Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Barcade (bar-CADE). def: (1) A bar that's also a spacious, old-school '80s arcade. (2) A brilliant concept. (3) Also, a staple of Williamsburg hipsterdom that I sampled for the first time on Friday night.

This place would seem to have all the trademarks of something I'd hate: scruffy Brooklyn kids decked out in urban woodsman flannel; snotty beer; "ironic" everything; crowds. In reality, though, it's pretty sweet. Tons of games. 25 cents each. And a full bar. This is pretty much how video games got their start, and it's still the ideal way to play.

Since I went with the "kids" from work, who are all in their early 20s, I got a few reminders of my own not-so-young age. Like, they knew about Atari, but not from first-hand experience. Fine. But how do you explain this:

"Oh, they had this Contra for the Nintendo, too? But I don't understand what you mean by 'cheat codes.'"

"I didn't know there was a difference between Ms. Pacman and regular Pacman."

"I like that game with the orange thing that cusses."

"What's Galaga?"


Q*bert. The orange thing that cusses.

Ms. Pacman used to be my joint -- and I still had enough skills to impress the kids from the office, even though my best game was nowhere in the universe of the high score. But I'm pretty sure that if I had lots of quarters and an apartment off the L train, I could devote myself to becoming dominant at Q*bert and Moon Patrol. I had lots of trouble with both of them when I was younger, but they rule.


kunka said...

Galaga!! Classic. And they don't know cheat codes?? I went to dinner with my agents yesterday and found out they were both younger than me. WTF! We're old!!

Ara said...

Moon Patrol was hard, yet fun.

Did the 20 year olds really say those things?

Squeen said...

Kunks - We are definitely old. Galaga IS classic, though a *little* tedious when you're standing up.

Ara - I was very upset to find that there's no Moon Patrol or Q*Bert I could download on the Wii. Had to settle for a lame updated version of Frogger. And yes, the 22-year-olds really said those things. Not knowing about the Contra cheat code blew my mind. I guess that's the difference between children of the '80s and children of the '90s.

Peter said...

Wow, I love ths. I still have my atari 2600 in my attick(one day I will set it up and running again). I also have a program called the mame emulator and have many of the original arcade games ei Donkey Kong, crazy climber and the ones you mentioned. I'll get you a copy if you want. I also found this.

Squeen said...

Pete - I thought you might like this. That plug-n-play controller has some classics on it! True story: a friend of mine briefly had the highest score in the nation at Yar's Revenge.