July 29th, 2010

Blue Shirt

INSERT COIN


A few weekends ago, I spent the weekend up in the Bay Area for the fourteenth annual California Extreme Classic Arcade & Pinball Expo. I first found out about the show in 2001, and every time I go, I'm always hit with waves of intense nostalgia for a very specific period of my childhood, from age eight in 1978 through my twenties in the mid-90s.

Collapse )

Visiting California Extreme every year is a head-spinning exercise in reminiscing through multiple sense memories. That signature buzzing, ringing hubub of a noisy, crowded arcade -- the kaleidoscope of colors on flashing marquee signs and pulsating color screens -- the feel of an industrial-grade control stick, or roller ball, or steering wheel under your fingers -- the film of sweat on your palms as your score climbs and you cling to your last life -- the only thing missing is the smell of nachos and pizza.

Click here to see a few years of my photos from the show.