Thursday, 6 September 2007

Some obsessions make you blind

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.

1 comment:

Baddo said...

I have thick glasses too, nonetheless i rarely played coin ops. Oh, maybe some aero fighters, they were awesome. And that fantastic tecmo world cup 98 at my church's bar... OH MY GOD i played them for all my youth and I never realized it!
It's like when you go out with Elisa in supermarkets and get standing in line! And you always payand never complain!
Coin ops ar evil machines!


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