A video arcade is a place where people play arcade video games. Traditionally, customers of these establishments were overwhelmingly teen males. However presently families are the largest arcade constituent, mainly because the lack of standard new games being released in arcades. Video arcades typically have subdued lighting to inhibit glare and enhance the viewing of the game's video
display. This atmosphere has added to the stores' sometimes negative reputation in the United States, as well as in other countries.
The video games are typically in arcade cabinets. The most common kind are uprights, tall boxes with a monitor and controls in front. Customers insert coins or tokens into the machines and stand in front of them to play the game.
These traditionally were the most popular arcade format, although presently American arcades make much
more money off deluxe driving games and ticket redemption games.
Modern Video Arcade Machines
Some machines, such as
Ms. Pac Man and
Joust, are occasionally in smaller boxes with a flat, clear glass or plexiglass top; the player sits at the machine playing it, looking down. This style of arcade game is known as a cocktail-style arcade game table, since they were first popularlized in bars.
Some arcade games, such as racing games, are designed to be sat in or on. These types of games are
sometimes referred to as sit-down games. Sega is one of the largest manufacturers of these types of arcade games.
Arcades are not limited to video games only, though.
Pinball machines and redemption games such as
skee ball are also common in many arcades. There may be a counter where players can redeem the tickets earned at the latter for prizes ranging from cheap toys to dolls and jewelry.
Other kinds of machines can also be seen at video arcades, like gambling
machines such as
slot machines and
pachinko machines, or even
vending machines. Large toys and rides usually seen in amusement parks are
also common on certain video arcades.