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Video Gaming Parlors Open For Frustrated Travelers In U.S. Airports

August 30, 2018 - 3:23 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- U.S. airports are opening video gaming parlors for stuck travelers.

As Bloomberg reporter Justin Bachman explained to Pat Farnack Thursday, the Portland, Oregon-based couple Gameway thought video gaming might be the perfect way to pass the time for those stuck in the airport with a delay.

“So they went to a bunch of airports, and they had interest from Dallas-Fort Worth, so they now  have three dozen gaming terminals at two places at DFW Airport, so you can go in there and pay your money and game away your flight delay,” Bachman said.

The setup is a little different from the old-fashioned arcade with rows of games housed in cabinets that take quarters.

“It’s a room that has leather chairs and a 43-inch screen with headphones, so you go in and pay and sit down, and then you can do your gaming for 30 minutes, an hour, two hours, or really as long as, you know, you pay $45, you can sit there and play as long as you want,” Bachman said. “Well, the real question is, will other airports find the real estate to do this, and I think that they will probably want to see what the revenue numbers look like.”

The video gaming parlors aren’t marketed toward any age group, Bachman explained.

 “It’s really aimed at everybody, because when you’re at a major international airport like Dallas or JFK or LAX, you have to appeal to everybody, and you can’t just count on people who are 30 or younger, or 35, or whatever,” he said. “You really have to be an amenity that will attract a broad demographic, and video gaming is one of those things that if you believe the numbers, has really gotten popular. Now, 45 percent of all gamers are women, according to the trade group, and, you know, it’s become a much broader type of activity.”

Meanwhile, John F. Kennedy International Airport opened the first virtual reality “experience center” this summer at Terminal 4. It was designed by Los Angeles-based Periscape VR, which told Bachman it has fielded more than 300 calls from airports that are interested.

At the airports in Portland and San Francisco, short films are also on the menu of options.

 “Short films, and having this type of art, is something that airports see as, you know, sort of a calming local type activity where you bring an artistic touch, and, you know, I don’t know that every airport would do that, but certainly in some of them, it’s going to work out,” Bachman said.