Evening at the arcades
Video arcades stopped being popular in Western countries around the end of the 90s, I think. I remember them as dark places where the bad kids went to play games and maybe smoke cigarettes at the tender age of 14. In China, arcade salons are still present in many malls and are an entertainment option for the whole family. There are games suitable for children, for example using water guns or throwing balls at the monsters on the screen; music games like playing drums or being a DJ; driving games with cars or motorcycles; dancing games… You just need to change a small amount of money into special coins and you can start playing your favourite games.
On Thursday we went to have dinner to the most popular mall in Suzhou. It is always crowded and in fact we had to wait one hour for our table. What to do during that hour? Luckily there was an arcade salon in the mall!
I love taking pictures inside arcade salons. There are many weird machines, full of bright colours and neon lights. After taking a look around, I found my favourite game: the drums machine. I am glad I was never interested in becoming a drummer because I am awful at it, but I enjoy banging at the drums once in a while. It is a good exercise for my arms!
My second favourite game is the one where you get a plastic hammer and have to hit the animals/monsters that emerge from a hole. You have to be very fast! Also a great exercise for my arms!
I played a game I had never tried before: Trampling Spider! You had to step on the buttons on the floor to kill the spiders on the screen.
In these places there are also many machines that are not games. You just insert coins and then you can win more coins, or tickets that you can exchange for gifts. I think this a kind of soft gambling for Chinese people, as casinos are illegal in China.
One of the games that look more modern are the DJ games. The first time I saw this game was in Shanghai a few years ago and there was a Chinese guy playing it at the speed of light, pressing 48,720 buttons per second. Just looking at him made me dizzy.
In this arcade salon there were also a lot of crane machines where you could get plush toys. C. wanted a dog with a big head but he could only get this bear:
Next time I would like to try the dancing games, but only if there is no one looking.