Remember the arcades of our youth? I'm talking about the arcades that were just that, an arcade. Not a pizza place, not a bar, not a skating rink, just an arcade. These places served up entertainment and competition and harmless fun. Here you could hide from the world and get lost in another, they provided escape and freedom.
In an arcade you could count on a spending a few hours away from parents, teachers or other authority; in an arcade you were on your own. Whatever small cares in this world were on your mind, you could leave them all behind playing a game of High Speed or Robotron. Arcades are where we learned about life, how to make new friends, how to talk to the opposite sex and how to win with respect and how to lose with dignity.
Sure modern video games are more competitive than ever with the ability to face a challenger across the country or even the world. Fascinating stuff for sure but haven't we lost something? In an arcade it was impossible to be anonymous, as you literally rubbed elbows with your opponents. Taunting and gloating, while it may have existed, was different then and would have rarely resulted in slander of one's mother or sexually charged insults which certainly would have led to fisticuffs. No, arcades taught us to respect those who were good at the game and when it came to winning to let the high scores do the talking.
The arcade taught us life lessons that couldn't have been learned anywhere else and sadly for decades that is something that modern youths have been robbed of. This is just one of the reasons the Flipperspiel Wunderland exists. It is a place without hate, where friendly competition exists, where you can meet new people, make new friends, and even just waste time. It is a place that seeks to bring back to the community that which has been lost for too long: a place for youth to interact and grow up. Some people say they cannot afford to let their kids spend money playing pinball and video games....maybe the truth is we cannot afford not to.
So come on down to the Flipperspiel and play some pinball or 8-bit video game tonight. Remember that wherever you are, if you are lucky enough to have one, support your local arcade. Do it for the children.