Not much has to be said about what took place in Newtown, CT this past December that hasn’t been reported on already but in the aftermath of tragedy in how the people affected are dealing with it is a new story and one that is dealing with arcades. This might sound surprising at first after we heard news not long after the tragedy that arcades were being targeted in some areas over their gun games.
Well not all games that are released in the industry happen to involve violence, in fact I would say what we see these days is pretty tame compared to what was done in the past. So if you wanted to, making an arcade with non-violent content is certainly possible. According to a report in the Vending Times, two dads who live in Newtown are looking for a way to provide such an outlet for residents there and their idea is to open the Sandy Hook Arcade Center. With a focus on family-friendly games, what will also be different about the venture is that Newtown residents will be able to play for free and it is a non-profit operation, relying upon donations to keep operations going. That is somewhat similar to an arcade that used to be open in Massachusetts called Tokyo Game Action which was also non-profit (they had to close their doors after a flood unfortunately). There is not a game list available yet as they are still seeking out donations from across the country, including games but they will have “driving games, pinball machines, air hockey, XBOX Kinect, and many more” to offer to patrons. The center will be opening later this month and in the mean time you can check out their website, which is just a place holder for the moment but we certainly hope that the center will be a success over the long haul!
UPDATE: In regards to the more complex cultural issues behind this, I was sent a link to an article about why we should be proud to represent video games as they can be an influence for good. Arcades have an essential social component to them so this makes perfect sense. Link at DNA Blog.