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When it comes to video games, “play, individuals, and function” are what we prioritise above anything else.
The O2 in London is home to a new free-to-play video gaming area called Gamepad, brought to you by Virgin Media.
The Playground, “a whole flooring dressed up with hands-on stations for those who wish to video game without diversions,” and “a sofa co-op area called The Cave” are the three distinct areas that make up the venue, which Virgin says will be “filled with state-of-the-art devices and innovation” thanks to our friends at Digital Foundry.
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Virgin claims the project was developed to “eliminate all barriers around gaming” and is “free of charge for everybody to experience” for “a minimum of 20 minutes at a time.” It is available today and will remain open seven days a week (12pm-8pm Monday-Saturday; 11pm-7pm on Sunday).
“Virgin Media O2 produced Gamepad with the aspiration to make video gaming a lot more inclusive and available,” a press statement states. “Not only is the space totally step-free and wheelchair-friendly throughout, but the lighting can be altered to accommodate a variety of sensory requirements, and the area will continue to be established and improved to ensure it is inclusive and satisfying to all.
“Another central tenet of Gamepad is the desire to use the area to support the next generation of skill by giving them access to professional-level centres that will help them take their video gaming to the next level,” says the site’s creator.
Additionally, the organisation will be working with publishers and “AAA video games” to provide “unique very first play opportunities and video gaming deals,” such as the current WWE 2K23 promotional campaign with 2K.
Gareth Griffiths, director of collaborations & & sponsorship at Virgin Media O2, said, “In recent years there has been a genuine shift in gaming, with more people than ever coming together to play socially as well as in neighbourhoods online. And what better location for the supreme video gaming experience than the world’s top home entertainment location, The O2.”
“We’re making a dedicated space that’s free for everyone to use, designed with growth and inclusion at its core, and placing play, people, and function at the centre of everything we do in gaming. We’d like to see all financial, geographical, and social obstacles to gaming removed so that anybody with access to Virgin Media’s gigabit connection may play any game they want on any of today’s powerful gaming consoles.
In addition, “gain from additional advantages to take your gaming to the next level” with O2 and Virgin Media broadband customers. Worrying folks may also make reservations in advance.