We went on a bit of an adventure recently, dear reader, and found ourselves in the basement of a trendy pub in Leeds. It’s called ShuffleDog, because of the shuffleboard tables that occupy said basement, and there are a few classic arcade cabinets down there too – we saw the likes of Double Dragon, Marvel vs Capcom and OutRunners, as well as a trio of pinball tables. However, one particular machine caught our eye – Konami’s button-bashing frenzy Track & Field. We couldn’t help but think of the last night in Darran’s retro shed, when we hammered his cabinet while playing Combat School and Hyper Sports.
The only thing that wasn’t so vintage about these particular arcade cabinets was the price – £1 per credit, a far cry from the 10p credits that dominated the arcade scene when Track & Field was introduced in 1983. Even taking 33 years of inflation into account, that’s still about three times the original price per credit. Still, we felt like we were on form and stepped up to take on the 100 metres. Retro Gamer qualified. The lovely chap we were playing with did not, and his £1 had paid for roughly 15 seconds of entertainment. That’s £4 per minute, or £240 per hour.
Sometimes, gaming just isn’t worth it. When it costs approximately 36 times as much as going to see a film, or you could buy a whole console for the price of an hour of play, it just isn’t worth it. As for us, we didn’t fare much better than our companion – we failed on the long jump.