Liberty Games have provided a new interface for the arcade machines that would allow players to pay for a game by scanning a QR code, thus sending digital coins to the cabinet owner’s wallet.
The system works due to a Raspberry Pi processor. A simple and cheap single-board computer the size of a credit card. Initially it was designed to study the basic principles of computer science but due to its size and functionality Raspberry Pi found a lot different uses.
Actually, it is not the first time the Liberty Games use this piece of tech to provide payment interface. Last year’s September the company began to give their customer an opportunity to buy pub pool tables that had a QR code and a small LCD display (showed how much a game costs in Bitcoin) next to a good old metal coin slot.
Again, as with pool tables, the cost for an arcade machine using the crypto as payment method would cost about a hundred pounds more. However, that is only if customer has its own server, processing the digital coins acquired by the Raspberry Pi. If customer needs a host for such server, Liberty Games could provide this option for an additional cost of course.
Currently, there is only one machine that is fitted with a “berry” but the old ones, which worked with metal coins, could easily have Bitcoin transactions implemented. The Galaxy Cosmic II 60-in-1 is a time machine taking you on a journey through the 60 of all-time favorite games: Pac-Man and its derivative, Donkey Kong, Arkanoid and lots of others. A joystick and 6 buttons for each of two players. “Shut up and take my money” kind of thing.
However, there are sceptics who believe that digital coins would not make much of a difference. Take for example Stephen Early. His company Individual Pubs Ltd is in an ownership of 5 pubs in UK and all of them accept BTC as payment. Stephen notes that only half percent of all income is due to Bitcoin transactions, that is why he doesn’t think that allowing customers to pay for arcade machine with cryptocurrency would be a big deal.
Stuart Kerr has a different opinion though. Stuart is technical director of Liberty games and he thinks that idea of an arcade machine for which one can pay in digital currency is pretty neat, adding that:
“…people who like to play arcade games, especially the retro ones, also love their tech.”
Even though at first they thought that their target buyers would be the owners of “tech-savvy pubs” they soon realized that the only two orders for their BTC-assisted pool tables went into all parts of the world. Especially surprising was the fact that crypto enthusiasts from Asia and South America were keen on the idea and while I am not sure about the latter, the East has a lot of history with video games as well as arcade.
People who spent part of their childhood in arcade can probably recall that soul-warming sound of metal coin falling down the slot. Sound that was full of promise and filled gamer’s heart with joy. I don’t know how scanning a QR code could replace that but the tech goes on and we can’t cling to the past forever. Well, maybe just for a little while…