For non-gamers, the idea of a holiday is most-likely related to pristine beaches, memorable sunsets and culinary delights. However, for gamers, the ideal holiday is playing games. Besides, the hospitality industry is thinking of adding something new for this increasing market. Again, when it comes to hotels and video games, there was an idea since 2008, where hotel-chains such as Aloft Hotel have equipped their lobbies with games on the table and even table games, like billiards. Besides, other hotels, especially the ones from the US in Las Vegas, are all about gaming, a different kind of gaming, but still gaming.
Return of Arcade Rooms
In the ’70s and ‘80s, it was not unusual to find games in hotel rooms. Guests would see in almost every hotel room, arcade games like Pac-Man or pinball machine wizards. Besides, in recent years, thanks to the revival of the 80’s vogue, especially in the music industry (where nowadays people like to listen to music genres such as synthwave, retro-electro etc.), there has been a return of the idea of games in hotels.
One example, Hotel Zetta in San Francisco offers to their guests’ large rooms that contain billiard tables, air hockey and shuffle boarding. Besides, there are also board games such as Yahtzee and Candyland. The hotel also offers a two-storey Pachinko board on the wall which allows players to throw from the loft football balls and see them land in the atrium. Hotel Zetta has a particular attention to the well-being of their guests, which in this case is the focus on the world of hi-tech and media.
Also in San Francisco, there is another hotel, Hotel Monaco, that features Wii video games that are available to play every night. For those who are more interested in arcade games, at Wildwood Lodge at Snowmass near Aspen, Colorado features the classic arcade games room with retro settings like Galaga and table football, as well as newer racing games.
The W Hotels chains have opened a branch in Bellevue, Washington wherein the heart of the city’s most hi-tech centre has decided to make itself known by creating its videogame. Called Belle the Bear, the game is inspired by the SEGA Frogger of the 80s and is reproducible on virtually any device, directly from the browser. Therefore, the game doesn’t need an app or software to download.
Belle the Bear is a retro 8bit video game that features a teddy bear that crosses the streets, woods where it tries to reach the W Hotel. Along the way, the teddy bear clashes with NPC enemies, obstacles, from bees to drones and it tries to collect as many bitcoins as possible along the way. The Bellevue Hotel is the first hotel that accepts digital currency.
Besides, the Bellevue Hotel has to deal with neighbours that are all avid players. Around the corners are Bungie, 5th Cell, Sucker Punch and Valve. Behind is Halo, Destiny, Scribblenauts, InFamous and Half-Life. And down the street is Microsoft’s Xbox headquarters, Expedia, T-Mobile and a galaxy of active technology startups.
The First Video Game-Themed Hotel
The first hotel that will break the ground for the era of video games is an Atari-themed hotel in Phoenix, Arizona, with another one planned for Las Vegas as well. Atari believes in the idea of rekindling interest in the gaming brand, so it wants to build an Atari-themes hotel. The company plans to build up to eight videogames themed hotels in the US with the first one being in Phoenix, Arizona later this year.
The idea seems unconventional, but the company says that the concept will connect the public, gamers or not. The hotels will provide Atari-themes lodging, lots of video games, the latest VR and AR experiences, and the hotels will also be designed to host esports events. The design of the hotel will be done by a design agency called GSD Group. In the designing process of the hotel, the movie producer Napoleon Smith III will also join. The movie producer is known for his most recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot films.
The next Atari hotels are planned for Las Vegas, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Denver, Austin and San Jose. For the city of Las Vegas, having a different type of hotel may turn in more visitors. The town is mostly known to have casino-themed hotels with some of them being luxurious. But overall all of them have inside a casino, where a different type of players join to play table games like blackjack and poker, and also electronic-type games of slots.