At the peak of the video game arcade industry in the early 1980s, there were over thirteen thousand arcades in America, and the industry was estimated to be worth more than $12 billion. Unfortunately, the success of the video game arcade industry was followed by a downward trajectory starting in 1983, and in 1985, the industry’s revenues plummeted to about $100 million. But why did the industry crash? Many attribute the cash to the rising popularity of home gaming systems. Experts, however, attribute the crash of the industry to other factors. Home gaming systems only allowed arcades to become stagnant following the industry’s crash. Perhaps the industry became too big too quickly. Rising demand for video game arcades led to too many video game arcades being set up, and the production of several substandard games. There was a growing demand for challenging games and innovation, and when the industry couldn’t meet this demand the participants eventually lost interest. In addition to the crash was the rising criticism from parents who complained that their children were hanging out in arcades for far too much time. There was also a rising number of violence in some of the games, and parents didn’t take a liking to this. Soon after, the number of arcades in the United States steadily declined. At the beginning of the 1990s, there was a resurgence of the industry, sparked by the creation of fighting games such as Street Fighter 2. However, this resurgence was short-lived and the industry quickly became obscure. What remains are fond memories among the generation that was obsessed with Pac-Man in a time when the world was just starting to embrace the perks that came along with technology.
After the decline of the video game arcade, we are happy to announce that the culture is having a renaissance. What makes this even more fun, is that the renaissance is accompanied by a beer. Long a feature of after-school hangouts and malls, the arcade is experiencing a rebirth through a mix of local beers and potent nostalgia. Since the opening of Brooklyn’s Barcade back in 2004, the concept of a bar establishment featuring pinball machines and traditional arcade games has become popular, and Charlotte is one of the places in the country that has embraced the trend.
One of the places that feature this business model is Lucky’s Bar & Arcade on 300 N. College Street. Part of what makes a bar unique is their neighborhood and spaces. Smack dab in uptown’s bustle, Lucky’s Bar & Arcade has a je ne sais nostalgia that it curates wonderfully. Lucky’s Bar & Arcade features an expansive selection that promises a blast. If the aim of your visit to Lucky’s Bar & Arcade is to play video games, it might be a good idea to choose a night that is not on the list of Lucky’s Bar & Arcade’s planned events, or a night that is not full of bar crawlers. Lucky’s Bar & Arcade offers a variety of console games, and arguably has one of the largest selections among Charlotte’s barcades. Lucky’s Bar & Arcade also features vintage classics such as Donkey Kong and Centipede, as well as pinball machines and driving arcade games. Other fun games at Lucky’s Bar & Arcade include arcade-style basketball, foosball, and air hockey.