[Nekobun writes about pizza. Oh, you need another reason to read it? Well, it's also a loving look at some retro classics, and there's also pizza. As always, remember to load your own bloggers wanted responses into the Community Blogs and tag them with the "Bloggers Wanted Essay Response" tag, and you may see your blog promoted to the front page. - Kauza]
I've told the tale before of my first gaming console, wherein I got an NES for Christmas at a tender age, somehow managed to set it up properly myself, et cetera and so forth. However, that's not where my button-mashing adventures began. The roots of my addiction reach back a bit further, but are less associated with a time as they are a food.
As far back as I can recall, almost all of my early encounters with arcade cabinets were directly connected to that irresistable wonder drug of the culinary realm: pizza.
Neither my mother or father were particularly bothered by how I was drawn to shooting games at the impressionable age of four years, so they'd give me a dollar's worth of change to have at ducks and gallery targets every time we went to the local Pizza Hut. For a brief period, I was even decent at the can-shooting minigame in Hogan's Alley, something I've never gotten better at as I've aged.
Thankfully, some visionary had the foresight to bring in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cabinet around the time my friends and I were all turning seven and eight years old, and it changed many of our lives. Between four-player co-op and the fact it was leaps and bounds above the TMNT-branded NES game actually upset some parents due to how many of us spent more time on the game than on the bowling lanes (until, of course, they realized a few bucks for the change machine was saving them the cost of around twenty of what usually ended up being forty frames' worth of bowling).
Finally given a little love, that arcade continued to slowly grow and blossom. It saddens me a bit that by the time they brought in Capcom's Cadillacs & Dinosaurs, most of us were stumbling into puberty and becoming more familiar with the two relatviely local shopping malls, so most of my friends and I had moved on.
One year in particular, my fifteenth birthday happened to fall just a few months after the release of the Nintendo 64, and on the same weekend my favorite Philadelphia alternative radio station at the time was broadcasting a huge farewell concert before they were to change formats to generic hip-hop. My parents conceded to renting an N64 from Blockbuster (since I somehow managed to get every Nintendo console as a Christmas gift the year followingthat system's release, and therefore wouldn't see my own until that December), along with Super Mario 64, Wave Race 64, and [/i]1080 Snowboarding[/i], and five of us spent the night noshing on Ellio's, failing to spin the controller's analog stick enough times before faceplanting in the snow, and at one point, finding great humor in hitting me in the balls with a shoe. It's cool, even I was laughing despite the pain, since it was mostly an accident.
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