Growing up, we thought our grandparents had witnessed the most amazing era in human history. Sure, we saw the Moon landing on TV, but we were only ten at the time, and while it was certainly cool, we lacked the experience and understanding — and poetry — to put it in a larger context. Our grandparents had seen biplanes, for chrissake. They knew what the Moon meant.
We would have been old enough to hang out at the pinball arcade when we started having thoughts like that. The place was an ad hoc mechanical museum, not because the proprietor had any taste, but because some machines were cheaper to rent than others.
The old ones had their charms, all bells and spinning scorewheels and worn boards. But the lines formed around new shinies like Captain Fantastic, with electronic sounds and digital numbers. Truly that was the future of quarter-enabled entertainment.
Until the night Pong showed up.
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