Going gaga over games

YOUNG and old video game arcade enthusiasts are going gaga over Tamworth’s newest family-friendly entertainment zone.

Hundreds daily have filed through Centrepoint’s former Strike bowling alley since it re-opened to include an authentic video arcade earlier this week.

But it is not only the kids who are enjoying the old school games – parents and aunts and uncles have also been reliving their youth, co-owner Shaun Miller said.

“We are very happy with the amount of people who come up, not only to check it out but to come in and play,” he said.

“It’s funny, we were just looking there earlier and there was a young mum and she parked her pram with the baby next to one of the car racing games and jumped in and had a go. It just looked awesome.”

About 30 video game machines line the inside of the venue where the bar once stood. It was ripped out as part of a stunning transformation to revamp the facility. The arcade is now known as the Level Up Family Amusement Centre.

It was hard to tell who was having more fun when The Leader stumbled upon Tamworth’s Natalie Creighton and her nephew James Creighton – who was visiting from the Gold Coast – at the controls of the Game Wizard. 

“One of the things to do in Tamworth now would be to come here,” Ms Creighton said.

“My brother and I used to go to these places when we were kids. It’s great.

“Even though it’s a fighting game you don’t have all the graphics that you can see people blowing up and that sort of thing. It’s just what we had when we were kids.”

Mr Miller, a former building estimator and designer had always dreamt of opening a video arcade, having collected and traded machines for a number of years.

“It’s been consistent since day one; I thought it would slow down a little bit,” he said, pleasantly surprised. 

“We’ve been running hundreds of people through each day and seeing some familiar faces coming back each day as well.

“We’ve got some pretty good regulars that are rapt they can drop in.”

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