Quarters were quite valuable to me at age 10. I would save them until I had several dollars worth. I had a specific use for them; one that had nothing to do with a piggy bank. The location for my deposit of quarters? The arcade game Galaga.

The small convenience store on the corner of the street on which I grew up had Galaga for years in a back corner of the store. I would go to the store, sometimes buy a soda (I called it pop because people from Colorado call it pop), or a candy bar, and then plant myself at Galaga. The duration of play depended on whether or not I had brought my “A” game, and, of course, how many quarters I had in my pocket.

Today I discovered Galaga in the wild, and in an unlikely place. It’s located in a kids hair salon. Despite its out-of-place location, I’m drawn to it immediately.

Over the last few years I’ve seen an emergence of Galaga in the form of new, upright consoles that combine two classic Namco/Midway arcade games from the 1980s: Galaga and Ms. Pacman. I was never into the Pacman games, so if given a choice between a classic upright Galaga console and one with both Galaga and Ms. Pacman, I’d go with the Galaga-only version.

Galaga is really the only arcade game I thoroughly enjoyed. There are web and hacked versions available online, but I’m a purist. The only time I play Galaga is when I find the upright console. Incidentally, the correct pronunciation of the word Galaga seems to be open to interpretation. If anyone knows the correct pronunciation or comes across a reliable source that can confirm and explain the pronunciation, please share.

Maybe I should scrounge up some quarters and go hang out at the kid’s hair salon for a couple hours. “Sir, do you have a child with you who needs a haircut?” “Nope. I’m here for Galaga! Do you have any pop?”

As they left, I’d shrug off the creepy assumptions about my presence and return to game play.


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4 Responses to Galaga!

  1. John Eklund says:

    That’s super funny. What’s pop?

  2. Pop! As in soda pop…Pepsi, Coke, etc. I called a Pepsi a pop until I moved to the East Coast. Then I adopted “soda.” Now pop seems foreign to me. Drinking a pop (Mountain Dew was my usual back then) and playing an hour or two of Galaga…doesn’t get much better than that. At least, not for an 11 year old.

  3. JennBenn says:

    Wouldn’t an old school arcade/game room in Charlotte be cool? A place with Galaga, Ms. Pacman, Donkey Kong, Defender, etc. and board games like Connect Four. I would totally go.

  4. Wow! Great idea. Perhaps add a coffee and wine/craft beer bar? We could call it: 30 Somethings Arcade.

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