Arcades are something of a dying breed of Videogaming. Many gamers got their start on arcade games during a time when console based gaming couldn't compare to what you saw in arcades. As technology progressed however, home gaming became more and more advanced and at the same became less and less expensive. Sadly, the popularity of home gaming has ultimately killed the arcade industry making arcades an increasingly rare sight for the past 10 years.

Arcade games are still very popular amongst gamers. Many of the more popular arcade games have been ported over to consoles, many of which are very faithful recreations of the original. Still, playing arcade games at home doesn't match the feel of a real arcade, with the lights, noise and community of people gathering around someone who is about to beat a game or get to a level you've never even seen before. You also don't get to see the latest gimmickry in arcade technology such as ridable motorcycles, shooting games and the extremely rare 360 degree flight simulator (Sega R-360).

And nothing, but nothing, can match the feeling of when you were seven years old and beat the snot out of some twenty-something in a good fighting game, or blew the doors off someone in a good racing game. Of course, as you got older and started getting your own butt kicked by kids that were your age, justice was served.

Today it is very hard to find a proper arcade. Most of the arcade games you'll find are in a sad state of disrepair, buttons and joysticks broken and have bad screen burn. They are often found in a dark corner of a restaurant or (worse) a bar by the bathrooms.

Here's a list of local places that have arcade games. If you are familiar with the arcade please give a short review of their selection and quality of upkeep. Please update if you discover more places.

Local Arcades

* The Memorial Union Renewal project, set to begin January 2015, will remove all arcade machines from the MU in lieu of free-to-play (for students) console systems and TVs. Due to a bookstore expansion, there will also be less space for gaming in this area than currently is available. The machines will likely go to the bargain barn around that time, so make sure to get on their listserv if you're interested.

Local Businesses With Arcade Games

Former quarter (or token) joint

  • Atlantis — A small arcade on G Street where Tibet Nepal is today. Had mostly older 'classic' games. If you got a red-painted quarter from the change machine, you got ten free plays!
  • Galaxy - A small Arcade on L-St in strip mall next to 7-11 --  1984?-1986.  A baseball card shop followed it in the late 80s for awhile.  It was next to the Liquor Store.  Had about 15 games maybe.
  • Bizarro World — Had a few vintage and vintage emulator games of various condition and operability; removed them to make space for video sales.
  • The Library — Located where Woodstock's bar is now. Closed in the late '90s.
  • Games Plus — A tiny arcade located where the The Hotdogger is now. It had about 13 games, including Ms. Pacman and Galaga.

The County Fair Mall in Woodland has seen a number of arcade owners.

Note: Video poker, et al. is not a "proper" arcade game. I would argue against DDR being a "proper" arcade game but I'll give it a little leeway.

I'd love to hear your argument against DDR being a "proper" arcade game. Have you checked out any arcades in Japan recently? While they have plenty of traditional arcade games, DDR style games are the ones I saw played the mostJevan

Yes, I know they love those types of games. However they became popular towards the end of the arcade era here in the states and aren't exactly what I would consider a proper arcade game. As I said, I'll give them leeway as they are found in many arcades. I just don't think they fit the description I think of when I think of an arcade game, being 27 years old I grew up going to arcades and saw them come in as all my favorite games were disappearing...HollywoOd

Video Poker doesn't qualify as an arcade game because it incorporates gambling; DDR is as much an arcade game as your favorite light gun game.GeoffJohnson


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2005-02-19 15:48:12   I was in junior high during the golden age of arcades. Davis had quite a few places to play, the longest-running and best being the now-defunct The Library on G Street. We used to tell our parents we were going to the "library" like good little kids... heh heh... Now with MAME, PS2, Gamecube, etc., etc. the cabinet games aren't gonna come back. Shame... —CentralDavisite

2005-02-22 13:34:12   Yes I remember and loved The Library...however I remember that what is now the Katmandu kitchen used to be a pizza joint and they were the first in town to carry Street Fighter —JamesSchwab

2005-02-22 23:30:10   I never cared for Round Table Pizza (where Kathmandu is now). The video game place on the corner of 3rd and G where the Tibetan store is now had a pretty good selection. There was a tiny arcade in the space where the Hotdogger is now; while the woman that ran it was nice, she didn't have a huge selection (obviously! Tiny space!). I was never big on the martial arts games— more on the games of 1979-1985. —CentralDavisite—— 2005-02-22 23:31:26   shouldn't this be called arcades? plural? —ArlenAbraham—— 2005-02-22 23:32:04   also, this page has too much "well, yeah, thanks" information on it. —ArlenAbraham

2005-09-26 20:03:38   Dairy Queen in Davis used to have a couple of arcade machines. —RyanCastellucci

2007-05-29 01:33:03   I'm so so at street fighter / capcom vs snk / marvel vs capcom, anyone who plays should challenge me! —StevenDaubert

2007-05-29 09:38:29   I was at the DISC last week and saw they have a DDR machine. —SimonFung