I’ve been delving deeper and deeper into older tech lately. Most of this is old school coin-op arcade games and old console games. For some odd reason, I find playing those to be much more fun, and I find that I can also stay more level headed and sane. I know that’s an extremely odd statement to say, but stay with me, we’re going somewhere
Over the past few years, I’ve been feeling more and more averse to new technology. I remember being crazy excited when new game consoles were announced, and now I couldn’t care less. I’ve been getting that way about most tech these days, sort of like the uncanny valley affect. Who knows, I may turn around. Shit, getting ahead of myself. Rewind. So, yeah (spoken like Eddie Izzard), new tech. Let us delve a little deeper into my mindset, shall we?
I have a tech oriented job. I’m a systems administrator, which basically means i work on servers instead of user workstations. I sit in front of a screen all day, and my “escape” is to glance at my phone…another screen. I’ve realized that most days, when I’m immersed in tech, I walk away feeling kinda lost. Even though I search the net during the day and learn, both about my job and about the current state of the world, I just don’t feel centered in reality. On the other hand, recently I’ve had to do some manual work in our datacenter, and those days I felt much more normal and centered. The same was true when I worked in Manhattan and walked from client to client all day. This wasn’t a new experience, and I’ve noticed that every time I harp on looking at my phone, I experience a bit of what I’m calling techno-rot. I feel as if the immersion into more and more technology is disconnecting me from reality. This isn’t to say that I’m a psychotic all of a sudden, but like the Matrix, it disconnects me from the “real world”.
“So”, you say, “what the hell does this have to do with all that game crap from the first paragraph?”. Well, I spent a chunk of time last night playing Cadash on my Turbo Grafx 16, and my Cabal arcade game. I ended up having a blast, and didn’t feel that weird disconnect I normally feel when playing newer video games. That’s when it all clicked into place in my head. The disconnect I feel is due to the immersion in newer tech. I can mess with an arcade game or pinball machine for awhile and be totally fine, but an hour playing PS3 or X360 leaves me wandering the house like I have Alzheimers. It’s very much like an addictive drug. I need to get that fix every so often, by looking at my phone, checking my computer, checking my tablet, etc. It’s almost as if the internet is a black hole, constantly drawing me closer to it.
I’m not sure if this is the same for anyone else. It may not be. I may just be a complete wacko. Still, in my arrogance, I can’t imagine that other people don’t experience the same thing. The drag of tech immersion, and how it desensitizes us from life and reality, and disconnects our emotions. Perhaps this is also affecting the state of the world as well. People in our country have willingly given up many of our freedoms recently, starting just after the internet boom. We’re all just so distracted lately, with our heads in Facebook, Twitter, texts, Cracked.com, etc. It just doesn’t seem like many people are still living in the world, and once I saw this, I realized that escape into the OASIS would be both gladly welcomed by our society, and would cause its enslavement and death of spirit. I’m gonna stick with older tech for awhile, I think it makes me more sane.
I’m into arcade stuff in a big way. This started a few years ago with the purchase of my first pinball machine, a 1978 Williams Phoenix. After restoring that, I stuck with it for a few years and didn’t go any further, mostly due to a lack of space and funds. Actually, that’s not totally true, I picked up a home use air hockey table for free, fully working. It’s mostly used as a table right now… ANYWAYS… Earlier this year that changed for a short time (though now I’m flat broke again), and I sold my Phoenix only to pick up 3 other pins and 3 arcade games. During this process, I did a ton of searching online for new machines, and came across some really awesome stuff that most people my age and younger have never even seen.
Before the late 1970’s, video arcade games were pretty much non-existent, and pinball machines weren’t digital. Pinball back then was all Electro Mechanical, or EM. These are the ones with chimes and bells instead of speaker driven electronic audio, and they had score wheels instead of digital displays. What most people don’t know, is that there were arcade games like that as well. These used motors, buttons, and usually a “screen” that was more like a diorama. I’ve looked into these, and they’re pretty awesome. Only problem is, they’re rare. If you see one that’s playable somewhere, don’t pass it up. Check out the vids below to see what I mean.
Sega Gun fight:
Midway Sea Raider Submarine Arcade Game- 1969
1969 Bally Space Flight
Sega Moto Champ – 1973
If you don’t think these are even a little bit awesome, then the child inside you is either asleep or gone. I’d love to have one of these. Enjoy!