The good old days are making a comeback with the opening of classic gaming venue, 1UP Arcade, in Morningside next month.
Owner Stephen Holmes has had a long love affair with arcade-style video games, despite growing up in the late ’80s and early ’90s, an era that signalled the demise of the arcade.
Last week Holmes started work on converting a large basement-level space on Lytton Road (he's keen to keep the exact location a secret until closer to the launch).
Predominately from collectors and the classifieds, all the games at 1UP will be original releases, some restored back to their original condition after haunting man caves and rumpus rooms for the past 30 years. “It’s kind of like a living museum,” Holmes says.
There’s one twist on the original arcade model: in order to minimise on coin-jam-induced rage and breakages, 1UP will be coin free. Instead, a $15 entry fee will get you unlimited access to all the pinball and Street Fighter you can handle. “Whether you want to play one game or 100, people can come in and play new games they wouldn’t have tried if there was a dollar on the line,” Holmes says.
Opening with at least 65 machines, the goal of the arcade is to add a new game every week. “If you return to the arcade in a month, there’ll be four new games. And if you come back in a year there’ll be 50 more games,” Holmes says.
Keen to introduce a new generation to the world of classic gaming, all ages will be welcome at the arcade. A community feel is at the top of Holmes’s priority list. “We’ll be running events and tournaments,” he says. “Even classes and workshops for people who have these machines at home and need to know how to repair them.”
1UP Arcade is scheduled to open in early April.