Flashing lights, pew pew gun noises, the ping of the air hockey puck hitting the table’s edge. Where could I possibly be?
Galatic Circus, the biggest (and funnest) arcade I’ve ever visited, EVER. I’m yielding a gun in my hand and shooting bad guys with effortless precision for all of five minutes before the lactic acid in my arms starts to burn.
To understand how I got here, let’s pause there for a minute and rewind eight years back to when I was the tender age of 14.
I used to be a hardcore gamer. Afternoons after school were spent attempting to get AA ratings on the Dance Dance Revolution machine. Not only that, I was in love with MMORPGS and FPS and spent the better part of my entire high school life for sometimes up to 12 hours a day, in front of the computer.
There seems to be a taboo or anti-social preconceptions that society has towards people like me, but in actual fact I made many dear friends during those few years and believe it or not, still keep in contact with them today.
The first time I went to Melbourne was one of the first times I’d met up with my dear friends from the gaming community.
Fast forward to me in Galactic Circus in 2012 and here I am, toting my gun and my wonderful ‘brother’, Neo is next to me. You see, every time I’ve come to Melbourne since my first visit, we would play a game of DDR and Time Crisis and have a merry time.
While it was great to catch up and act childish for half an hour, I realised how uncomfortable I actually felt being in an arcade, doing things the 13-year-old kids in high school were doing.
At the same time I realised how much effort I had actually devoted to bettering myself at those games when I failed them so miserably and swiftly now.
During university, boredom would lead me back to gaming, but my stints would be short lived and I would soon be finding myself taking enjoyment from watching the news or a movie instead.
Could this really be true? Do I need experiences like these to remind myself that, even if I don’t feel it sometimes, baby steps have led me to ACTUALLY maturing in mind and life?
Being a nanna isn’t so bad, either. The money I save on engaging in superfluous activities like clubbing (when a good DJ isn’t on) and drinking until I’m blind, spares room for my real loves: travelling and food.
Nonetheless, my brother and I had a barrel of laughs just like those days, even when time had pushed us forward and moulded us into different people.
Looking forward now! We bid farewell to Galactic Circus until my next visit, where I’m sure my nanna-syndrome will have sprouted a blanket of grey hairs on my head.
But c’est la vie, right?