Monday, 15 August 2016
Arcades weren't exactly a common thing for me as a young British lad. The only proper, full on arcade that existed to my knowledge growing up in England was the London based Sega World but even that eventually shut down and faded into obscurity. Up north where I was from arcades didn't really exist at all per se. There was still coin-op but they existed as small banks of machines found in bowling alleys and cinema lobby's.
What England had an awful lot of though is shitty little side attractions. The most common one are those coin dozer things where you have a big thing pushing a large amount of coins towards the edge of the play field and you put a 10p in the machine in the hopes that once that gets added to the pile it'll push a bunch of coins off and allow you to play more. Aside from that, grotty UFO machines filled with cheap, unwinnable kak and similar games were available but the machines were usually in bad condition and you wouldn't want to touch the joysticks or buttons anyway.
But there's one thing that really sticks out in my mind from these shitty mini-arcade things and it's the coin spiral bank thing pictured above. The idea of this thing is that you'd put a 10p piece inside the slot and just watch the coin spiral round and round on its side into the hole. Nothing electronic, just simple physics made it work and there was nothing more to it than literally wasting your money.
As a small kid though coin dozers and UFO machines used to piss me off. These things that LOOK like games but are actually just cheap excuses to steal your change. Proper arcade games, even coin guzzling titles like House of the Dead etc. didn't piss me off because even though they were out to take as much money as possible, blasting things with a light gun was a ton of fun for me when I was small. This thing however managed to be nothing more than a colossal waste of change and it wasn't pretending to be anything more than just that. You'd put 10 or 20p in it, watch it go and then it was done, you got your little thrill and the thing wouldn't ask for more or tempt you with unwinnable prizes.
Anyway I don't really know what I'm fucking on about, I just remembered these existed during my work day and wanted to write something about it.