Texas arcade owner brings back the social experience of retro-gaming

An arcade owner in Austin, Texas is attempting to recreate the social experiences of arcades as a profitable business, Statesman reports.

Darren Spohn opened Pinballz Arcade with his wife, Mikki, in November 2010 with more than 250 games, including Batman, Jurassic Park: Lost World, Street Fighter 2, Galaga and Star Wars. Spohn wanted to "recreate" the experience of arcade gaming.

"People have lost that social experience — they sit on couches with [their] Xbox, they never talk to their kids," Spohn said. "You want to come to a place where you can play together with your kids, too, and find something that the whole family enjoys."

Spohn aimed to create a "destination place for people." The arcade also serves food, leases out machines and hosts parties. Special memberships are also available for discounts on tokens and more.

"Most arcades in the country have failed; they have not done it well," Spohn said. "So we needed to do something different; we needed to approach it from more of a business perspective, not just from a fun hobbyist perspective."

Spohn is considering opening a second and third location elsewhere in Austin, possibly this year.

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