What's the attraction of gaming bars?

21 January 2020

Interview with 

Akedo Gaming Bar

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Naked Gaming, with Chris Berrow and Leigh Milner

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Chris Berrow - now there seems to be a rise in gaming bars and gaming coffee houses too. We didn't want to miss out on all the hype around new gaming venues. So we went to Akedo gaming bar in Lincoln... to have a go at some of the games there.

Toby - My name is Toby. I'm from Lincoln. I own the gaming bar Aikido.

Chris - So just tell us a bit about this bar and how long have you been going for?

Toby - Uh, I've been open for nearly three years. Opened in Halloween. I got the idea for the bar from living in Korea for four years and there are lots of places where you could go and play PC games. I came back home after four years and I thought, you know what, I need to do something and obviously I liked video games and then sort of thought that maybe... do my own twist on it and make it with the craft beers and the consoles rather than PCs and make it like a social place where people can come and hang out and play games and drink beer and it gives people something to do.

Leigh Milner - How popular are you? Because we've been in here about what, 10, 15 minutes and you've had customers in and out of the door. This is clearly a demand for it.

Toby - Yeah, like I mean it could always be better but Lincoln is quite niche. But yeah, all Il know it's good and it's popular and people love it. Yeah.

Leigh - Right... let's find a versus game... this looks a little bit like those arcade machines where you can select a game, apparently you've got GameBoy Colour, you've got Sega Megadrive, Nintendo, PSP. You've got everything on here. Okay. So you can... apparently this 10,000 games on here. So let's pick one. Sonic on Sega Megadrive, one of my favorite games. Sonic the Hedgehog 2. So I used to play this all the time when I was a kid. I think this was probably the first game. So I went and... I must've been about what, seven... some of these games, man, I can't believe they even made them Snoopy and the red Baron.

Chris - VR time, the first time ever... that is a massive headset!

Leigh - So right now Chris has got the headset on, I can see what he's doing on the screen behind him and he's got, yeah and he's got like two little controls in his hands, which we should like neon colors and he's trying to slice some objects which are flying at him. Lightsabres. It's so bizarre because I can actually see what he can see through his headset. What's it like Chris?

Chris - It's amazing. It's like, it's like Dance Matt Revolution or whatever it's called, but with lightsabres and it's sort of like flying at you. So you feel like if you don't get it right, you're gonna get smashed in the face by a brick.

Leigh - Wait, what? What do I do? What do I press? Bring it. How much do these sets normally cost?

Chris - They are quite expensive. I think you're looking at like 200 quid or so. So just walking back to the car now, after my first ever game bar experience. How was it?

Leigh - I think it's great because there are going to be people out there that can't afford the console to begin with who can come here. We saw down there are younger with probably her brothers - mum and dad probably said here's a fiver, go and spend the day... that they know they're in a safe environment, playing games all day. Alternatively, I think it's just to kind of get people out who play a lot of games. The kind of stereotypes of them stuck in their bedrooms to actually go out and socialize as well as playing games, which I think is just a great thing.

Chris - What was your favorite moment of going to the gaming bar experience then? Was it playing some of those old games?

Leigh - It's gotta be watching you waving your arms about not knowing what the hell you're doing and having a 14 year old girl tell you what to do. I really enjoyed that.

Chris - All right, let's go...

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