My Dad, The Galaga Player

Steven Collins


Not too many people in my family play video games. I don’t come from that line of heritage. My mother hasn’t ever touched a video game system in her life, other than to get my original PS1 out of the box when I was 7-years-old. A few of my cousins play, but they aren’t really into online gaming so I rarely; if ever game with them.

Yet, there is my father. He’s a normal every day 50-year-old. He struggles with new technology some times, he doesn’t understand the lingo of the “youth.” I can remember him playing Madden with me when I was a teenager and me crushing him in NFL Blitz as a young pre-teen.

But he has a secret. It’s a big one. He’s a damn good Galaga player and when I can poke and prod him into playing, it’s something magical to watch.

Up until a few weeks ago, when I bought the Namco Greatest Hits for my PlayStation 2, there was only one Galaga machine that is in our area. It’s in the small 20 by 15 arcade room that also features two big buck hunters, an air hockey table and a basketball free-throw game.

The thing about that specific Galaga machine is that all ten of the high scores feature the initials OJC, and belong to my dad.

While my dad can surprise me from time to time and he’s quite talented in many different areas of his life, nothing compares to watching him slow down his mind and focus solely on keeping that little space ship safe while destroying the alien crafts.

Watching him play is so wonderful, so magical. When he loses himself in that goal of beating his top score which is something he never boasts about to anyone and to my knowledge I’m the only person that knows about this.

So here is to bonding over a game, Galaga, that I don’t play but that my father actually does and our time spent together bonding over this ancient fixed shooter.





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