Let's save video game arcades

It is no secret that arcades are dying (or have already died) in the modern world. Everyone has consoles or PCs that they game on and most multiplayer gaming is done online. Most arcades that still exist are only there because they have always been there, having not been updated in years.

I wonder if there are things that can be done to bring back the excitement to arcades and arcade gaming. Here are some ideas that came to my mind this morning. For all I know, they may have already been tried and failed.

I do not have the time, energy, or finances to pull off any of these ideas, but maybe somebody can build on them and make something great.

  1. Put NFC chips in every arcade cabinet in existence and all newly produced cabinets.
  2. Establish a universal account network for arcade games. Imagine if their was an Xbox Live (just as an example) for arcade games. This account could track high scores, give achievements, and be your payment account.
  3. Have a killer app on phones that uses NFC to tap and log into the arcade cabinets.

Here's how I imagine it going:

I am hanging out downtown with some friends. We see an awesome arcade and go check it out. Oh crap, I don't have any cash so I can't play anything. Problem solved, I can use NFC to pay with my phone - just tap the machine to pay for credits. Oh wow, because my phone is also linked to my Arcade/Xbox Live account, I am also logged in and the game is tracking my scores and giving me achievements.

This is now a much cooler, much more modern, and much more rewarding experience than arcades of old. I don't have to abandon my high scores every time I leave the arcade. I get achievements to feed my achievement addiction. I can know what arcade games are trendy and what my friends are playing.

Someone please do this, or come up with a better idea and do that. In a world overrun by shopping malls and fast food, we need more arcades out there.