"Oh man, how cool is that," cries Ben.
Ben works in our office. I don't usually get much more than a gruff nod from him in the morning, but something has caught his eye.
He's talking about the iCade. A device designed to make your iPad look like a tiny arcade machine. When I opened the iCade box I actually thought that my wife had hypnotised me, dragged me kicking and screaming to Ikea, then erased my memory 'Men in Black' style — because the box was full of all those terrible implements of torture I normally associate with Swedish purveyors of cheap furniture: allan keys, screws, random pieces of wood, instructions for putting it all together.
I honestly couldn't be bothered.
The iCade is a solid idea. But it's one that's built on a false nostalgia, a nostalgia targeted at those a generation above me. For me Arcades meant Street Fighter 2, Turtles in Time, Daytona — they don't mean Centipede and Pacman. Those are games I played on a handheld. So when Ben walked past and began gawping like a toddler watching Bear in the Big Blue House, the effect was all but lost on me.
It just felt like so much effort for little return — I had to build the iCade, then I had to sync it, then I had to enter a password using the arcade stick buttons itself, then I had to download the games from the App Store then I got... a handful of free games and the opportunity to buy old games I had no interest in.
"What games does it have," exclaimed Ben. I hate to say his eyes were 'sparkling' but they were totally sparkling.
I rattled off some of the games that supported the device: Asteroid, Centipede, Tempest. (A full list of officially supported games can be found here).
Ben lost his mind. I sat there feeling a little bemused.
"I'm not a fan of this," I mentioned to another member of our team — ex-Gizmodo Editor Danny Allen. He was massively surprised. Everyone who has one of these absolutely loves it, he told me.
I just don't get it. The iPad is supposed to be a portable device, the touch screen a revolutionary new interface heralding different game mechanics, a new way of navigating our digital world, yada yada yada. The last thing I want to do with my iPad is plug an arcade stick into it and play a limited amount of games originally released on the Atari 2600.
But I look at Ben. He's taken the iCade up to his desk. He's so excited. He's almost 40 years old, he has two kids. He grew up playing Centipede and he loved that game more than anything. I ask myself: if someone created a SNES controller for the iPad and gave me access to all my favourite games from that era, how would I feel? I'd probably be reacting a lot like Ben — losing my mind, giggling incessantly.
But with the iCade? I feel nothing. I'm an age apart from Ben, currently blasting his way through Centipede, playing the games that enchanted him decades ago, reliving his childhood. I can only look on in utter confusion, pondering the generation gap, and the difference between myself and Ben. Happy Ben, bashing away on a cutting edge device, encased in an collection of parts designed to look like they were built 30 years ago.