If you know me then you know that I am super stoked about this! Yes, the first time I got married it was in an arcade, and I used to spend hours there gaming.

The Planning Board on Monday evening approved the application by owners Shaun Richard and Christopher Horsfall to open Immersion Gaming Center at 350 State Road.

Immersion will offer a variety of new and older types of video and arcade gaming devices. This will be the city's first arcade since the long-closed Dream Machine, Immersion is expected to open in early January.

Immersion Gaming Center

Iberkshires.com reports that one of the two owners Shaun Richards said,

"We would offer some old retro arcade coin-operated machines. And we're also looking to offer some more immersive gaming style setup with basic consoles like the Xbox and the PlayStation 5, We also will offer tabletop gaming like Dungeons and Dragons or Magic the Gathering."

They are planning for hours of 10 to 10 seven days a week, which led to questions about how much time younger people would be spending in the arcade. He expected to keep a sign-in sheet of people in the building largely because of COVID-19 contact tracing, which also should help with parents call looking for their children.

Immersion Gaming Center

Because of the novel coronavirus protocols, the building would be limited to 40 percent capacity or 10 people, pending any changes by the time it opens, and machines and seats would be regularly sanitized in between use, the owners said, and they are considering markings on the floor to assist in social distancing.

Immersion Gaming Center

Planner Lynette Bond asked about bicycle parking since the arcade would likely draw a younger crowd, Planner Lisa Blackmer asked about the parking lot, which is not lined. She was also asked about how arcade noise would affect neighbors if there are "kids congregating in the lobby later at night."

Richard said,

"A bicycle parking is something we looked at early on. I definitely think it's a necessity. If we can't do it by opening we would hope to have the first month of being open,". As for parking,  the center is limited to 10 people right now so there is not a concern but should the restrictions ease up, the landlord is willing to work with them on getting lines painted.  As far as the congregating at night, I mean, I think it's more of us business owners just being kind of aware of what's going on and if there's kind of congregating, that we essentially have to go and break it up," Our goal is to run, I think, a classy establishment."

Immersion Gaming Center
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