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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: Video Game Lounges on the Rise

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22 posts found

Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 15972

OP  7/10/13 6:50:13 PM#1

Remember the halcyon days of the video game arcade? The 21st century is beginning to grow a new, more modern crop of video game "lounges". In her latest column, Genese Davis takes a look at the rise of video game lounges. See what you think before heading to the comments.

It’s no secret that gaming culture shifts as technology advances. Take the arcade days for example. Unfortunately, I was born after the golden age of arcades, so I don’t know it personally, but I know it as a cultural icon. Even though I didn’t grow up in that time, I appreciate the environment and gaming culture arcades provided, and I continue to seek out venues that have classic arcades. The same applies to traditional LAN parties. Some may assume since friends can play online together, LAN parties have fallen out of favor in gaming culture. But LAN parties are still popular throughout the world, despite the inconvenience of packing up all your gear. Neat fact: DreamHack located in Sweden holds the world record for the largest LAN party at 12,754 connected systems.

Read more of Genese Davis's Video Game Lounges On the Rise.

Associate Editor:
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom


Novice Member

Joined: 5/01/05
Posts: 531

7/11/13 1:16:52 PM#2

I don't think these exist in the US. If they are, they're few and far between. Probably because, as already suggested, US residents generally have the cash and internet connection whereby they can play games from home. Also since most places in a US city require a car or at least a lengthy bus ride to get to IMO further dampens any drive a gaming lounge craze might be trying to put on currently in the US.

I've seen game lounges open, get no customers, and close within months. It's sad, but it's the future of gaming.

As far as LAN parties, it's true most people seem to be fine with just getting online with friends and communicating over skype or teamspeak. Last time I tried to get a LAN party going with my workmates one of them said he'd never do a LAN again. "Why? We can just game together over the net." But this is the same guy who doesn't seem to 'hang out' with many friends. Probably the big indicator there as to why he doesn't feel face-to-face is important.

nethervoid - Est. '97
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Novice Member

Joined: 3/12/13
Posts: 5

7/11/13 1:29:14 PM#3
Ever since graduating in '99 I have wanted to open something like this. It would take quite a bit of income to get one going though, income I will never be close to having. At least some people out there are being successful with the idea.

I think it can work in the U.S. you just need to give proper incentives. Give them better screens and sound than they do at home, hold competitions and contests, some pretty servers wouldn't hurt either.

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/24/07
Posts: 613

7/11/13 1:32:47 PM#4

The closest I've seen in these parts is a Dave & Buster's.  That's an adult Chuck E. Cheese's, if you haven't seen one.


In my neighborhood we used to have a video game "storefront" business, where you go in, pay $20 and play X-Box for an hour.  But that went belly-up because it was marketed at kids (no food, no drinks, no booze) and what kid has 20 bucks to blow on playing Xbox for an hour when they can do that at home?


An interesting concept, though.  Might work in the States.


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Joined: 7/09/11
Posts: 2218

May the game be ever in your favor.

7/11/13 2:19:45 PM#5

I don't think it would work in the United States because in a lot of places there is still this mentality that MMO players are losers. Not sure why there is that attitude in the US and not other places but oh well =/



Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/24/12
Posts: 85

7/11/13 3:11:49 PM#6
wow Howies looks like an excellent company and place to play!  maybe an east coast one someday

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Novice Member

Joined: 9/07/12
Posts: 204

7/11/13 3:55:46 PM#7
This is an awesome idea and I hope it sticks. It adds real "connection" and socialization as opposed to just playing at home all the time where you never see most of your teammates anyway and have the illusion of connections and relationships with people you never meet. Don't get me wrong I know some serious connections can occur but still.. Now they should crossbreed  the arcade lounge with a spin class...where you need to pedal  and maintain certain speeds in order to keep the monitor on. Maybe this will better the health of our

Novice Member

Joined: 5/31/09
Posts: 90

7/11/13 5:57:24 PM#8

There have been several attempts of venues like this around my area over the last 10 years and all but one went under within one year. The one that remains caters almost exclusively to the under 18 set who don't have the money for a good machine or to buy a lot of new games so it gives them a chance to play stuff they otherwise would not have access to.


  I can see this working either around colleges or in big cities but not out in the suburbs or the yuppy ghetto as I call it or in more rural areas at least as far as the U.S. goes.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/17/07
Posts: 668

7/11/13 7:43:33 PM#9

It seems that these kind of things go under because they are meant for children but if it was designed for 18+ ?

I don't like bars and such but damn right I go there if I can sit on a couch, drink beer and play games with like minded strangers. Will be like my living room minus the strangers(Most of the time).


Hard Core Member

Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 7157

7/11/13 8:12:34 PM#10

I suppose there are a few of these, but I would not qualify Dave and Busters as one since they comprise mostly kid arcade games.  I take the kids to these places occasionally and I see mostly families in there playing the games.  

I have seen people try to open such places, but they seem to close faster than they open.  I would think only a LA or NY would support these or a place like Las Vegas.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/14/10
Posts: 3

7/11/13 8:21:55 PM#11
I was hoping for this piece to be a bit more informative about different kinds of locations you could find (mainly in English speaking countries).  Though I'm glad it has opened up a dialogue about arcades in general. I would like to point out to the adults of legal drinking ages on here to try and find a local 'barcade'. There are a couple in Colorado where I live and it is essentially a arcade and bar, the 1up in downtown Denver has some awesome old-school games. Hopefully you can find a barcade near you (or open one!), they are seriously fun.

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/10
Posts: 2168

7/11/13 11:25:31 PM#12

there is one downtown where i live. the problem is that it's kind of expencive. it's like 5$ and hour, and while that may not sound like a lot of money, videgames take a lot of time. Also, when you are not playing on a station there is nothing else to do. there is not even a place to sit and hang out and you feel really weird trying to look at others playing. it almost feels like a library, all quiet with everyone bent over their station with headphones. you definately feel like you are almost forced to pay and play or get out.


arcades were different. they were bright, loud, and crowded. i remember having like 5$ (back when games were a quarter) and spending most of the time going from machine to machine looking at others playing while trying to decide if i wanted to play that game. Also, the better you got a a certain game the less it would cost you, because your 3 lives would last a long time. once you got down to your last $ you really tried not to die. it was very social and nobody would think twice about having total strangers hovering arround you looking at you playing. As a matter of fact most good games had line ups.


i have yet to find a good internet launge that strikes that perfect balance between hang out place and "no pressure collective gaming experience". a place that actually encourages people to just hang arround and look at either other people's games, or even just pros from twitch stream and such.

i know hard core games are not into sports, but the truth is that the majority of male gamers do ,and a sports bar/gaming launge would be really cool imo, if it was done right. alternating between watching sports and playing BF3 or LoL matches would really very's pretty much what i (and 90% of my gaming friends) do at home anyways....we would just be doing it at the same place.....and have hot girls serving us drinks (ok now i'm really dreaming!).


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"It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver". - Niccolo Machiavelli

7/11/13 11:41:21 PM#13

there needs to be a lot of these places here in the US. I would spend every weekend night over there having a great time with fellow gamer dudes and girls and having some drinks. And dont put them all in LA, bring some to NJ or at least to NY.


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Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 4909

7/11/13 11:50:20 PM#14
Originally posted by rojo6934

there needs to be a lot of these places here in the US. I would spend every weekend night over there having a great time with fellow gamer dudes and girls and having some drinks. And dont put them all in LA, bring some to NJ or at least to NY.

do you really think that's how it would be though ? or would it be dead silent with people giving you dirty looks if you even come near them ?

Lan parties now days seem more about winning the prize than going to hang out. And that's something that was always a social event. If even they because a I'm here to win type of event I just don't see a cafe here ever being a party type of place. Maybe that's just me being old bitter and anti social though :)


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Joined: 4/01/11
Posts: 568

Ahh devil ether.

7/12/13 6:30:40 AM#15
I live in the U.S.  When I was about 17 or 18 I would go to a local internet gaming/CCG/pool hall business and spend quite a bit of time and money there.  It's in a smaller city in Wisconsin, about 60,000 ppl and most everyone who went there had vehicles or lived nearby.  And if you haven't heard of "Wisconsin Nice" it's pretty accurate as there weren't any sort of cliquish things going on where ppl would be excluded and most everyone had a good time.  It didn't serve alcohol but the owner didn't mind if you had a little carry-in :)

Novice Member

Joined: 8/21/07
Posts: 1

7/12/13 9:42:35 AM#16

There is a place in Denver called the 1-up. ( Its a a bar and cafe. They sell food and drink. its all old school arcade games and everything is still a quarter. Its a great place to hang out. 

  User Deleted
7/12/13 1:01:24 PM#17
I call shenanigans!

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Joined: 3/18/13
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"You are mine, I'm yours, and if we die, we die. But first we'll live." Ygritte

7/12/13 4:30:34 PM#18
Think im opening up a new business...... hmm....

MMORPG Gamers/Developers need a reality check!


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Posts: 6532

"It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver". - Niccolo Machiavelli

7/14/13 9:07:33 AM#19
Originally posted by DamonVile
Originally posted by rojo6934

there needs to be a lot of these places here in the US. I would spend every weekend night over there having a great time with fellow gamer dudes and girls and having some drinks. And dont put them all in LA, bring some to NJ or at least to NY.

do you really think that's how it would be though ? or would it be dead silent with people giving you dirty looks if you even come near them ?

Lan parties now days seem more about winning the prize than going to hang out. And that's something that was always a social event. If even they because a I'm here to win type of event I just don't see a cafe here ever being a party type of place. Maybe that's just me being old bitter and anti social though :)

actually i was thinking about a place more like the picture of the three girls playing street fighter. Kind of a bar with a screen on your table so you go have some drinks and play a few matches while there. Nothing based on rewards or competition, just a fun time while drinking with someone else or a couple of friends.



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Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

7/14/13 9:13:07 AM#20
Originally posted by DamonVile
Originally posted by rojo6934

there needs to be a lot of these places here in the US. I would spend every weekend night over there having a great time with fellow gamer dudes and girls and having some drinks. And dont put them all in LA, bring some to NJ or at least to NY.

do you really think that's how it would be though ? or would it be dead silent with people giving you dirty looks if you even come near them ?

Lan parties now days seem more about winning the prize than going to hang out. And that's something that was always a social event. If even they because a I'm here to win type of event I just don't see a cafe here ever being a party type of place. Maybe that's just me being old bitter and anti social though :)

The place I used to do MMO meet and greets at, Gameworks Seattle, seemed to have that social vibe which is why I would do those events there. It all depends on the atmosphere the place is looking to create and the type of people they want to attract.

There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein

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