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Places Where Grown-Ups Can Play Video Games in Los Angeles

12:10 PM PST on February 8, 2016

Photo by Kari Sullivan on Flickr

Being an adult isn’t half as fun or liberating as I thought it would be whilst growing up. As a grownup, there are many responsibilities to keep you mentally occupied, such as renamed wifi networks to passive-aggressively complain about my neighbors' music, which makes some of us long for the days of carefree adolescence. Unfortunately, real life tends to mean we simply have to drop some of the things that made us happy as a child.

Granted, some of them are downright embarrassing and should never, ever be done in public, like wrestling with the neighbor's dog but what of playing video games and arcade games? A true gamer will never outgrow the need to visit the arcade, even if most of the fun is console-based today.

We grown-up adults can relax on our couches and enjoy some of our favorite video game on a console or online. Las Vegas is also am option now for us grown-up mature adults, if you like that sort of thing. Personally I'd rather play video games!

However, that’s not always enough. There are times when you need to quench that thirst of live arcade gaming in a video game house. Here are some of the best places to go in Los Angeles. Even better if you love to drink while gaming!


Located in Art District, this is one of the best places you’ll ever find for modern day gaming relaxation. It features craft cocktails, weekend DJ sets, an industrial feel and a sunny outdoor patio. The games here are all classics including Joust, Galaga and Street Fighter II, with a wide range of video game themed cocktails on offer, too.

But, if your tastes are covered by more basic drinks, you’ll be well looked after in one of their special sections. There are also mouth-watering meals nearby in a food truck, which may not be as good what is on offer at Golden Deli but it’s good enough if you want that arcade fix at the same time.

Blipsy Bar

Blipsy Bar is located in Koreatown. You won’t miss the place, seeing as the exterior is painted like a Pac-Man game, giving you an apt glimpse of what you can expect on the inside. The bar is dark most of the time while patrons enjoy classic video games. There are cheap drinks on offer and you can enjoy some personal music selection with a great Juke box (only when the DJ isn’t around!). Prepare for the heat, though… Those retro games were a far cry from our cooled modern computing systems. The coolest thing about this place is it used to be in someone's living room as an underground bar way back in the day.

XLanes LA

This bowling alley can be found on the third floor of the Tokyo Galleria in Little Tokyo. If your tastes are purely for classic arcade games, then you might be disappointed seeing as there are no classics on offer here. However, there are several flashy and high tech games dotted around the place, with a simulated tour of a haunted mine and a giant version of Connect Four. You can also record yourself singing a song in any of the designated booths and buy the CD later, for maximum sober embarrassment the next day. The venue is 21+ only and you are not allowed to bring your own drinks, which shouldn’t be an issue owing to their own diverse selection of fantastic beverages.

The One Up

Located on Ventura Blvd, this is a unique video game house. It is one of the few places that operate with free to play machines – with an amazing selection to boot. All their machines are classic arcade consoles featuring all the ones you remember best.

It’s not purely a trip down memory lane, though. You’re guaranteed to spot dozens of games you’ve never seen before. Interestingly, this place specialises in chicken dishes coupled with a huge range of very lively and creative cocktails. What’s not to love?

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