Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tron's Legacy.

As the end of the year rapidly approaches, and as we find ourselves inundated with the onslaught of red and green stuff in stores, and as the angry Winter storms line up on the horizon to take turns reminding us that it's too late to rattle-can coin doors in the back yard, and as a little movie by Disney that is the sequel to another little movie you may or may not have heard of is about to hit the theaters, it's time to think about a little word called legacy.

I look back at the past year and wonder where it went and what I have to show for it arcade-wise. Did I spend it wisely ? Did I pad my own arcade-legacy ? Do I even have one ? Will I ever have one ? Do you have one ? Does anyone even care ? I did manage to buy and repair more games and circuit boards and monitor chassis than I can dare to remember. Fought the good fight against parting out games. Met some new collectors and old collectors and probably made a few new enemies as well. The work of an arcade preservationist is never done.

And what about the legacies of those we lost ? Halfway through this past year, I said my goodbyes to my faithful furry companion of nearly 12 years. He was always there waiting for my return and watching me work on the games I would bring home, waiting patiently for me to finish and then take him for a run. Can a dog have a legacy ? Even if it only matters to one person ? I say sure, why not. He probably did more to make me a better person than most humans ever will. A dog will keep you honest. You just can't lie to your dog. He knows exactly how you feel at every second of every day. You know exactly how he feels of every second of every day. I guess we are even in that regard. But dogs have us in spades when it comes to love and forgiveness and loyalty. That is every dog's legacy. Loyalty is a quality that is lost on a lot of arcade game owners ( I hate referring to the owners that part out and smash games as collectors). I just could never understand how someone can turn on one of their games so quickly and strip it down and sell off the parts. I think you can tell a lot about a person by how he treats his dog or his arcade games.

And what about the legacy that most of us are currently concerned with, the movie Tron Legacy. Will it have any kind of lasting effect on the hobby of arcade game collecting ? Will it inspire a new generation of collectors ? Will it appeal to the general populace ? Or just the quarter and card-carrying nerds that loved the original Tron. It would be a shame if the effort Disney has put into this movie is wasted. Wouldn't it be great if just like the suit at Disney that woke up one day and thought about bringing Tron back and making a sequel, the hack game owners could watch the movie and wake up and want to bring back arcade games ?

One can only hope that the memories brought back by seeing Tron and Flynn's arcade on the big screen again will transcend greed and easy money and motivate these arcade game owners to stop the madness. It would be as though a spell that had been cast over these lost souls is suddenly broken. They look down at the sledge hammer in their hand and then at the game that was about to get vaporized and would wonder what had come over them. Maybe the movie will create a higher demand for classic arcade games in complete and working condition and in turn cause the market value of the games to increase. This would make it a lot less lucrative to sell the machines in pieces. Can one movie do all that ? Never underestimate the power of a little Disney magic. This could be and should be Tron's legacy.

1 comment:

John Decker said...

This is a great article. I love video games and especially the old classic arcade games. I would have to agree that Tron is one of the best classic arcade games. I have been trying to find a pacman arcade machine for my basement but no luck yet. I also think some of the best classic arcade games are Megaman, Street Fighter, Pac Man, Sonic, Mortal Kombat, Asteroids, and Galaga.