BELONG will give the gamers a sense of community and the opportunity to play with others in Greater Manchester.
Since the dawn of video games when Pong, Space Invaders and Pacman dominated the arcades, there’s been a stigma surrounding those that take up the hobby.
It’s often viewed as a male-centric past-time only good for keeping delinquents off the streets. But with the games industry evolving at a brisk pace, it’s becoming ever more inclusive, and that’s what ‘BELONG by Game‘ capitalises on.
The BELONG Arena in the Trafford Centre was the first experience to open in a Game store nationwide, with a further 17 stores now open across the UK and Ireland.
They offer the chance to play the latest games on up to date hardware including top spec PCs and new Consoles as well as bleeding edge VR technology.
The venue is also available to book for parties and events. It’s a favourite place to be, especially for the target demographic of 12-16-year-olds.
Arena Deputy and Supervisor, Dan Fox and Will Price, spoke about how the facilities at BELONG demonstrate how the gaming stereotype is wrong. Listen here on Tapewrite.
Dan and Will are experienced gamers themselves. They both said how they had taken up the hobby from a young age with Will having experience as a semi-professional eSports player for Call of Duty.
That led him to start up his own eSports organisation known as Shadow Stalkers, and it’s this experience that ultimately landed him a job at BELONG. Having a background in video games is an integral part of the job at BELONG, as Dan explains:
“If a kid is playing a game for the first time and doesn’t know how to play it, and they ask their parents how to do it, parent’s will be like ‘I have no idea’.
“When you have a guy who’s in this arena, [kids can ask] ‘how do you do this?’, we can be like ‘here you go’… It’s that support as well for people that want to try a game but are a bit scared of that game.”
The art of sociable gaming has changed dramatically over the years.
Will likened the facilities at BELONG to the arcade machines of the 80’s, where crowds once gathered around a single machine, crowds can now come together to play sociably with one another.
We can thank the internet for the downfall of local multiplayer as it’s never been easier to connect with a network of friends and play together from the comfort of your own home.
But for more anxious players who are nervous about talking to strangers on the other end of a microphone or players who don’t feel as though they’re surrounded by people who share their interest, local multiplayer opportunities can be far more favourable.
Dan says gaming is for everyone: “We try and build communities, we try to create grassroots eSports for people to come down, band together, play against each other in competitive ways but in a friendly environment, less intimidating environment, where anyone who’s anyone will be able to come down and give it a shot rather than think “it’s well out of my league“.
— BelongManchester (@BelongMCR) November 7, 2017
You can listen to the full interview with Dan Fox and Will Price here.
Social Media Promo Music Credit – https://www.bensound.com”
By Joshua Boyles
Love virtual reality check this article out about GameLab.