New video gaming arcade opens up in town

GAMES GALORE: Greg Appleton with some of the Sega Rally racing car games her has up at Back To The Arcade. Photo David Cole.
GAMES GALORE: Greg Appleton with some of the Sega Rally racing car games her has up at Back To The Arcade. Photo David Cole.

Greg Appleton is a bloke who thinks outside the box.

Goulburn Post readers may recall he was the man who set up his own snow-making facility in his street two winters ago.

Mr Appleton likes to tinker and fix machines and he also has a passion for gaming that spills over when he is talking about his new venture called Back To The Arcade.

This is a classic old-style video gaming arcade of the like that many may recall from their youth. It has some great, fun games already installed and is seeking to expand. It opened on June 7.

"We have shooting games such as Ghost Squad and Operation Ghost and it has hurt me to take them out of my house because I love them so much," he said.

He has been collecting games for many years, but he wanted to share his passion with Goulburn and also provide another activity for young people in the city.

Back to The Arcade already has 15-20 machines in the shop and another 5-6 are on the way in the next few weeks. It is located near BCF (in the shop which used to house Attitude Clothing) at 158 Hume St.

Mr Appleton has always been devoted to gaming, but the idea to open Back To The Arcade started out with him collecting machines.

"I have been doing this seriously now for the past 18 months. It has become more than a hobby and I am keen to share it with Goulburn," Mr Appleton said.

"Once Jump Inn closed, people felt there was not much here to do for the kids, especially in winter.

"We are in the early stages and we want people to tell us what games they want, because we want to bring something unique to Goulburn - it has to be new and fresh."

He said there was already a lot of support for the arcade.

"People have been contacting us online (via the Back To The Arcade Facebook page) and offering their support and that has been really encouraging," he said.

And young people seem to have already have voted with their feet because the arcade was filling up with teenagers having fun when the interview with Mr Appleton was taking place.

"I would love to be one of those institutions of Goulburn, like the Big Merino or the cinema," he said.

FUN: Jeremy Burke and Will Billington playing one of the shooting games.

FUN: Jeremy Burke and Will Billington playing one of the shooting games.

Those who take their children to similar venues in Sydney know that $20 will get you about 30 minutes of play in a similar arcade, but at Back To The Arcade in Goulburn, $20 will get you unlimited gaming for all day.

Mr Appleton said they would also be offering a membership that would allow unlimited gaming all week for a low cost.

He said it was important to give back to the community and that gaming arcades like his also provide opportunities for social interaction.

"I have friends with kids who tell me they sit their online and game away their weekends," he said.

"They lose that social aspect and they need to get out and be together with their friends again.

"I am hoping there are benefits all round, not just economic for me, but also social benefits for the town. It is somewhere warm, large and comfortable and safe for young people to go to and there is lots of parking for their parents."

So what are the games?

"There is a lot of the high-end retro machines, the big Daytonas and two Sega Rallies," Mr Appleton said.

"We figured if we are going to be in an arcade we are going to go big. Some of the machines are close to 700kg. If it was was any smaller we would be struggling already.

"We have a huge collection of shooters, Lethal Weapon and Mario 2's, lots of racing games, a pinball machine and a fishing game for younger kids. Star Wars is coming as well."

For opening times check the Back To The Arcade Facebook page or the sign on the door.