Unwritten Arcade Rules: The Do’s and Don’ts of Gaming


arcade rules

Pong. Space Invaders. Galaga. Donkey Kong. These are just some of the classic arcade games of the 70s and 80s. Arcades have changed a lot in the last fifty years with new video game technology and waves of increasing and decreasing popularity. However, the arcade rules haven’t changed that drastically. Sure, the arcade scene has shifted from dedicated video arcades to all-in-one entertainment centers like Wintrust Sports Complex, but the energy is still the same. The gaming etiquette remains standard whether your search for “arcades near me” comes up with a small video arcade, a chain like Dave and Busters, a 21 and up arcade bar, or a family entertainment complex. 

play arcade

Arcade Basics 

Arcades were at the height of popularity in the 1970s and 80s when video games were new and smartphone games were non-existent. While play arcades may have waned in the 90s and 2000s, arcades today are making a comeback. Everything retro is cool again. Family arcades make a great place to take the kids during school breaks, when it’s too hot, or too cold, or parents are just too tired to do anything else. They make a great spot for birthday parties or corporate events. Arcade bars are popping up more and more across the USA for the over-21 crowd. Play arcades are still cool, many offering a mix of classic arcade games and modern games. Basic gaming etiquette remains almost the same as it was 40 years ago. Here’s a little refresher for the next time you’re searching for an “arcade near me.” 

Do’s of Play Arcades

The official written arcade rules will vary based on the specific location and setup of an arcade, and even if there are no written rules or policies, following these unofficial arcade rules makes for a better experience for everyone. Some of these are just common curiosity, while some are specific to arcades. 

Be Courteous

Being courteous and respecting others is basically an unwritten rule of going anywhere, including the arcade. Waiting your turn for a game and respecting other people’s space are specific ways to be courteous and kind at an arcade. 

Treat the Machines with Respect

Some arcade games are original machines from the 80s, lovingly restored. These machines deserve kindness and respect. Avoid slamming buttons too hard, being overly aggressive with controls, and placing drinks anywhere on the machines. 

Play the Games as Intended

Following the rules for each individual game is only fair to everyone, including yourself. Avoid using any “cheat codes” or “hacks.” 

Have Fun

It definitely sounds cliche and corny, but one of the most important aspects of gaming etiquette is having fun! 

arcade near me

Arcade Rules to Follow

Gaming etiquette also includes what not to do. This includes: 

Hogging Machines

Don’t hog machines; if someone is clearly waiting for a turn, take a break and find a different game to play. Be patient and wait your turn on all games. 

Fixing Machines 

Don’t attempt to fix machines yourself. If something is not working right, contact an employee for assistance. Attempting to fix a game yourself can cause more damage. 

Being Disrespectful 

While this can go hand in hand with being courteous, gamers should take extra consideration to avoid trash-talking other players, negatively commenting on anyone’s skill level or gameplay, and insulting anyone in the arcade. 

General Arcade Etiquette 

There are do’s and don’ts of play arcades, and there are also general arcade etiquette guidelines. These guidelines are helpful in ensuring everyone enjoys the arcade.  

Watch Your Noise Level 

Arcade games can be exciting. We understand the urge to scream a little when you win or lose. Just watch your noise level and maintain an indoor voice as much as possible. 

Pick Up After Yourself

This should go without saying in any public place, but pick up after yourself, keep the area clean, and throw out any trash.  

Follow Employee Instruction 

All guests and players should be ready to follow instructions and guidance from staff and employees. 

arcade rules

Wintrust Sports Complex Arcade 

Wintrust Sports Complex in Bedford Park near Chicago is not just a typical gaming arcade. Wintrust combines all the best of family entertainment and family fun. We have an arcade with games from classics to the latest video games. Our refillable play card makes it easy to play once and come back again and again! We also have a state-of-the-art laser tag arena and sports facilities. Our complex includes pickleball, basketball, and volleyball courts – as well as event spaces and a restaurant. 

Wintrust is the perfect place for family fun in Chicagoland. We welcome family fun, birthday parties, and corporate events. Just be sure everyone in your group follows the traditional arcade rules and official venue policies and has fun!