Creating a gaming community...
Home computer games may have killed off the traditional amusement arcades, but Daniel Rumsey at the NSP Gaming Centre has found a new opportunity for a modern approach to arcades.
The social side of gaming
Gaming has been a huge industry for many years, and online gaming is the latest development - allowing many people to compete against each other around the world. But even online games have lost the social aspect of gaming. NSP aims to re-establish the social side of gaming.
'The arcades now are dead. People are playing on their consoles, but no one interacts with anyone any more. So that's what we try to do - bring the social side of gaming back.'
'Everyone seems to be playing online, so you think people are more social. But you get 32 people playing online in matches, and no one talks to each other anymore. We have more atmosphere with four people in the centre than with 32 people online.'
Bringing communities together online
With the social side returned to gaming in the centre, the internet still has a vital role - bringing different communities together online, and allowing people to take part even when they can't get to the centre in person.
Gaming centres can compete against each other online, and the centres can compete against champions around the world - adding a new dimension to the games playing.
'We want to get online... we're going to set up stores versus stores, and even if you can't get to the store you can go to somewhere that's local to you - wherever you live, whether it's here or in Manchester or London, you can still take part in some of the tournaments.'
Just as it's critical for businesses to be able to access their data, and keep it safe, the gaming community has exactly the same need.
Gamers want to be able to constantly improve on their best scores, or continue a game from one location to another. So they need to be able to take their game data from one location to another and simply pick up where they left off.
They also want to be able to keep the data of their best games, and keep it safe.
'People want to be able to carry on from where they left off in their own homes... and be able to socialise as well.'
Just as the centre creates a sense of community to enhance the online gaming experience, online social media maintains that sense of community.
Using Twitter and Facebook, the centre creates a strong sense of community - letting the gamers know about up-coming events, new highest scores, and changes to the wall of fame and so-on.
'We're on Twitter, we try and upload our videos, our pictures, our events... if someone breaks a high score for our wall of fame, we stick it on Twitter straight away...'
Superfast broadband is going to bring together the online and offline elements of all aspects of life.
Daniel at the NSP Gaming Centre has identified a perfect opportunity to allow online and offline elements complement each other perfectly - creating a social element and sense of community that didn't really exist in the purely online or purely offline versions.
As this combined online and offline world develops, and games become ever more sophisticated the opportunities are huge.