They may be over, but ’80s still rock ‘n’ roll to me

As a child of the 1980s, I could hardly look away when I caught the headline “18 Awesome Things From the ’80s That We Wish Were Still Around.”

Naturally, I can’t get to all of them, but I thought we could visit a few or so. Let’s get straight to it.

•Classic arcade games

According to The Verge, in 1982, “the most popular machines were pulling in $400 a week in quarters and the number of dedicated arcades in the United States reached its peak with around 13,000.” The most popular games included Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Donkey Kong. For the record, Ms. Pac-Man was totally my fave.

• Neon fashion

Neon colors often symbolize the decade’s love of bold, expressive style. The bright shades of yellow, green, pink and orange were used in clothing and accessories and reflected the sense of optimism and fun the ’80s brought. While it’s made various comebacks in later eras, neons still firmly remain a memory of the 1980s. I’m not gonna lie – I had some neon pants and earrings back in the day. Not my best era, to be sure.

•Retro video game consoles

The 1980s were the golden age of video gaming, and consoles such as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and the Sega Master System revolutionized home gaming. These retro consoles have remained popular with gamers who love the charm of the game design and the tactile feel of swapping cartridges – something that’s lost in modern consoles.

•Analog photography

Analog photography allowed people to capture memories and moments in a tangible, irreversible way that is a far cry from today’s world of digital snapshots, videos and endless storage. The distinct look of film photography, along with the anticipation of waiting for your photos to be developed, carries a unique charm that digital photography doesn’t offer. We used to love going to get our photos developed!

•Hair metal bands

According to Rolling Stone, the hair metal bands of the 1980s were “visually flamboyant and prone to shout-along hooks in ways that made them saleable in a video-single format.” Bands like Motley Crue, Poison and Bon Jovi sold millions of albums and defined a generation with their anthemic songs. As for me, I had an unnatural fascination with Brett Michaels, the lead singer of Poison.


Portable music devices were relatively new and the boombox symbolized the 1980s street culture, allowing people to share their favorite tracks in public spaces. Large and often flashy in their design, boomboxes became somewhat of a fashion statement and were particularly prevalent in the breakdancing and hip-hop scenes.

•Roller skating rinks

Iconic in 1980s culture, roller skating rinks became a social hub for people of all ages to gather, celebrate and engage in a fun activity. The venues used music and lighting to create an immersive experience and this has remained a nostalgic memory of the era. It’s true. Back in the day, the roller rink was the place to be! We girls used to get nervous when they announced “Couple’s Skate” because it meant we would have to hold hands with boys!

Kimerer is a columnist and child of the ’80s. Contact her with your favorite 1980s relics at pkimerer@zoominternet.net.


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