Playing WIth Your Joystick While Drinking: An Adult-Adolescent Dream

Last night I indulged in an overgrown adolescent fantasy with my “BFF”.  There was no porn involved, nor did we tip cows or crash a kegger.

No, we two 35 year old women made our first stop at the food truck park where I irresponsibly scarfed down Philly cheese steak nachos  from a vendor called The Blaxican.  Then we went to a place I could only have envisioned in my dreams.

We walked into the Joystick Gamebar  where i found the walls lined with arcade games from the 80s and 90s and the bar menu featured culinary cocktails with sides of  homemade cheese poofs and pizza pop tarts.

I popped quarters into box after beautiful wooden box:  killing flying bugs in Galaga like my 12 year-old pro-self, getting my ego bruised in Mortal Combat and making my fingers numb pounding the bright buttons toward my ultimate demise on Neo Geo.  I was amongst the company of a veritable Gen X sausage fest.  My bestie and I were the only females in the place that didn’t work there or weren’t dragged there by their sweatpants-wearing, Dorito-eating boyfriends.  But was there one person in there with any shame?  The answer is a resounding “hell no”.

And why on earth would you find such a place in this hipster-pocket of downtown where we spent our Wednesday evening?  Could there possibly be enough stunted adults in one city-center to support such an enterprise of expensive cocktails and cheap thrills?  You betcha.  I live in an urban wonderland filled with advertising executives, cable TV animators, fashion-followers, BMW drivers and culinary junkies who despite “living the dream” still can’t help but crave the comfort and simplicity of their middle class suburban childhoods.

They long for a life less complicated, when Mom would insist that “the phone is not a toy” and a paper route sustained your basic needs for comic books and pegs for your bike.  They would never have conceived that they would grow up to find the perfect “creative” job that would keep them on a 24/7 digital leash and suck their will to live.

Thus the urban entertainment landscape is finding venue upon venue to help us beam back to our nostalgic wombs and find comfort in the spoils of our privileged childhoods that don’t remind us of our modern-day techno-overloaded stressball of  a day-to-day existence.   There is profit to be had in mollifying those of us who can’t seem to figure out how we lost our way down the rabbit hole. We are a generation of highly paid adults who work like intellectual pack animals then ride our colorful bikes to the local kickball league-game, adult ice-pop stand  ( ) and booze-filled arcades – peddling our way headlong into midlife crisis.   Pun intended.

Bottoms-up and “may the force be with you”.

Categories: Anthropology, cocktails, Consumer Anthropology, Consumer Culture, Corporate Culture, Ethnography, Geeks, hipster culture, Marketing, middle class, Participant Observation, pop culture, sociology, Suburban Living, Trends, Uncategorized, urban culture, Well-being | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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