Lan

A reader writes:

Arcades died because of a lack of a $1 coin? Really? I have real trouble with such a statement when there are other ways of taking $1 in video games without a $1 coin (I played a video bar game just last week that accepted $1 bills). I suspect the death of the arcade has much more to do with video game systems and the Internet than a $1 coin being ubiquitous.

Why spend lots of money becoming good at an arcade game when you can buy a game and play it at home on your PlayStation or Xbox as many times as you want? And you can connect with your friends and play a game without everyone leaving their house.

Here’s my theory (backed up with just about as much fact as the article): arcades did well when people were used to going somewhere to play video games. When the generation of kids came along whose initial experiences with video games were in their homes, they didn’t see playing video games as something you went somewhere to do. So the video arcade is not a "destination" anymore. They might be successful where there is foot traffic or something else in the area that’s a draw (movie theater, bowling alley, etc.) but just as stand-alone places they won’t survive.

Another writes:

In Canada, we’ve had a dollar coin for 22 years, and a $2 coin for 15, and both bills were taken out of circulation when the coins were introduced. Arcades still didn’t come back.

Photo of a LAN party by Zachary Wolf. What's a LAN party?

A temporary, sometimes spontaneous, gathering of people with computers, between which they establish a local area network (LAN), primarily for the purpose of playing multiplayer computer games. The size of these networks may vary from the very small (two people) to very large installations. Usually smaller LAN parties consist of people bringing their computers over to each others' houses to host and play multiplayer games.

South Park has another example.

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