Chicago is on fire (bad pun), when it comes to the arcade / barcade scene. When I first moved here, only the first Emporium existed with the Headquarters opening shortly after. It's just amazing and really fortunate to be in a place with such a healthy scene. I used to frequent Headquarters the most, especially when they expanded to the Pinball room, but ever since Logan Arcade moved in to where the record store was and expanded, it's basically the only place I go to now for a couple reasons. Headquarters is still worth checking because it's free, but yeah, most of the crowed is terrible there and aren't there to play in any serious matter, so you'll have games set on 4 player and people will walk away. (i'll usually just turn the game off and on myself). Beer selection is good, but pricy (not surprising, since games are free). I'd say it's the 2nd best place though.
For those asking about bringing kids, I would still suggest going to the Logan Hardware Record store) which is a block down from the barcade), as they still have a somewhat hidden back room with a few pins and bunch of classic arcade machines, which are all on free play if you buy anything in the record shop.
The Logan Arcade is amazing and the one I frequent the most (too much for my own good). I go there half of the time to play the 10 player (5 on 5) arcade game Killer Queen, which is the most fun and addicting game i've played in years. The local scene for that game is constantly growing, as is the competition. League nights, every Wednesday and tournaments usually once a month. Easy and welcoming to jump in and play, learn with some really great people and friends I've met through it.
That aside, the Pins are great too with a great selection from different eras. Unfortunately, they seem to have raised the prices on most of the newer games, so that's a bit of a bummer.. but overall they keep the games running better than the other locations. Beer selection is good, but wish they would rotate some of the taps more often and have a little more of a variety, but still
Not a big fan of Emporium in Wicker Park, mainly because it's loud and obnoxious, sometimes they charge a cover in the side with the stage when they have DJ's and junk, when I all I want to do is play some pinball.. overall I hate the scene there. The new Emporium is a little better because it's a roomier, have an ok selection of Pins that are all on 25 cents, which is nice. Less crowded.
So far, the bubble hasn't seem to burst yet, and all the locations seem to be busy most of the time, which is great.
basically, Chicago rules!