Bringing the Arcade Experience Home

Bringing the Arcade Experience Home

For those looking to bring the arcade experience home, there are plenty of options out there. Unlike commercial arcade machines, home-grade cabinets don’t feature coin mechs and are designed for residential use.

These units only support one player at a time, but they do have a wide selection of games – including the oddball sequel Super Pac-Man and subterranean monster exploding Dig Dug. They also feature lighted marquees and deck protectors, plus a sweet adjustable coordinating stool.

Cabinet and Side Panels

Cabinets are the bodies of arcade games, housing the monitor, control panel and other necessary equipment. They can come in many forms, including upright and cocktail cabinets. Upright cabinets are typically tall and have one or two players. They may be symmetrical, as with Star Trek or Donkey Kong, or more complicatedly asymmetrical, like Gauntlet. They are usually painted with brightly colored stickers or paint representing gameplay.

Cocktail cabinets are shorter and have a bar for people to sit at and play the game. They are more often used in bars and restaurants, although you can still find them in some classic arcades. They are also sometimes referred to as “coin machines” because they accept coins or tokens. They can have a single or multiple monitors.

Cabinets are important for the overall appearance of an arcade setup, and they can be customized to match personal preferences and themes. One company that specializes in custom arcade cabinet artwork is GameonGrafix. They have a wide selection of pre-designed graphics, and they can also create custom prints that allow you to turn your cabinet into a truly unique work of art. Their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction make them the perfect choice for anyone looking to customize their gaming setup. Their efficient shipping process ensures that your prints arrive in perfect condition, ready to transform your cabinet into a masterpiece.

Monitor Shields

After completing the general location and size requirements (both the overall facility and the game mix), zoning approval, project budget (including all startup costs, as well as first year operational and marketing expenses) and outlining your business plan, it’s time to purchase the actual arcade games and related equipment. This will include everything from the machines themselves, to prize booths for ticket redemption and back-office computer systems. You will also need to determine how your customers will pay for the games (change, tokens or the newer “card swipe” readers) and a suitable way to collect the appropriate tax and fee information from each player.

The monitor shields (aka marquee) are a key component of any arcade equipment cabinet, both to protect the monitor and live up to their name by displaying the game’s art and name to lure gamers into your cabinets. They are typically made of transparent plastic, which allows the graphics on the game’s screen to be seen.

Another key feature of monitor shields is their ability to reduce reflections on the monitor itself, which could distract players from the game they’re playing and potentially cause them to lose focus. In addition, some shields are designed with airflow in mind, ensuring that there is an adequate amount of airflow between the display and the monitor itself to keep the surface at a safe temperature and prevent heat buildup.


Marquees are the pieces of glass, plexiglass or plastic that cover the top of an arcade machine. They are brightly backlit and display the game’s name to draw in gamers looking for a place to suck those quarters into their machines. Marquees are one of the more iconic parts of a video game, and collectors are willing to go to great lengths to find marquee art that matches their specific games.

A marquee is also a structure that hangs over the entrance to a hotel or theatre, displaying the name of a play or movie. It is often distinguished by a cache of lights that flash intermittently or as chasing lights, to attract attention.

The word marquee has a variety of other uses, including the word to describe a scrolling piece of text displayed horizontally or vertically on your computer screen. It can also refer to a large tent used for outdoor entertainment or activities, as well as an addition to a building that functions as an extra space or side area.

The term marquee is also used to refer to a special event hosted by an organization, such as a fundraiser or fashion show. These events are usually held at a local venue and may feature a guest speaker, live music or other entertainment. Some marquees can even be adapted to accommodate a wedding or other formal gathering.


Arcade controllers are crucial for a gamer’s ability to control the game. Whether they’re a 4-way, 2-way or 8-way stick, it’s up to the operator to know how to use each one. Fortunately, this generation of arcade operators understands joystick controls almost inherently, thanks to growing up with video games that feature different control methods. This enables them to adjust quickly, and learn how to play any system.

In addition to the joystick, a player’s controls will include a set of buttons to interact with the game, as well as utility buttons for things like “1-up”, “select” and “start”. Some games Shooting Game Machine also have foot pedals, in order to provide more authentic and realistic gameplay.

While it’s possible to find replacement controls for most arcade games, some enthusiasts prefer to build their own. This is made easier by the availability of JAMMA interface boards, which are PCBs designed expressly to connect buttons to a game’s microprocessor. These are more customizable than off-the-shelf keyboard encoders, which tend to suffer from the same ghosting problems found in everyday keyboards.

Some arcade owners may want to limit the range of their sticks’ motion with a restrictor gate, which limits the number of directions that a joystick can move. This can be useful for games that were designed for a 4-way stick, but are incompatible with newer 8-way sticks that support diagonal movements.

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