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Arcade UFO: This ATX Competitive Gaming Hub is a Community

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Arcade UFO sits in central Austin. The heart of Bat City is a fitting place for this cozy den of pulsing music and vibrant lights. Inside you will find what Main Event and bowling alley game rooms lack: Community.

Anyone old enough to remember the height of arcades can picture the scene: Lights dance out from domed, square screens, clashing on every surface. One hundred dings, whistles, zaps, and melodies flood the air, an attempt to snag a minute of time and twenty-five cents from passersby. Huddled around a pair of joysticks, quarter-laden consumers of all ages wait their turn. They are gathered to test their mettle against one another.

Arcade UFO: This ATX Competitive Gaming Hub is a Community

Photo: Arcade UFO Facebook

Greater than the sum of their bells and whistles, these games have evolved in recent years. The bulky machines are now available at home, on consoles, and personal computers. Unfortunately, arcades have generally failed to evolve with them.

Why spend a roll of quarters once a week when you can buy the same game once and play it at home? Why go and seek out opponents when you can sit in comfort and play against others online?

The answers lie inside Arcade UFO. Quarter machines have gone the way of the dodo, rechargeable plastic cards taking their place. Most games at Arcade UFO are paid for in increments of time, swiping the card to add more. In the tradition of Japanese arcades, the cabinets are “head-to-head” style, meaning players will sit at back-to-back screens as they play.

Arcade UFO: This ATX Competitive Gaming Hub is a Community

Photo: Arcade UFO Facebook

Competitors in games like Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and many others don’t see each other during the match. However, this doesn’t stop them from standing up after every match and shaking hands, or even hugging it out.

The location is maintained with expert care. Music games, titles in which the objective is to move and press buttons to the beat, also feature prominently. Many of these titles are imported from Japan. For all kinds of games at Arcade UFO, tournaments are broadcast online for the world to see.

Arcade UFO: This ATX Competitive Gaming Hub is a Community
Photo: Arcade UFO Facebook

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