A coin-op monitor
watched very, very closely
As I wrote in the previous post, back in the summer of 1984, my problem was money. Put in this way, nothing has changed since then (...), but in 1984 I just needed some spare coins to feed those machines, which would have granted me some glimpses of future, in exchange for my change. Many children first show a bent for business in situations of this kind, maybe selling old comics, or doing small, odd jobs for their parents. I didn't - I only shown a bent for voyeurism.
That's it. Soon I realized that, for the Alpha Phase of my education to videogaming, it was great to let the others play. Or simply watch the rolling demos of the coin-ops. I loved to bring my head closer and closer to the screen, to drown my sight into a everchanging wave of pixels (or "atoms", as I called them). I was mesmerized. I lived it as my very first serious attempt at understanding the magic of technology - exactly 20 years after Marshall McLuhan's "Understanding Media". Still, my primitive technique of analysis obtained my peers' consent: many other young players tried it and found it "cool". Now in their thirties, they have thick glasses and they worship Jeff Minter. That's my pride.