I was at the local pizza place over the weekend, and after filling up on delicious jalapeno pepperoni, I headed back to the arcade room. I looked through the 5 machines there, and after messing around for a game or two, went to the Metal Slug machine. I played to the second level. I'm working my way through when a pack of 10 year olds start watching me and cheering me on. I beat the level on one life, a feat I've never done in any MS level before, and they told me I was "Uber Leet" and left. I then proceeded to die quickly into level 3 and then left myself.
This is why I wish there were arcades still around. You can't gather around someone's TV in their house (unless you're at a party), you can't watch in groups someone online (except in Halo 3, but eh), and it's not even necessarily the being the center of the attention as it is bing in the group and cheering the player on. I never got to truly experience this due to my Arcade machine experiences being limited to NBA Jam and Bubble Bobble at Pizza Hut, but it's something that just doesn't get to happen with the way gaming's headed. Even then, it's not all that often you see people paying attention to people not on the DDR machine. I guess thats because people want to play their own game instead of watching someone else move their joystick as opposed to watching someone move their body, but eh. I'd rather watch someone plow through Smash TV than some guy do flips while 100%ing MAX300 or whatever the hot Bemani Jam is these days.
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