Do you recall the adrenaline rush you get when you open a box for the first time containing that new piece of must-have tech? It’s like pure joy. But then, it often dissipates as your brain looks for the next must-have tech bling.
That’s a problem on a variety of levels, but I’ve chosen not going to confront any of those concerns in this moment.
Instead, I’m going to focus on the fleeting goodness…
My good news is I’ve discovered that emotional memories of ‘new tech joy’ doesn’t have to entirely disappear!
If you are of a certain age, I invite you to a take a trip back in time with me…
Find a Time Machine
My family and I recently visited a series of artist open houses in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where artists opened up their studios to the public.
(I had no idea that Bridgeport had such a thriving artists community.)
And hidden in the middle of all of the amazing studios was a magical room filled with video arcade games from the 1980’s.
(To be clear, this wasn’t an art space… it was a company that rents these old relics for parties.)
But to me, it was something else.
It was an actual time machine!
I stepped in, took a few more steps… and was suddenly transported back to my college days at Colgate University, when I would hang out in the basement of K.E.D. in the common space and play video games for a quarter a play.
(Or was it fifty cents?)
Specifically… I played ‘Galaga’ and ‘Atari Star Wars.’
Remember Your New Tech Joy Using Forgotten Old Tech
As I walked deeper into the dark room, I spotted those same games! I walked up.
And then something happened…
I realized you could actually play them… right there!
(For free, no less)
I pressed the start button on Galaga.
The little laser blasts.
The feel of it all…
And then I walked up to a Galaxy Far, Far Away and launched my X-Wing to destroy the Death Star.
(It took me three passes, but I eventually got it done!)
All of those past quarters spent. All of those forgotten skills…
The Past is the Present
I never thought I would ever play these arcade games again.
And yet here they were.
It was if I was in a temporal nexus.
The memories all rushed back.
I felt it.
All of it.
This dark, seemingly endless room must have been crammed with fifteen other favorites.
We all had our go-to game, right?
Pass the Baton
What a treat.
And an amazing demonstration of both the emotional and experiential memories your brain holds onto.
But my rewarding trip down tech memory lane inevitably had to end, right?
Well, not necessarily…
There was someone else in there with me.
Somebody who had never played a video arcade game from the ‘80’s.
I then watched my six year old play Pac-Man for the very first time.
I felt the universe re-centering itself.
(If only for a moment)
And then it was time to say goodbye to this Guardian of Forever…
Keep the Memories Alive
It’s funny how you can run into your past in the most unlikely of places and reactivate your tech joy from long ago.
(And a testimonial for the ongoing value of old tech)
Plus, if you really pay attention, I think you could easily walk by someone else’s past magic tech joy and experience a bit of their own euphoria.
Wooden Century studio camera, anyone?
Perhaps… a camera obscura?
All right. Maybe I’ve gone back a little too far…