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Hunter gamers embrace pop-up retro video game console arcade at Charlestown Community Centre The Place

Hunter video gamers of all ages gain window into technology of the past Get set: Jess Moore of Erina plays a Virtual Boy, a pioneering yet short-lived Japanese-market console. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
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TweetFacebookGLENN Le Marchant can’t think of anything worse than keeping the60 video gameconsoles and more than 1000 games he has collected over15 yearsbehindlock and key.

“I’m not buying things to put in a cupboard never to be seen again,” he said.“Games need to be played, not squandered away.”

Mr Le Marchant has taken leave from his job as a software engineer and opened part of his collection dating back to the 1970s to the public for the first time, hosting a pop-up retro video game console arcade and daily high score competition at Charlestown Community Centre, The Place.

An average of about 20 people a day have visitedsince its Thursday opening and each paid $10 an hour –the third and any other additional players in a group pay $5 –to get their hands onmuch-loved consoles including the Atari 2600, original Nintendo and PlayStation One and rarities including the Nintendo Virtual Boy that was not sold in , the Vectrex from 1982 and the Atari Jaguar.

Games include Sega Rally Championship, Crusader and other hidden gems.

“It’s been a mix of 40-something nostalgic parents bringing their kids in to show them what they used to play and 20-something year olds who have heard of these consoles but never played them.

“Some people came in bothdays after work.”

The most popular game has been Duck Hunt on the original Nintendo console.

“We’ve had a three year old play it, as well as a 74 year old grandmother who has never played a game in her life.” Mr Le Marchant is considering renting the games out for birthday parties and team building exercises.

The pop up arcade closes on April 24.

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