Virginia arcade owner alters games to keep players safe

Posted at 11:06 PM, Jul 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-05 10:04:54-04

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The owner of an arcade in Charlottesville has come up with a clever way to keep gamers safe from the coronavirus.

After Decades Arcade on Carlton Road was forced close on March 15 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, owner Paul Yates said he used his use his engineering skills during the downtime to make social distancing automatic.

Yates invented a way for the arcade machines to tell if someone is getting too close to another gamer.

"What I did was I invented a little card-swipe device that allows to put it on each machine and it will actually enforce social distancing," Yates said. "So the idea is that it has a proximity sensor and if somebody's playing the machine next to you, you can't start a game on the other machine.

Yates said each machine has a blinking red light and that it will automatically shut off as a precaution if someone tries to defy distancing.