I remember when I was still in Hong Kong. I always asked my mom to bring me to places with arcade games (歡樂天地、美國冒險樂園). Some of them even had fun-size roller coasters! However, when we were kids, it is always the hard to ask your parents for money for this kind of entertainment. They would always say that it is a waste of money. However, it is also a good place to have fun with the whole family. I have seen some old couples at Dave and Busters enjoying some games together while sharing an ice-cream cone!
Here are some tips on how to gain more than you spend while having fun in an arcade place! (For some traditional Asian family, going to this place is seen as a sin!)
1. Limit your budget
Just like going into a casino, the best way is to tell yourself – “If I lose over $50, I will leave right away!” Some people even only bring $50 cash inside a casino. Of course, this may also fail since you might bring your credit card. In an arcade, it will be the same. Tell your kids that you will only spend $20 today. After we spend it all, we will all leave together. This way, you won’t overspend and also you can train your kids on discipline and how to keep promises.
2. Do your homework!
Before you go, you should really know numbers of games or length of time your kid can spend on games and enjoy them for the price of $20 (for example). This way, you can help your kids to choose something good and cheap to go first. Otherwise, you may end up with an unsatisfied and hungry kid!
3. Play with them
The last time when I went to Dave and Buster, there were groups of parents just sitting around the bar section chatting and having their drinks. It was, of course, a good relaxing moment for them. When you go to play with them, your job will be to try to catch every single moment to show your kid how to do problem-solving. For example, if a machine does not work after you put in some tokens, what should we do? As parents, you may bring your kid to find a staff and ask for help in a very polite way. Another example would be to read the instructions together with them before they start playing. Most of the kids have no patience to do such things. But by practicing, you can train them to control their temper.
4. Do not exchange tickets for gifts
You may realize that some of the games are similar to gambling. (WHAT?! Really?? – you may ask.) Yes, most of the kids (including me, when I was a kid), I really want to “win” or maximize the number of tickets they get. This way, I can “win” nice gifts from the gifts counter. There are some gaming machines whose only objective is to win tickets. For instance, you put a token in and in return you get some tickets, with the number of tickets depending purely on chance! That is exactly the concept of the slot machine in the casino, except instead of money, it is the ticket. Be careful when you allow your kid to get addicted to this kind of machine, as they may end up going to the casino when the age comes. So, let’s change it by telling your kid – we are not going to exchange any gifts from the counter. So, the objective of the game day will become absolutely a “happy” day instead of a “winning” or “losing” day.
5. Take pictures
Keep the good memories! Remember to take some picture or even some good videos. Like the video that we posted here. It is very easy to do with a simple GoPro camera. You do not need to go for the most expensive one. I’ve always wanted to see how I played games when I was younger, however, my parents could not really afford a video camera :(. With the technology we have nowadays, you may have no excuse to avoid it! Cheers!!!
6. Eat well before Go
If you have been to different theme parks, you must know that food is one of the highest expenses during your visit. We said earlier you may need to limit your budget and this is one way you can save lots of money. However, most of the arcade places do not allow you to bring beverages inside (they want you to buy from them of course!) Try your best to bring in some water anyway. Most likely, the staffers won’t care about it!
7. Bring Hand sanitizer and Wet Napkin
I think you know what I mean here 🙂 I know it’s hard. Try at least.
8. Create your own arcade games at home
In order to bring game day to the next level, you can challenge your kids to make up their own games at home. Invite his friends to come to try them out so that he can taste a little bit of what success and failing look like. This is a very good lesson for everyone. It can definitely increase their creativity quotient. Of course, you, as parents should support and encourage them (do it together!) But again, leave some space for creativity. After that, your $20 will be worth a lot more! It maybe the best course for them too.
I hope all these tips can help you and change your view on arcade games place. Bring your kids in and enjoy a day of learning and gaming!