James Honeyman and Darienne Russell in one of the six virtual reality studios in the Arc Gaming Centre in Salmon Arm. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)

Virtual reality, arcade gaming centre opens in Salmon Arm

Owner hopes to host city’s first Esports team for games like League of Legends, Fortnite

Salmon Arm’s newest gaming hub is putting a different spin on the blinking and beeping arcade halls of past generations.

The Arc Gaming Centre, located inside the Westgate Public Market, is the modern gamer’s dream. With six virtual reality studios equipped with Oculus’ Rift S headsets and controllers, six PS4s connected to gaming quality monitors, two Nintendo Switch consoles and two wall mounted wide-screen TVs.

Read more: Column: Exploring the Shuswap’s booming high-tech sector

Read more: Fred Skeleton Theatre Company brings virtual world to life in new play

The centre is the brainchild of owner and operator James Honeyman. Originally from Grindrod, he brought his idea to Salmon Arm because he wanted to share with people the enjoyment he finds in gaming.

“I think more than anything I just want it to be fun,” Honeyman said. “I know that’s not a very business-like approach, but for me I like to get together with people and hang out.”

When conducting the research for the gaming centre, Honeyman went to Vancouver to see what other VR gaming centres had done. Honeyman noticed that people would come into the gaming centres, play and then leave.

“There was nowhere to hang out, it was just a very businesses-like setting. So what we wanted to do is after you play VR, you can hang out after,” he said.

To create a place for people to hang out, Honeyman turned to local businesses and fabricators to buy and make the various tables, table tops and couches that fill the space.

The multiple VR studios allows players to join the same game and work together to find their way out of a virtual escape room.

In addition to letting Honeyman share his passion for games, he hopes the centre will keep the local youth busy doing something they enjoy.

“The 20-something crowd in Salmon Arm is definitely looking for something to do,” said Honeyman. “You’ve got a lot of kids running around with nothing to do and that usually just gets them into trouble.”

Read more: Remember virtual reality? Its buzz has faded at CES 2019

Read more: Plugged in: Kelowna teen thriving with professional eSports U.S. team

Honeyman has plans to create a Salmon Arm Esports team for games like League of Legends, Apex Legends and Fortnite.

The centre had its soft open on July 1. A grand opening is planned for September.


@CameronJHT
Cameron.thomson@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Neil Russell attempts to get out of a virtual escape room at the Arc Gaming Centre in Salmon Arm. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)

Jayden (left) and Chris Belcourt share a moment while playing a video game at the Arc Gaming Centre in Salmon Arm. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)

Just Posted

Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee supports added regulations, rezoning of Three Blind Mice

The recommendations will be presented to Penticton city council at an upcoming meeting

Warmer fall weather could extend wildfire season: AccuWeather

Above seasonal temperatures are expected throughout September, October and November

Keremeos business owner affected by Telus outage for two weeks

Franchise owner of HR Block Teresa DeWit says Telus “dropped the ball” in informing clients

Cawston’s Nate Weber helps propel Tigers to victory

Penticton Tigers take home first ever provincial championship

New X-ray machine at the South Similkameen Health Centre will be up and running after Labour Day

Interior Health confirms the equipment was replaced because it was an old version

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

Police watchdog investigating two officers after Langley teen’s suspected overdose

According to IIO, two officers were deployed to help Carson Crimeni but did not locate him before he died

Theft of Okanagan teen’s stolen bike has happy ending

A 31 year old man from Alberta was arrested Wednesday and is currently in custody facing charges

Trudeau vows to stand firm against ‘increasingly assertive’ China

China has accused Canada of meddling in its affairs

Huawei executive’s defence team alleges Canadians were ‘agents’ of the FBI

eng’s arrest at Vancouver’s airport has sparked a diplomatic crisis between Canada and China

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

Teamwork brings injured South Okanagan osprey back to its nest

A South Okanagan Osprey is back with its family after injuring itself

On vaccines, abortion, Goop, doctor Jen Gunter says: ‘I have a duty to speak up’

She speaks out on menstruation, the wellness industry and vaccines

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: sunny, high UV

Today’s weather forecast

Most Read