Want to know the lay of the land from high tech e-sport meltdowns to beer-soaked nerd caves? Well look no further. Ready Player One!
Today’s arcades are experiencing a 21st-century renaissance with venues popping up all over the world, from Taipei to Tokyo and Warsaw to Washington state.
Top Picks for You
WHERE: Brooklyn, New York
Barcade is to arcade game bars as Kleenex is to tissue paper. The four founding friends literally “coined” the coin-op-rooted term in 2007 when it was registered for trademark. The machines here are token-based, each one a quarter a pop. The beer flows aplenty, with special craft brewery nights and 25 rotating daily taps, but the food options are limited to basic snacks. However, Barcade is happy to offer a binder full of options that deliver in the neighborhood.
Continue? Gaming Bar and Bistro
WHERE: Taipei, Taiwan
Located in one of the world’s computer chip-manufacturing hubs, Continue? Gaming Bar is taking gaming social in Taipei. A bistro menu with clever section titles like “Multi Player” serves Italian and American foods (with a Taiwanese touch), sometimes tricky to find in the Asian island nation. Cocktails have fun names like Slime Paradise or Chinese Paladin Ice Tea. The passionfruit- and lychee-liqueur Pikachu Thunderbolt is to be quaffed with caution.
WHERE: Paris, France
Meltdown, or “Le Melt,” is the product of a culture without a clear distinction between geeks and jocks. Meltdown bars (they’re internationally licensed) have free and easy access to computers souped up with Alienware chips, Logitech sound, and the hottest games, fueled by all the Monster Energy drinks and alcohol you can guzzle. Settle into a bloody match of DOTA or Starcraft II, or tune into the big screens and see how the pros do it.
WHERE: Toronto, Canada
Tilt takes you back to a time when walk-up French fry windows were the norm and arcades reeked of zit cream and cooking grease. A true gamer haven, all the rotating selection of arcade consoles and pinballers are free of charge, along with more analog games of skill like Super Chex Bubble Hockey, Skee-Ball, and classic Italian foosball.
INSIDER TIPThere’s $5 cover charge on most nights.
WHERE: Tokyo, Japan
Capcom is an absolute mecca for fans of the Street Fighter, Mega Man (or “Rockman” as he’s known in Japan), or the Resident Evil series. The bar, located inside the Pasela Resorts Shinjuku Urban Oasis complex, boasts 80 creative concept foods based off of game heroes. Waiters are more than happy to indulge Capcom fans in gamer talk, the odd hadouuuken, and even quick skits if you’re lucky. Three console stations are set up around the resto-bar for your gaming pleasure.
WHERE: Vancouver, Canada
Chomp on gamer-themed burgers like The Triforce (beef, bacon, chicken) while immersed in gamer décor at EXP. Jump in on one of many regular charity tournament nights, industry Q&As, or trivia nights, and partake in many gamer and RPG-themed community events. EXP is sponsored by gaming industry favorite, ASUS computers, who provide VG248QE specialized low-lag monitors.