So you have decided that you can no longer live without an Arcade/Games  room. Well first of all you need to decide what is the best for you in relation to the size you can dedicate to it  and the money you have to "play" with. We would of course love to have dedicated attached area, say 20 meters square that we could fill with the games we want, right now. Unfortunately life isn't like that.

4.gif (127 bytes) Option 1 - PC with MAME 4.gif (127 bytes)

Without moving, you have decided that you don't have the space to set up a dedicated Games room. The good news is that you can still play the games that you used to play all them years ago. You can use practically any PC to play the games on via MAME.  Go back to the main page and click on the MAME and Game-Card to get you started on this route.

Pros: If you have the PC already, then zero cost :-)

Cons: Even with a joystick attached , the controls suck. Playing the games sat down at a desk just doesn't feel right ........ You can buy Arcade joysticks that does help a bit.....But are quite expensive....

4.gif (127 bytes) Option 2 - Dedicated MAME Cab 4.gif (127 bytes)

Some people out their after playing MAME on their PC decide that they do have the room (and the funds..) to stick a PC into a cabinet and play it. Many people do this by converting old (sometimes empty ) cabs. You simply strip out everything inside the shell, stick in a PC monitor and your PC, and away you go. You will need to connect up the control panel (the joystick, buttons and coin slots) to get a true games machine feeling. You also need to  add a pair of speakers.

To connect your PC up to the controls, goto there you can pick up all the things you need to connect up. For the cab's , look on e-bay for the county you live in, and search on JAMMA. Check out this link on help converting you cab :-)


If you feel that your not upto converting a shell into a MAME machine yourself, you can always buy a brand new one. I did this myself, but living in the UK I had to import it from the states. It cost me well over 1000 in the end to get it all set up correctly, but its been worth every penny.

I went for the ArcadePC from a company called hanaho.They have been in the business of making commercial game machines for years, and the quality is excellent.   Click here to see their current range.

ArcadePC - Good, but very expensive.....

Pros: Your playing games on a real arcade machine :-)

Cons: Well, not the Real game PCB. You need to own the PCB to play the game and stay within the law. Some games to suck on MAME, even in a cab...

4.gif (127 bytes) Option 3 - The real thing 4.gif (127 bytes)

Now your talking. You have the 's  and the room to play proper. To be honest, this is one of the reasons whey I built my own house ;-) You can always convert a garage if its not being used - and lets be honest , I bet yours is full of crap anyway!

To get everything to feel like a proper games-room, we need to spit the project into several key stages. They are :


This is very important to the atmosphere in the Games-room. If you can remember back to how the arcades were all them years ago you used to get a constant "buzz" of noise from people and the sound of machines. Some very kind person has created two  files that contains the noise of an Arcade for us to use. One is from 1981, and the other from 1983. You can  play then in the background if the mood takes you.

Click HERE for the 1981 file

It contains samples of the following games: Asteroids, Astroblaster, Berzerk, Centipede, Crazy Climber, Crushroller, Defender, Donkey Kong, Frogger, Galaga, Galaxian, Gorf, Missile Command, Moon Cresta, Mousetrap, Ms Pacman, Omegarace, Pacman, Phoenix, Qix, Rally X, Scramble, Space Invaders, Spectar, Tempest, Venture, Wizard Of War

Click HERE for the 1983 file

Contains the following games: Bagman, Bump n Jump, Burgertime, Congo Bongo, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong 3, Donkey Kong Jr, Elevator Action, Food Fight, Galaga, Gyruss, Joust, Jungle Hunt, Kangaroo, Mappy, Mario Bros, Millipede, Moon Patrol, Mr Do, Ms Pacman, Pengo, Pleiads, Pole Position, QBert, Robotron, Sinistar, Stargate, Star Trek, Tapper, Time Pilot, Track & Field, Tron, Xevious, Zaxxon, Zoo Keeper.

Click HERE to find out more about the project.


This needs to be very low, with some NEON if yoy can get your hands on it. You also need to have some very bright light at hand when your working on the Game cabs, so maybe a dimmer switch would be good.


Some people say carpet, but I go with wooden floor. Remember that the games machines are very heavy, so make sure you place somthing like vinal-lay under the machines. This will mean that you can not push them around without any problem.


You will need a lot of electric to run those games, and a lot of power sockets.


Always good to have some music in the background from the mid 80's to recreated that time. Maybe play the video's through a TV placed behind the bar. Did somebody say Bar :-)


A BAR you shout, "we never had a bar in our Arcade!". Very true, but now we are talking about Your Arcade. If you have the room and keep it in the design why not ? In my experience it adds to the room. If you are going to place a bar in your Games-room, try to have a dedicated area's set up, otherwise the room will start to loose its way.

Things on walls

Stick some merquee's up, and some flyers. Anything goes :-)

Pool Table

Sure, but make sure you have the room to play all the shoots without getting the cue blocked by  walls / machines.....Or it could just be a put off.


Other Things To Remember

Bluearr.gif (140 bytes) You can buy two types of JAMMA cab. These are Vertical and Horisontal. I've got one of each, but you can (on some cabs) rotate the screen from one oreantaion to the other.

Bluearr.gif (140 bytes) These machine do genarte a lot of heat !

Bluearr.gif (140 bytes) I personnal hate seeing windows in a games room. You cannot beat having the only light in the room being generated from the screens and marquees for the machines themselves. Having no windows means that you are cut off from the work outside, and thats the world where you pay TAX, work and  have resposibilites. Say no to windows for christ sake.....

Bluearr.gif (140 bytes) The games you play on your CAB can be changed as long as they are JAMMA compatable. If not you still may be able to play then but you will need an adaptor. Goto HERE to find out about your favorate game before you buy it.

Bluearr.gif (140 bytes) You might need now and again to repair your PCB's bacause something has become loose for example. Remember that some of these PCB's are over 25 years old, and they do stop working sooner or latter. If you think you cannot fix them, or know a local resource to do it for you then stick to a MAME cab......

You can download some software that will help you design your own game room HERE. Its quite good, and comes pre-configured with some of the standard things what you would expect to find in a games room.


Home Arcade :-)


Home Arcade :-)



Home Arcade :-)

Home Arcade :-)