Yeah, its too bad the culture has really died. What's a shame is that the idea of a social place where people can challenge their own skills or against others in a, er, non-athletic way, is still perfectly viable as a business. The fact that 2D gaming doesn't live on much past the Gameboy Advance is also a travesty.
A while back before our company moved to a repressive corporate office, we had a MAME cabinet in the kitchen. It was basically an upright cabinet with a PC inside. There was a period of about 3-4 months that every night, without fail, when we would have Robotron tournaments. We got so good, and later so in need of variation, we began betting on the tournaments. It was a blast, and it wasn't the just the older guys, but a lot of our testers and PA's, mostly 18-19 - which I guess qualify for being part of a different generation.
Unfortunately mainstream gaming is very limited to the genres that are top-10 sellers now. There's little room for inventive games like we used to play now. If it doesn't sell 100 thousand units and sell into Best Buy, Walmart, and TRU, it doesn't have a chance.
Really a bummer.