An amusement center where customers enjoy a variety of entertainment and merchandise machines, such as video games, pinball, claw crane, redemption, skill, sports and more. The concept dates all the way back to at least the late 1800's.

Some arcades require you to exchange money for tokens that can be used to play or access the machines. Another business model is to charge admission into the arcade and let you play the games in "free play" mode (not prize redemption games, of course).

During the heyday of arcades being mostly video and pinball games, many arcades were dimly lit which enhanced the majestic glow of the machines' lit marquees, CRT screens, and LED lights.

Arcades appear in some video games as stages or backgrounds, often filled with coin-ops related to the maker of the game. In a case of ourorboros-like synergy, the arcade game RoboCop 2 has a section (the start of sector 2) in an arcade full of Data East coin-op games, and the movie RoboCop 2 has a scene in an arcade with a lot of Data East games, and both versions feature a Sly Spy coin-op, a game that has a suspiciously RoboCop-like corpse near the end of the game. If you think that was confusing to read, imagine having to write it.
Related Terms: coin-op
Game list:
Burning Fight (Neo Geo), The Game Center! Master of Shooting (arcade), Golden Axe (arcade), River City Ransom: Underground, RoboCop 2 (arcade), the Simpsons (arcade), Streets of Rage 2 (Genesis)
Screenshots (click to see full-sized):
the Simpsons (arcade)

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