Long gone are the days of feeding quarters into large arcade cabinets in hopes of making a new high score in Pac-Man or winning enough tickets for a prize.
Now, a new generation of arcade is coming to Truro, replacing the old Donkey Kong and Double Dragon cabinets of the 80s with high-powered computers and virtual reality systems.
Levels Game Loft, a new gaming lounge opening in downtown Truro, will provide gamers with a place to play the leading AAA game titles on top-of-the-line hardware in a social and safe environment.
“What we’re trying to generate is an experience you can’t have at home. We want to make it clean, safe, exciting and new with all the newest games and systems available,” said Derek White, who co-owns Levels Game Loft with his wife Christine and daughter Paige Mullin.
Located at 128 Esplanade St., the lounge will feature Xbox One, PS4 and Wii U stations set up with 4K TVs, 17 gaming computer stations, three virtual reality rooms and two private rooms that can be rented for a round of group gaming.
Unlike a traditional arcade, gamers pay by the hour to play on whatever systems are available at the lounge, and can switch games and systems as much as they like during their paid time.
“Aside from the console and computers, we’re going to have a hub installed in the PC room, so if people want to have a LAN (Local Area Network) party, they can bring their laptops and set up at a reduced rate,” said White.
“We are also going to have a server set up so we can load it with whatever we want and hold in-house tournaments for a variety of different games.”
Gamers will be given their own personal account at the lounge, which keeps track of gaming stats, time purchased, and loyalty coins they’ve earned which can be used to purchase gaming gear like keyboards and headsets.
Parents will also be able to control what their kids can play through their account, specifying what game ratings they allow for them to play at home.
“People parent differently,” said White.
“Even though we have a list of what the ratings and regulations are, if a parent says they can play certain games and signs off on the waiver, they can play it. It isn’t for us to decide whether they can or not.”
White hopes the lounge will help kids get out and socialize more, while also providing them a safe place to “be themselves.”
“Now-a-days, when kids get home from school they go right to their bedrooms,” said White.
“A lot of them don’t know how to socialize anymore. They practically live out of their bedrooms now and are probably gaming anyway, so we decided to create a space they can do that and socialize as well.
“People can come here, be themselves and most important, have fun.”
Levels Game Loft is aiming to open near the end of November.