Neil Russell attempts to get out of a virtual escape room at the Arc Gaming Centre in Salmon Arm. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)

Neil Russell attempts to get out of a virtual escape room at the Arc Gaming Centre in Salmon Arm. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)

Virtual reality, arcade gaming centre opens in Salmon Arm

Owner hopes to host city’s first Esports team for games like League of Legends, Fortnite

Salmon Arm’s newest gaming hub is putting a different spin on the blinking and beeping arcade halls of past generations.

The Arc Gaming Centre, located inside the Westgate Public Market, is the modern gamer’s dream. With six virtual reality studios equipped with Oculus’ Rift S headsets and controllers, six PS4s connected to gaming quality monitors, two Nintendo Switch consoles and two wall mounted wide-screen TVs.

Read more: Column: Exploring the Shuswap’s booming high-tech sector

Read more: Fred Skeleton Theatre Company brings virtual world to life in new play

The centre is the brainchild of owner and operator James Honeyman. Originally from Grindrod, he brought his idea to Salmon Arm because he wanted to share with people the enjoyment he finds in gaming.

“I think more than anything I just want it to be fun,” Honeyman said. “I know that’s not a very business-like approach, but for me I like to get together with people and hang out.”

When conducting the research for the gaming centre, Honeyman went to Vancouver to see what other VR gaming centres had done. Honeyman noticed that people would come into the gaming centres, play and then leave.

“There was nowhere to hang out, it was just a very businesses-like setting. So what we wanted to do is after you play VR, you can hang out after,” he said.

To create a place for people to hang out, Honeyman turned to local businesses and fabricators to buy and make the various tables, table tops and couches that fill the space.

The multiple VR studios allows players to join the same game and work together to find their way out of a virtual escape room.

In addition to letting Honeyman share his passion for games, he hopes the centre will keep the local youth busy doing something they enjoy.

“The 20-something crowd in Salmon Arm is definitely looking for something to do,” said Honeyman. “You’ve got a lot of kids running around with nothing to do and that usually just gets them into trouble.”

Read more: Remember virtual reality? Its buzz has faded at CES 2019

Read more: Plugged in: Kelowna teen thriving with professional eSports U.S. team

Honeyman has plans to create a Salmon Arm Esports team for games like League of Legends, Apex Legends and Fortnite.

The centre had its soft open on July 1. A grand opening is planned for September.


@CameronJHT
Cameron.thomson@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

James Honeyman and Darienne Russell in one of the six virtual reality studios in the Arc Gaming Centre in Salmon Arm. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)

James Honeyman and Darienne Russell in one of the six virtual reality studios in the Arc Gaming Centre in Salmon Arm. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)

Jayden (left) and Chris Belcourt share a moment while playing a video game at the Arc Gaming Centre in Salmon Arm. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)

Jayden (left) and Chris Belcourt share a moment while playing a video game at the Arc Gaming Centre in Salmon Arm. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
253 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths in Interior Health over the weekend

More than 1,000 cases in the region remain active

Interior Health confirms vaccination of priority populations has begun in Salmon Arm. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccinations underway in Salmon Arm

Interior Health confirms vaccination of priority populations has begun

Interior Health and School District 83 are responding to a confirmed COVID-19 exposure at the Salmon Arm Secondary Sullivan campus. (File photo)
COVID-19 virus returns to Salmon Arm Secondary campus

Member of Sullivan campus tests positive for COVID-19

A member of the M.V. Beattie Elementary School community tested positive for COVID-19, according to a statement issued Jan. 17, 2021. (photo submitted)
COVID-19 exposure at Enderby elementary

Member of school community tests positive for virus

Bastion Elementary was open Monday, Jan. 17, after one case of COVID-19 was confirmed among the school community. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
COVID-19 case confirmed at second Salmon Arm elementary school

Member of Bastion Elementary community self-isolating, students allowed to attend school

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

This is the location, 3240 Skaha Lake Road, of where BC Housing plans to build a four storey supportive housing project for the homeless and at risk of being homeless. (Jesse Day Western News)
Penticton mayor and MLA concerned about new BC Housing project

‘Penticton already has its fair share’ of BC Housing projects

Interior Health declared the COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place long term care home over Monday, Jan. 18, 2020. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place care home declared over

‘This has been one of our most challenging outbreaks so far,’ says chief medical health officer

Penticton Bylaw officer Glenn Smith, as well as resident Zak Laycock (not pictured), received the Governor General Award from the Royal Canadian Humane Association to recognize their heroism in a summer 2019 incident. (Contributed)
Bylaw officer and Penticton resident given awards for intervening in sexual assault

Bylaw officer Glenn Smith said he was simply in the right place at the right time

Sunnybank
COVID-19 related deaths at Oliver, West Kelowna and Vernon senior care homes

Sunnybank, Heritage Retirement Residence and Noric House recorded deaths over the weekend

Hillview Elementary students Emma Li and Mina Nadeau were awarded by the Premier’s office for winning the annual holiday card contest. (Karen Rogers photo)
North Okanagan students’ art featured on Premier’s cards

Hillview youth chosen for annual holiday card contest

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

An Abbotsford man was killed in a motor vehicle accident on Highway 3 on Monday, Jan. 18. (Black Press file photo)
Abbotsford man killed in Highway 3 crash near Hedley

Fatality was discovered by passing tow truck driver

Most Read