The Eye Spy book of Arcades (Circa 1990) The amusement arcade is a place people can go to play the latest games, show off their skills, compete against others and escape bad weather while on holiday.
Before your expedition into the arcade, it's advisable to ensure that you are properly prepared psychologically and are fully equipped with the correct provisions.
If this is your first time in a video arcade then you are about to discover an environment quite unlike any other and we would recommend your initial visit be brief so as not to become overwhelmed by the sights, sounds and smells therein. Outside the Arcade, how many of the following can you find:
A row of coloured light bulbs with several blown
A glass booth with a chicken on a pedestal inside nursing a clutch of two-toned plastic eggs
An ice cream slowly melting on the pavement with it's cone in the air
A hamburger with chips complete as if no one had eaten it
A little vehicle on a podium which plays a 10 second tune snippet at 5 second intervals.
Paving slabs laminated with used chewing gum
A pigeon with a mangled foot eating some spew
A couple of bored children with their father who's intensely focused on the teddy grab machine.
Once inside, allow your senses time to adjust to the conditions. Your eyes will need to adapt to the gloom and your mind will need to adjust to processing an initially overwhelming cacophony of audible information.
You may feel excited to explore, but do take the time to compose yourself, the reduced oxygen levels from the plumes of cigarette smoke may be disorienting at first.
While you adjust, concentrate on the sounds. Here are some of the things you may be able to make out apart from the usual symphony of peeps, pings and snippets of tunes:
The 'ghost pay-out' from tuppeny waterfall that no one is playing (no coins will be in the return bay on inspection)
An indoor Kids mini merry go round jingle sounds
The 'Hadouken' sound clearly audible above the rest of the din
An interminable and fierce sounding mechanical cacophony indicating a jackpot win
A recurring and terminal sounding chesty cough traceable to the over 18 gambling area
The sudden rattle of a torrent of 2p coins dropping into a thin steel tray
The phrase 'Place your bets now please' repeated tirelessly by Stephen Hawking
A sudden but brief blast of a siren
Once you feel comfortable to move safely around the environment, see how many of the following you can spy:
A young child sat in a driving cab, turning the wheel from lock to lock with the attract mode running
A kid with no money who tours the machines 'helping' strangers with this expert tips and advice on the games
A guy in this late teens with a small entourage of slightly younger kids watching him play.
An ignored, lit cigarette resting on a cab gradually turning to ash.
A coin slot with a foreign coin wedged in it. Gaffer tape carpet repair
An old lady with a large pot of 2p coins and a look of concentration perched by the tuppeny waterfall
A 6 year old running around checking the coin return bays
A suicidally bored, grumpy looking man in a glass booth
The 'Professional' player who is always there alone but only ever plays one game
The frustrated casino paton, chain smoking while ploughing his dole money into the fruit machine
A man in Speedos chaperoning his kids with sandy feet
An enclosed and dark cabinet interior with a sticky floor
Arcade 'Eye Spy' Memories by @clammylizard