When thinking of a classic arcade, either a freestanding type or one within a movie theatre, there is one standby item: air hockey tables. Every college recreation room and some bars even have air hockey tables. Some churches even have one as a fun stress-reliever.
Decorating a basement recreation room can be difficult. To begin with, there are a multitude of items that many people think of when they plan a rec room. However, many of these items do not appeal to a large range of ages the way that air hockey tables do. Pool tables are not typically popular with preteens as pool requires a good deal of skill to make the balls go where the player intends and also to control the cue. In addition, most young players are too short to even reach all of the points on the table and have a hard time understanding he rules of the game. This is not true of air hockey. Anyone who is tall enough to see over the table can defend his or her goal and return the puck to their opponent.
A basketball hoop is another fun addition to many arcade rooms. However, the disadvantage to this type of entertainment is that balls often bounce away and can even break windows or damage other surfaces. This is not a problem with air hockey tables. The pucks generally stay on the table and do not fly far even if they become dislodged. Furthermore, any danger of breakage can be removed by placing the table at least two feet away from windows and other breakables. However, air hockey is a much easier game to master and requires considerably less skill than does shooting a basketball.
Many arcades also have electronic games, like pinball and virtual reality games. However, anyone who plays these games knows how loud and distracting they can be. While the clicking and clacking emanating from air hockey tables can be distracting, it is nothing compared to the electronic beeps, loud clanging noises, revving engine noises and gunfire that come from other types of games. In addition, most youths have virtual reality games already on their personal computers and laptops or have access to their parents electronics, which detracts from the entertainment value of these games. Air hockey tables are not common inmost peoples homes and certainly not in their bedrooms, making this type of entertainment a rarity that is sure to be enjoyed by every visitor.
Air hockey tables are universally popular. The game is not overly loud and is manageable by almost anyone who can see over the edge of the table. It requires no great skill and is not likely to damage other objects within the same space with bouncing balls or flying objects. Furthermore, the fact that an air hockey table requires some space to operate means that most people are not likely to have one in their own homes, making people who visit more likely to spend time playing on whatever one they find.
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