5 Must-See Destinations for Gamers On-The-Go
Most hobbies inspire wanderlust, from epic hikes surrounded by novel scenery to once-in-a-lifetime concerts held in famous stadiums thousands of miles away from wherever you call home. It follows, then, that video games, a form of entertainment that many might consider to be a homebound, independent pastime, is a hobby that can take you around the world globetrotting, too.
Gaming brings people together, both at home and in convention centers, to share in-game adventures with those in your circle and others in the outside world who are interested in the same virtual adventures and competitions. Read on for some of the world’s must-see destinations for gamers looking to take their games on-the-go.
1. London, England
For lively cafes and pubs centered around gaming, look no further than this English city. Spots like Meltdown, Four Thieves and Platform have a range of games for customers to play during their visit. Catch any one of the many esports competitions or VR experiences while enjoying great drinks, food and the company of like minded patrons.
London is also home to several dedicated gaming spheres and one-of-a-kind tech shops, where you can experience the latest gaming technology firsthand. Better yet, fly into London to get your hands on a few new games and tuck them in your bag to keep you and your crew entertained while on one of the region’s famous European cruises.
2. Laconia, New Hampshire
Whether you long for the nostalgia of a retro arcade or you’ve only ever experienced retro game emulation, the American Classic Arcade Museum is a must-see for any gamer. Rows and rows of classic arcade games, both well-known and rare, in this museum have been restored and are ready for visitors to play and enjoy.
The museum shines a light on just how far gaming technology has progressed. The entirety of the vast inventory of games in the museum are dated prior to 1990. The American Classic Arcade Museum also has a section dedicated to video game history, and since it’s a non-profit organization, admission donations are used to preserve the relics of this aspect of American history.
3. Tokyo, Japan
A trip to Japan would be considered a pilgrimage for many gamers. Several of the biggest titles in video games were born here, including Pokemon, Mario and Sonic. In fact, Western gaming culture simply wouldn’t be what it is today without the friendly, innovative gaming culture of Japan. Hundreds of gaming shops, immersive experiences and real-life versions of game locations and experiences are available to game-loving tourists.
Within the city lies Akinhabara, a district known as Electric Town. Akihabara is filled with numerous stores and experiences that specialize in electronics and gaming, with options for visitors in every budget.
4. New York, New York
The flagship specialty store of video game giant Nintendo is located in the Big Apple inside Rockefeller Center. From memorabilia to hands-on game experiences, Nintendo NY has something for dedicated fans and those who are just getting their feet wet.
When it comes to gaming on-the-go, NYC’s excellent public transportation system means your commute around the city will rarely be boring as long as you have your favorite handheld gaming device on hand. Most residents of this city don’t own a car at all thanks to the availability of buses, subways, cabs and ridesharing services, so reading a book, listening to an engaging podcast or starting a new level in your game are all made possible while getting to where you need to go.
5. Los Angeles, California
The biggest names in gaming, such as Sony, Microsoft, Sega and Nintendo, all regularly attend the E3 convention, one of the largest events in the video game industry, held in Los Angeles each year. Attendees lucky enough to score one of few exclusive tickets to the event get a first look at upcoming game titles, accessories, demonstrations and keynote presentations from some of the industry’s leaders.
When the convention is over, scattered around LA are several VR gaming centers, arcades and e-sports centers to visit. The city is home to a rich gaming culture, and both official and fan-organized gaming events are hosted daily, so gamers traveling away from home can find a place for themselves no matter where they go.