Most people who indulge in gaming are also guilty of fantasising traditional arcade gaming. Nothing will be as good as those days where we all gathered round those cabinets and fed out money into it, all while trying to top the leader board of all the kids – and adults – before us. Now, it seems to have become a heightened point of interest in the world of VR, with a couple arcades to open very soon. But are VR arcades what we need, or even want?
Arcades are awesome and fun, but they are only a shadow of what it once was. Let’s face it – any revitalisation of a true arcade is only very temporary, or novelty, and the countless abandoned arcades across the globe account for this. So, why make VR arcades? What’s the point? Hopefully there is more meaning and enjoyment behind it than just a nod towards childhood memories.
Let’s have a look at the positives, because I definitely don’t want to seem cynical about something that is so very dear to people’s hearts, as well as my own. With one of the recently announced VR arcades, NotionVR, it is clear that the traditional idea of arcade gaming isn’t being necessarily replicated, but instead it is more of a chance for those who haven’t tried out the HTC Vive. Apart from that, I am not entirely sure why else there would be a need for it.
This is an idea that can hold out and stand tall – but perhaps only for a couple years at most, until VR is a thing that plenty more people have bought and become used to. This is the unfortunately fickle nature of humans – we are easily amused for a short amount of time, but it is awfully hard to maintain that same level of excitement. There isn’t that feeling of sustained enjoyment, and so I can only ask why they used the term “arcade” when really it’s a demo hall you have to pay to get in to.
Arcades within VR, however, is a more plausible and practical idea, like New Retro Arcade: Neon. It serves the purpose of creating a realistic environment with familiar gaming to what we would expect in a real arcade, without the bother of going outside (because who wants to travel somewhere to game when you can do it from the comfort of your home?). And, let’s face it; it is much more cost effective.
I’m sorry guys, but I think it’s time to just let VR arcades go. Unless they can be installed without needing someone to watch the kit and explain how to use it, there isn’t a chance that it will be sustainable.