China Chinese Gaming Shanghai Sport

The arcades craze in Shanghai

Even though you are a young adult or a grown man, we all have a kid we once were inside of us and enjoy childish activities. In that sense, Shanghai is an awesome place to reveal the kid inside of you. In fact, there are a great number of arcades places and it is also quite fascinating to understand the cultural difference between Chinese millennials and foreigners.


To do so, we will focus on 2 places that each to their own have a lot of interest and if you haven’t been, you should definitely go.


Cages sports bar: a foreigner’s hub


Perfectly located between JingAn and West Nanjing Road, the Cages sports bar is very different from the arcades. In fact, its first purpose is to be a bar. But it actually isn’t a regular bar, it is a sports bar. The venue has baseball batting areas with balls thrown at a speed over 110 miles per hour that are one of the main attractions. It also has an indoor five a side football field that also hosts dodgeball games. If you’re more into shooting hoops, there are a lot of basketball rims with different ranges, from Steph Curry to Andre Drummond. Even though the food and drinks are a bit pricey, it is definitely a place to check if you’re a foreigner in Shanghai.


But enough with this place, where people are not coming for the arcades parts. Let’s get to the main topic of this article, the real arcades.


Hong Kong mall arcades: a playful paradise under People’s Square



From the outside, don’t search for a fancy building that you would expect for a mall. It’s downstairs that you need to check and when you find the escalators of one the entrances, you have found it. Well, not exactly yet, you have found the entrance of the mall. But you should just follow the dance music sounds and once you see the entrance with Chinese teenagers dancing, here you are.


First of all, my advice would be to avoid weekend days and rather go during weekdays to have access to the machines. The weekend, it’s overcrowded and the noises of the machines can be quite disturbing. After the first dance machines, you enter through the cherry on top of the cake: the « teddy bear » catchers. Chinese people are mad in love with these and seeing one with a bag full of « teddy bears ». Except that there are not only teddy bears, but you can also win all your favorite childhood animated movies idols.



Then you arrive into the more adult part, with the guns and the cars. The most interesting machine in the whole arcade is the VR 4DX driving where you get to drive a racing car on a moving seat with windblown at you. There a lot of others driving and shootings machines. The basketball machines are also favored by Chinese consumers, with some being incredibly skilled. Then, in the last part, there are some odd machines where you have to tap on with your hands and some more dancing machines.


Overall, it is a great experience and it is interesting to see how the Chinese are entertained compared to foreigners. I definitely recommend the arcades to try and enjoy it, and the Cages bar for a drink with cool sports facilities.

By Mathieu Stell

I am a 23 years old #MBADMB student in Shanghai passionated by sports in general, especially rugby and basketball. I am also really interested in innovation, especially in the digital field.

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