Have you ever spent long hours in a video game, and didn't want to quit when it came time to do homework?

AArcade turns your useless desktop wallpaper into a game world. You use your PC like normal, but AArcade is now your wallpaper.

Launch your shortcuts from AArcade, or just launch them from Windows like normal. AArcade does not get in the way.

"There is a hidden world between worlds. A world that is normally only seen through lists, links, and menus. A world that we've known as other worlds have come and gone. A world that exists between everything we do on our computers. THAT is the world of Anarchy Arcade."

For over 6 years AArcade has enhanced people's desktops around the world. It's the 3D desktop built for TODAY'S technology. Performance & compatibility are always put first.

AArcade aims for a balance between functionality and immersion. It's designed from the ground-up to address the issues that have kept 3D desktops in the realm of science fiction and bring them into reality.

Build worlds using your games, movies, pictures, & shortcuts. Work from your reality.


Today's 3D Desktop

In the future, computers will be awesome. But we're not in the future, we're in today. And today, computers have to deal with very real problems.

AArcade addresses these technical limitations head-on to provide a 3D desktop that can be used on today's hardware; not just a tech demo of what "could be".


State-of-the-art games & software will always need state-of-the-art hardware to run well. Today's PC will never be able to run both a 3D desktop world AND a state-of-the-art game world at the same time without a performance impact.

AArcade launches native fullscreen (or windowed) applications and sleeps in the background while you play them. You're never running 2 worlds at the same time.

Native apps means they are displayed on your IRL screen, not on the in-game screen. Good for functionality, bad for immersion.


New games & PC apps get created every day, and everybody has their own preference for which ones are the best to use. If a 3D desktop doesn't work with your favorite game/app, or if it makes it run poorly, the 3D desktop sucks.

AArcade launches shortcuts just like the ones on your regular desktop. It is compatible with anything that can run on your PC.

Once again, native apps means they are displayed on your IRL screen, not on the in-game screen. Good for functionality, bad for immersion.


Learning a new interface all at once can be frustrating and causes you to be less productive with the time you spend at your PC. If closing a 3D desktop makes it faster or easier to use your PC, then the 3D desktop has failed.

AArcade is not a frontend, it's more like a desktop wallpaper, with Windows right ontop of it. All it does is launch shortcuts, and you never have to close it just to use Windows.

Is this bad for immersion? Perhaps. But no built-in UI would ever be as useful as Windows itself.

AArcade's Niche: Windows w/ 3D Desktop

AArcade is awesome at what it does, but the concept of a 3D desktop just isn't for everybody.

We will always have a small, niche community of regular users with a steady stream of new users dropping in to see what all the fuss is about. And this is fine.

AArcade is designed around maximizing the impact of its user community, past & present, and brining in the massive amount of content from the greater Source engine community to enjoy as well.

Specifically, AArcade's niche is to provide uninhibited Windows functionality, but with a 3D world of shortcuts instead of a 2D wallpaper. This includes performance & compatbility equal to what users experience natively on Windows.

Regular Windows
Windows w/ 3D Desktop

Wallpaper Image

Virtual Wall

Shortcut Icons

Shortcut Icons

Windows OS

Windows OS

Temporal Desktops

AArcade does not auto-generate a huge building filled with shortcuts to every file on your harddrive. This would suck. You would have to run through miles of stuff you didn't even care about just to get to 1 thing that you actually wanted.

Instead, AArcade introduces the concept of a temporal desktop, which is simply a collection of shortcuts that you like to use together.

When doing homework you use: your physics book's PDF, your class website, your favorite YouTube music playlist, various wiki's and references.

In a temporal desktop, all these shortcuts are physically next to each other. You could have shortcuts to each one of them, or just to the 1 or 2 that you really need to get started.

Immerse yourself in any of your activities. Place inspirational posters, videos, music, and games related to your temporal deskstop's theme.

Build as you work, and work as you play. AArcade becomes more useful the more that you play it, as your temporal desktops physically grow around you.

The "GeoCities" Effect

This refers to the idea that the person who created a custom desktop in AArcade will also be the person who enjoys it the most.

What looks like an epic room full of amazing content & nostalga for one person can look like a poorly textured room full of random junk to somebody else.

The GeoCities Effect applies to AArcade because each user builds a world customized to them, with things that they care about personally.

You'll always love your own arcades, but discovering somebody else with common interests is always something special.

Each arcade you build will be filled with stuff that you care about, and will always be useful to you.

Exploring a friend's arcade requires an open mind. There will be lots of stuff in them that doesn't interest you, but you'll also discover new things that you never knew existed.

Desktop Features

These are the features that make AArcade a productive 3D desktop for today's PC user, compatibile with all apps, that won't make you rage trying to use it.

• Shortcut Library
A list of shortcuts you can spawn into AArcade without even needing to use a browse dialog.

Everthing you spawn gets added to your shortcut library so you can quickly spawn it again. Any customizations you make to a shortcut are saved with it into your library.

• Full Version Apps
AArcade is a shortcut launcher. It launches your favorite apps, and their full versions, exactly as you are used to.

• Native Windows OS
AArcade is not a frontend, it's more like a desktop wallpaper, with Windows right ontop of it. All it does is launch shortcuts, and you never have to close it just to use Windows.

• 100% Compatibility
AArcade launches full version Windows apps that run in the native Windows OS and is therefore compatible with everything that runs on your PC.

Performance is obtained by AArcade launching native shortcuts and then pausing itself in the background. You are never rendering 2 worlds at the same time.

• Advanced "Open With" Support
Some apps, such as emulators, are normally a 2-step process to open the program, then load a file. However, by using AArcade's advanced "open with" support, your favorite emulators can launch, load up a game, and start playing all in a single click.

Novelty Features

Many features that are non-essential to AArcade's main concept are still included as novelty features. They're good for immersion, but don't necessarily help functionality in a sustainable way.

Embedded applications fall under this category because they can never offer the same experience that the user's preferred standalone application could offer.

Multiplayer falls under this category because of the GeoCitites effect & the inherent singleplayer nature of a personal desktop.

• Multiplayer
Explore shared worlds with your friends, or just hang out with them in the background while you each get work done. Watch videos together, launch games together, and have a good time.

• Embeded Web Browser
Watch YouTube videos & other web content right on the in-game screens. Read the news, check Reddit, listen to music, and everything else you do on the web. This feature is powered by Awesomium.

• Embeded Media Player
Watch your local video files & listen to your local music collection on the in-game screens. This feature is powered by Libretro.

• Embeded Emulators
Run your local ROM collection & other homebrew software on the in-game screens. This feature is powered by Libretro.

• 3D Positional Volume on In-Game Screens
The volume of the in-game screens is based on your distance from them.

Convenience Features

These are features that help automate some of the common tasks that you'll find yourself doing when customizing your 3D desktop.

Most of them you could do manually using your favorite web browser, which is often faster for new users. However, these convenience features can save you a lot of time after you learn how to use them.

• Media Database Meta Scraping
When you spawn a shortcut, you can customize how it looks with screenshots & marquee images.

Shortcuts to known media items, such as Hollywood movies or AAA games, can automatically have these types of images applied to them by matching them to entries in online media databases.

This feature is powered by community-ran media databases of meta information such as TheMovieDb.org, TheTVDB.com, and TheGamesDB.net.

• Assisted Google Images Search
If you need to manually find images to decorate a shortcut, AArcade can automatically search Google Images for the title of the shortcut and let you choose which image you like best.

Search for & choose custom images to decorate your shortcuts without pressing a single button on your keyboard.

• Customized Buy/Download Links
In multiplayer mode you will encounter shortcuts to certain games, movies, or apps that you don't yet have installed. Sometimes you'll want to download them & install them.

Instead of having to search for the item manually on your favorite site, AArcade auto-generates links to your favorite sites or online stores.

The links take you to the search results page of your favorite site using the shortcut's title as the search term.

Gameplay Features

These are the features that you'll notice in the game world of AArcade. You can compare these to what your boring old desktop wallpaper currently does for you.

• Full Source Engine Sandbox
Your desktop will feel like a game because it uses a real game engine. Experience what the Source engine has to offer, all while being productive the whole time.

• Cross-Game Assets
Use maps and assets from any of your favorite Source engine games. Build your desktop in your favorite competitive map, or use any of the addon maps available.

• In-Game Web, Local Media, and Emulators
Awesomium provides in-game web content. Libretro provides in-game emulators & local media playback. Remember that you can always launch the shortcuts to open them in your default apps instead.

Source Engine

AArcade is currently built on Valve's Source engine, giving us access to the massive collection of addon content and modding documentation already available on the engine.

Your shortcut library is the heart of AArcade, and it can easily be imported into any engine that future versions of AArcade become available on.

However, the Source engine is particularly useful because of its ability to load assets from other Source engine games. This gives the small AArcade community a practically infinite amount of addon content that already exists.

Revisit the maps that you've spent countless hours playing in, or discover new worlds you've never seen before. The Source engine has something for everybody.

Mountable Games

The following Source engine games, and the addons created for them, have been tested to be compatible with AArcade on the Source engine.

At last estimate, they contributed to the over 50,000 world maps and nearly 40,000 props that you can use in your 3D desktop.

Each of these fantastic Source engine games offer many hours of gameplay in their own right. Being able to use the worlds & asssets from them on your 3D desktop is just a wonderful bonus of having them installed.

Other Niches

Many people who find AArcade are actually just interested in 1 or 2 of its features, and not in the concept of a functional 3D desktop as a whole.

Every program that exists is going to have things it does well and things it doesn't do so well, depending on its focus. It's always best to use the right tool for the job.

Below is a list of specific features people are often interested in when trying AArcade, along with my recommendation of other great programs that you might prefer for each feature.

Source Engine Sandbox
The original Source engine sandbox. Excellent tools for placing props, and in-depth scripting tools for designing new game modes.

Social Hangout
Cross-platform VR chat room with shared web browser. Also has JavaScript-powered 3D mini-games. Supports most cutting-edge VR peripherals, or standard keyboard & mouse mode.
Online community of mini-games from the creators of GMod Tower. Also includes a shared web browser.
Online community of VR enthusiasts. Tons of user-generated-content. Lots of community events, such as Gunters Universe recorded infront of a live virtual studio audience.
Virtual reality recreation center with tons of physical mini-games to play with friends.
Ultra-detailed arcade environment with lots of physical mini-games to play with friends. It's a nostalgia trip back to the 80s. It can even be configured to run your local ROMs on the in-game screens as well.

VR Desktop Viewing
Great at displaying your desktop in VR on a virtual screen. Also has lots of tools for viewing special 3D content, such as 360 or SBS videos.
Displays your desktop on a virtual screen inside of a multiplayer lobby using encrypted peer-to-peer video streaming.

VR Infinite Desktop
Displays traditional Windows apps on virtual screens in VR. Allows for infinite desktop space because it captures individual app windows instead of your full desktop.

The Metaverse

The metaverse is the living library of all human knowledge.

It is real. It has always existed. First in spoken word. Then in books & tape. Then came the digital age, with simulations & utilities taking the metaverse deeper than ever thought possible.

Everything real & fictional is part of the metaverse. Every person. Every location. Every event.

With the simulations of the digital age, the metaverse grows exponentially with each universe that mankind creates.

Normally, we visualize the metaverse using PC's, web browsers, & cell phones. The metaverse is vast. Many can access the it, but few can navigate it efficently.

AArcade offers a way to visualize the metaverse in an immersive, personal, & human-curated fashion. It's your perspective of the metaverse.

The persistent, shared worlds of AArcade's multiplayer community offer a unique way to come together and share the things that matter to us.

AArcade Multiplayer Community: http://anarchyarcade.com/metaverse/

Unique Visitors Since 8/21/2016