Every game-lover grows up dreaming of meeting someone, getting their own place, decorating the spare bedroom, and turning it into a super-hot games room. Right? We fantasised about banks of machines on each wall, bright colours and pixelated monsters at every turn, neon lights and chiptunes assaulting players from the second they walk in.
Sadly, we grew up and found that our otherwise perfect partners don’t share the same dream. But maybe we can convince them to get just one machine – just a little one? Here we’ve put together a list of reasons that should help you convince them that it’s the best option for everybody:
1. You can use it as a piggy bank
Yes, okay, there will be some initial outgoings, but your partner is missing the bigger picture – leave this machine coin-operated and this could be the greatest piggy bank you ever buy. Saving up for that holiday abroad? Hoping to do the house up? If you play three games a day for £1 per play, that’s nearly £1000 saved just in the first year! If they don’t seem convinced, try spreadsheets. Everybody loves spreadsheets.
2. You can settle arguments
You know those nights when nobody wants to do the washing up, there’s no food in and you’re one phone call away from ordering pizza because neither of you wants to cook? Duke it out over some Street Fighter instead – loser picks which chore they have to do, and you both get some mental downtime before you actually have to do it. This can also be used to agree domestic conflicts like “who gets to clean out the garage?” and “where are your parents going to stay when they visit?”
3. Vintage is super in right now
Houseproud spouses would do well to remember that vintage and retro furniture is back in style, and those Double 7 machines are making a splash in all the best contemporary homes right now, cleverly disguising themselves as coffee tables. All you need now is a few Space Invader decals and you’ve got yourself a hint of the games room you once dreamed of!
4. It’s good for you
What other games console practically forces you to stand up while you play it? Other than the odd Wii game, it’s hard to find something you can’t hack so that you can play from the comfort of your sofa, but a tall arcade cabinet demands a little physical work from yourself. Use it as a warm up or cool-down after exercise, and convince your partner that you’ll both spend more time moving around if you just play one more round of Super Breakout.
5. It’s really good for you
Yes, it’s also good for your mind. Jane McGonigal, researcher of games and author of the book “Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World” found that a couple of hours of videogames every day can improve your reasoning, spatial awareness, problem-solving and general mood. They also increase your mental and emotional resilience, creativity, determination and focus. That’s a lot of good stuff to come from one shiny box!
6. It’s really, really good for you!
YES, it’s also good for your interpersonal relationships, and the way you interact with each other. How much time do you and your partner spend together now? TV doesn’t count! Date nights, cooking nights, walks along the beach – all of these things tend to fall by the wayside when work gets tough and finding the energy to connect gets harder – but with this new arcade machine, you can hang out and relieve some stress with minimal effort! Bonus points if you can work in the phrase “I’m doing this for us.”
7. Visiting kids will love it
This could be a pro or a con depending on how much your partner loves kids, but friends’ and family’s children will soon find hours of entertainment when visiting your home, leaving you and the rest of the adults in relative peace and quiet. You might have to prepare to see your high score board fill up with rude words – but that’s just extra incentive to beat them all again.
8. …and so will the grown-ups
The other pull, of course, is that most visiting adults will love the retro addition to your home – staying in will be the new going out, and all you need to do is stock up the fridge and get a few tournaments underway for the evening. Many arcade machines come with a massive selection of games to keep everybody entertained, so it’s minimal stress for you whenever you want to host a few friends!
9. You can turn it into a programming project
These last ideas require a little bit of building and creativity, so if your partner likes to tinker, these are definitely the angles to go with. You can essentially build your own arcade machine with a cabinet, screen and computer – many people even use the impressively small RaspberryPi to make their own miniature versions. It’s thrifty and a lot of hard work, making it perfect for convincing those who like to take on a DIY challenge.
10. You can re-design the cabinet
Alternatively, you can buy your machine but turn the casing into an artistic project, customising everything from the stick and buttons to the casing itself. There’s a risk of voiding your warranty, but if your partner is looking for a new design project this could definitely be the way forward – especially if you’re willing to give them full control over the finished result!
Of course, if all else fails, you can always convince a friend to get a machine instead. Or – well, we don’t endorse stooping to bribery, but the odd foot massage here, a delicious meal there, maybe a few surprises, they can make all the difference. Good luck – and if you do have a home arcade setup, we want to hear about it!