Fun and Games at the National Videogame Arcade
I’m the first to admit that my knowledge of gaming is limited to playing the BBC game Chuckie Egg and good old Pacman in the ‘80s as a child and more recently playing games on the Playstation (very badly) with my two boys. So I was a little worried that our recent visit to the brand new National Videogame Arcade might not be my cup of tea. However no sooner had we entered the building than my seven-year-old son had spotted a Teenage Mutant Ninja arcade game and I found myself fighting on behalf of Donatello and Michelangelo doing my best pushing buttons and pulling levers so that we could work together and defeat the bad ninjas. Once I’d finally pulled him away we paid for our tickets and made our way up to the first of three extensive floors.
On the first floor we discovered among others Pacman (yeah!), played against each other as professional tennis players (my score sadly proved I was far from professional!), the very popular Minecraft room plus endless games of Donkey Kong which my son loved. We also drew our own baddies which were then projected within a large mission control game with the opportunity to play the game head to head while seeing and hopefully shooting down our own artistic work which randomly popped up within the game.
Floor two then awaited us which included the Jump zone offering a raft of interactive exhibitions and a sea of buttons to press and play with plus more retro games to have a go at. Having worked up an appetite we had a Mario Brothers style pit stop in the onsite toast cafe where I grabbed one of my favourite snacks: bananas, honey and peanut butter on toast. Lunch break over we headed up to the third floor where we had great fun playing space invader table tennis, played Donkey Kong on a large cinema screen and discovered a collection of 100 gaming objects to see firsthand how the phenomenon of gaming has evolved.
After a few hours, when I finally dragged my son out of the building, we had massive smiles on our faces. This experience helped to dispel many of the misconceptions I had about gaming, which I thought was just about sitting alone in a dark room in front of a screen. Friendly and enthusiastic staff ensure it’s accessible to everyone; as the experience is so interactive I didn’t actually sit down all that much plus it really is great fun.
All in all our step into the virtual gaming world left us with a real life adventure we won’t forget in a while.
For further details visit click here. The National Videogame Arcade is open between 10am and 6pm Tuesday to Sunday and bank holiday Mondays.