Hot, loud, flashy, and incredibly smoky. These are some of the best ways to describe the sensation of walking into an arcade in China. And when walking in during peak hours, the lines to play the latest fighting games usually snake across cabinets.
It's interesting to see that China still has a flourishing arcade industry as game centers were nearly wiped out in the early 2000s along with the video game console ban. Despite falling into the same category as video game consoles (arcade machines are huge game boxes, like consoles), arcades and arcade cabinets are not illegal in China. Instead, arcades fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture—the same ministry that oversees internet cafes.