Bitcoin-operated arcade machine is a game changer

Fund your next round of Donkey Kong with your cryptocurrency stash.

Modified Bitcoin arcade
Your virtual currency can result in real classic gaming. Liberty Games

There's something satisfying about the sound of a quarter rolling into an arcade game and plinking down with its brethren somewhere out of view. You won't get that noise if you try out Liberty Games' rigged-up Bitcoin arcade machine, but you will get to play your choice of Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Space Invaders, or any of dozens of other classic games.

Liberty Games took a Cosmic II full-size arcade multigame cabinet and modified it to accept Bitcoin payments. You scan a QR code on the machine with your smartphone and then pay up in exchange for game credits. Once paid, you're free to blast away at the old-school video-game baddies.

The modification functions thanks to some clever work with Raspberry Pi and the PiFace interface, which act as a go-between for the arcade machine's coin mechanism and the online Bitcoin payment mechanism. As far as the machine knows, it just received a regular coin, so the system could be adapted to almost any arcade cabinet.

Because Bitcoins are worth about $820 each, it only takes a small fraction of a Bitcoin to play a round of Centipede. A video showing how the machine works lists the price as Bitcoin 0.00698812 per play. One Bitcoin could conceivably last you for a year of games, depending on how much you play and how fast you run out of lives. That means a single "coin" could unleash the most epic series of arcade challenges the world has ever seen.

(Via Technabob)

About the author

Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET's Crave blog. When not wallowing in weird gadgets and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.

 

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