The Kids Who Grew Up In Arcades

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Total RecallTotal RecallTotal Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends.

In their heyday, arcades weren't just about the games. They were about the experience of leaving the house and going to a public space to play games, hanging out with friends and meeting new people who would then kick your ass.

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It's a scene that today is sadly long gone. All we've got left, then, is memories, and the best kind of arcade memories are rad photos of the kids who grew up in them.

These pictures are part of an amazing Flickr group called Growing Up In Arcades: 1979-1989, which collects original, everyday photos of, well, yeah. Submitted by users from around the world (though mainly from the US), this public collection of normal people playing video games in normal arcades will bring back fond memories to anyone who was alive and gaming at the time.

And if you weren't? Don't laugh too hard at the pants.

You can check out dozens more of these awesome pics at the collection's site here.

[Lead pic by Mark Bukumunhe]

Illustration for article titled The Kids Who Grew Up In Arcades
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TOTAL RECALL

Total Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends.

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Illustration for article titled The Kids Who Grew Up In Arcades

"Pizza Hut Arcade" by Garrett Bradford.

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"Me Playing Missile Command 1982" by theunabonger.

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"Jeff G. at Mt. Airy Lodge Gameroom" by Russ Glasson.

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"Brighton - 10-08-1980" by Harald Haeusler.

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"1982 Testing out the New Games" by Chris Boznos.

Illustration for article titled The Kids Who Grew Up In Arcades
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"Girl Playing PacMan at Coral Springs festival, 1983" by Steven Martin.

Illustration for article titled The Kids Who Grew Up In Arcades
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"Hastings Coastal Amusements George Street 1983" by Dave.

DISCUSSION

I've been noticing a lot of nostalgia for arcades lately - even by people who never went to an arcade. I assume it's XBLA, PSN and Wii Shop Channel re-releases of classics, as well as the abundance of new games that are going for that arcade flavor (Scott Pilgrim, Castle Crashers, Shatter, etc.)

So, what do you guys think it would take to make an old school arcade establishment attractive these days? It's something I've been very intensely thinking about lately. My personal feelings say setting all the classic machines to freeplay and just charging a cover fee (while maybe having some recent machines that take money, but a reasonable amount. $0.75, at worst - not this D&B bullcrap of charging almost $2 to play the latest racer.) Any thoughts?