video game lounge in NYC and soon your town
A few weeks ago I walked into a video game cafe in the East Village just for a quick look-see. It is called "Game Time Nation," and basically you can rent a machine and chill out and play whatever game you want. You get charged by the hour, but I recall that the fee was pretty reasonable, around $5 an hour. The place is basically like an updated version of the old-school arcade. There are a bunch of chairs and couches gathered around loads of monitors. The New York Times has an article about the spot now - go check out the pics. An owner of a California gaming lounge is quoted:
Our place gets you out of your living room...It turns video gaming from a solo activity into a social occasion. You're in a roomful of 30 or 40 people hooting and hollering. I predict it will become a spectator sport.
Have no doubts, gaming is no longer the domain of the lonely teenaged geek. In South Korea, where about 60% of the populace has broadband Internet access (the highest level in the world), online gaming is already a national past time and a sport (especially MMORG's). This is more than just a trend, expect a national chain of video game lounges to arise soon, and to come to your city. This will be a huge business at some point.
Via The New York Times.
Update: Slashdot has more.