Nonprofit to provide home for gaming community

The Arcade Vaults is creating a fun space for those who love games, while supporting those who make them

A cafe bar, an arcade and a game developer’s workspace all under one roof is opening in the High Street Arcade in late November.

The Arcade Vaults team have been running video game related events for two and a half years, but this month they are opening their first permanent venue. The owner, Chris Munasinha, said the company aims to bring together different aspects of the video game community in one location.

This emphasis on community is partly why The Arcade Vaults recently became a nonprofit, according to content producer Tom Pritchard. Tom said this business model will help customers see that they are contributing to the space.

“The money that you’re spending isn’t going into anyone’s back pocket, it’s going back into the venue that you’re enjoying already,” he said.

The company runs events with all kinds of consoles and games, from retro to modern

The Arcade Vaults has been working with local game developers to make sure the work space it provides is as effective as possible. Tom said that they’re aiming to be flexible, to be able to adapt so that they can give developers what they want.

He said, “often [developers] don’t have anywhere to work on that level, other than in their bedroom at home or in coffee shops, which isn’t ideal.”

At a recent event the company took suggestions from around 50 local developers

Richard Huford, a games enterprise lecturer, said that the multi-purpose venue would benefit developers by allowing them to share their work with the public. Tom said it would be mutually beneficial, as gamers would have the chance to play new games that were only available at The Arcade Vaults.

Tom admitted that working on the business while also holding down a part time job was exhausting, but said that little moments make it all worthwhile.

“When someone walks in and the machine that they grew up playing catches their eye and it’s like seeing an old friend- that moment is great,” he said.