As anyone who’s visited an American shopping mall in the last few decades could tell you, the age of the arcade has long since passed. Despite the efforts of the occasional nostalgia-minded beercade or retro pinball hall, the days of shoving quarters into a Ms. Pac Man machine until your eyes bleed have gone the way of breakdancing, massive hair, and sexy young Jeff Bridges: forever lost to the abyss of time.
But we still have the movies, those champions of the once-trendy and now forgotten, to help us remember the joys of the stick and the thrill of the gun. The Huffington Post has put together a little love letter to the arcade on film, compiling a three-minute supercut of movie scenes taking place in or around the old amusement hall. Using films from 1974 to 1994, the video is a testament to the ringing, beeping, chaotic beauty of the arcade, from the swirling mass of teenaged hormones to the gloriously washed-out visage of an actor’s blankly staring face, ghoulishly lit by a vector-graphics screen.
It’s enough to make you want to run out and build that arcade in the garage that you’ve been drunkenly threatening to assemble for years. Of course, the supercut is also a stern reminder of just how many filmic gamers were electrocuted, hypnotized, digitized, and alien abducted-ized by arcade games back in the ‘70s and ’80s.