With technology constantly changing, it is no surprise that finding the best form of gaming experience is a hard one. What with consoles, apps, and the Internet, as soon as something new comes on the market, something else disappears, with people wanting new and different ways to satisfy their gaming love. So, just what is the key to success in securing a place in the video game industry for good?
Actually, arcades may be the answer. These retro gaming machines have been making a major comeback after going out of fashion in the late 1990s and giving way to the age of the Internet and home consoles. This does not mean they vanished into thin air though. In recent years, they have been confined to seaside amusements and bowling alleys, a last resort for parents trying to entertain their children. The idea of the video game arcade being a fun experience for adults was almost all but forgotten, but it turns out that a change in marketing strategy was all that was needed to turn arcade games from a day out with grandma to great 21st century entertainment to suit everyone.
The return of arcade bars has played a big role in regaining the popularity of these classic games. When the likes of Xbox and PlayStation were released – in 2001 and 1995 respectively, in the West – adults and teenagers alike immediately turned to their homes as the ultimate gaming environment. This was a huge change from the social gaming experience of the first few decades of the video gaming industry. The appeal of consoles overrode the vintage video game arcades, with people eventually finding the social aspect through headsets rather than face-to-face contact, once those consoles were connectable to the Internet.
However, now the nostalgia has kicked in and arcade bars are popping up all over the place. Not only do they attract people who remember the games from their youth, but the appeal of catching up with your mates over a beer and some food is a win for those born in the 1990s onwards who hadn’t necessarily discovered the video game arcade. In London, there are arcade bars that even sell game-themed cocktails and hold competitions, while in the US there is a bar chain called “Barcade”, devoted to bringing the classic games together with modern nightlife.
If you’ve liked the feeling of immersing yourself in gaming from the console or PC in your bedroom, there is still the option to do this and experience the joy of retro arcade games. Certain bingo and casino online operators offer a selection of slot games inspired by the classics that can be played from the comfort of your own home. The slots range from anything such as big jackpot titles to more old-school arcade-style ones you used to find at your local pub. There’s some social action to take part in when gaming with brands like Sun Bingo too: when you start playing, you are joining the bingo community and can take part in chats with other players and quirky hosts. You may end up making some new friends, so you do not have to feel like going to the nearest bar is the only way to meet people.
For more online arcade opportunities, there is the Internet Arcade, an archive site with access to several classic arcade games from the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. Much like slot games, this is for those who prefer a night in at home, but want something different to Call of Duty or FIFA — something gameplay-based rather than graphics-based. There are over 900 traditional arcade games to download and try your hand at.
Another reason for the video game arcade comeback is the potential that newer technologies have brought. Arcade games are being taken one step further and are being combined with Virtual Reality headsets to create an experience whereby people can completely immerse themselves in arcade games. However, VR technology is expensive and VR arcades are still up and coming, but if you are a hardcore gamer who dreams of arcade games becoming yours or just want to experience the novelty of virtual reality without the cost of setting it up in your home, then this could be for you.
We think it’s quite safe to say video game arcades are making a comeback. They may not have had the same hype over them in the past decade, but they are making what looks like a strong return through modern technology and the appeal of fun with friends.