deaf and blind part...], I probably played 20 different pinball machines and engaged in lots of fighting games with Jamie, who I love because he doesn't let me win and vice versa. He eviscerated me numerous times in Mortal Kombat and I unleased my inner Chun-Li on him in Street Fighter. It was so much fun. We also played The Simpsons game, which DOES NOT hold up. I think I used to love it because I was good at it...but as an adult, I realize they give you WAY too many lives/chances to fail miserably. [Tangent: In other words, I wasn't good at it...it just is hard to lose.]

Oh, and don't worry...they have a lot of very niche games too, that I didn't even know existed. Like apparently movies like Johnny Mnemonic and Demolition Man warranted pinball machines. Also, the band Journey had a game where a little 8-Bit Steve Perry bounced on drum heads as an arcade-y version of Wheel in the Sky played on. Watch it here. Dream come true. [Tangent: Here is a full listing of all the games they have at that location.]


I can't wait to go back! 
What was your favorite game growing up?

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