Insert Credits

Millennial nostalgia.

Insert Credits - Millennial nostalgia.

Why Insert Credits?

Why the name Insert Credits? There are two good reasons.

When most people think of the pop culture arcade they think of the phrase Insert Credit. One quarter was all it took to ride the phosphorescent dragon for a couple of minutes.

Yes one George Washington was all it took to be transported to a magical world where you were defending the free world against incoming Soviet missiles or guiding an amorphous yellow pizza wedge away from a gaggle of terrifying ghosts in the four years before the world would learn that modern technology meant we didn’t have to be afraid of no ghosts anymore.

But that wasn’t the case by the time I was old enough to go to the arcade. No, the ravages of inflation meant that by the time my generation stood in front of those glowing cabinets there was a two quarter minimum if you wanted to ride the dragon. Heck, as we grew up and got to the point where we could drive to the arcade rather than having your parents drive you there (if you were lucky enough to still even have an arcade in your town at that point) then things had come full circle and it cost one George Washington.

Of the paper variety this time of course. Damned arcade inflation.

By the time I was at the arcade all of the new cool stuff said Insert Credits. Sure there were a few cabinets that said Insert Credit to play, but who in their right mind was going to go back to Pac-Man at one token  when the Simpsons Arcade Game, the Ninja Turtles Arcade Game, or Street Fighter II beckoned at the two credit price tag.

Though at least those two credits weren’t always exactly 50¢ since at this point we’d moved to the token economy instead of quarters and you could usually get a 24 tokens for $5 deal or something like that.

So Insert Credit might be the touchstone of the arcade generation, but Insert Credits was what the machines demanded by the time my generation came along to watch the long slow decline of the video arcade.

The second reason for the name Insert Credits is a lot simpler and probably a lot more influential than some complicated justification involving arcades and inflation: I already owned the domain and had the site setup and the name fits so why not?

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