We all love bars, if not for the drinks then for the comradery. They give us a place to hang out, relax, and unwind from what seems to be an increasingly stressful daily life. Generally speaking, the basic idea behind bars has remained the same for thousands of years. Recently though, twists on these classics have been giving patrons the world over the chance for something new. In the case of video game bars, Toronto could soon see itself entering a new golden age.
What is a Video Gaming Bar?
The simple definition of a video gaming bar is one where players can come together to combine regular bar activities with the world of video games. This is hardly a new concept, having been around since the very first arcade machines in the early '70s, but recent forms of these bars have metamorphized into something distinct.
Rather than relying on coin-led arcade setups, modern gaming bars utilize gaming systems that are either free to play or which operate through a bar cover charge. The primary advantage, however, comes from the range of games that are on offer. Largely, these gaming bars lean on older systems such as the NES and PlayStation. This acts as a nostalgic trip, while still offering the opportunities for competition and cooperation which works so well in bar environments.
Why is Toronto Such a Great Fit?
Modern Toronto is a city that doesn't shy away from technological progress. We're one of the first cities in the country to get 5G, and we're also one of the nation's greatest tech-hubs in terms of skilled workers and tech employment. This extends into the world of video games, where studios like Ubisoft Toronto and professional eSports teams such as Defiant plant their flags.
Companies and teams like these didn’t come out of nowhere, rather they were based on our collective love for digital entertainment. This extends into myriad other realms too, such as how many of the best online casinos in Canada are freely available within our borders. Not just in terms of games, the infrastructure surrounding these casinos, such as cash matches and free spins, target areas like ours because of established and only growing interest.
We also can't deny the influence of weather on businesses like video game bars. While we're currently enjoying or enduring a heatwave, depending on your stance, there is no denying the winter months can be challenging. When colder seasons roll around, it's nice to warm up somewhere fun and familiar, and few things bring to mind sentimental comfort like playing games with friends.
With companies like Tilt and Pixels and Pints finding success in building video game bars, there are questions as to why their progress took so long. History is full of examples of these bars failing, yet now they're increasingly finding their feet. The reason for this, as far as we can figure, is the matter of demographics.
Just a decade ago, the majority of people who grew up playing video games were more likely to spend their nights at the club scene. As many of us can vouch for, this eventually loses its appeal, as we eventually long for something more relaxed and familiar. Today, many of the people who grew up on PlayStation and Nintendo are now entering their thirties, and this has created an enormous new audience to cater to.
The Way of the Future
There'll always be a place for traditional bars, this is as true today as it's even been. With an increasingly technological audience now entering the bar scene, the future simply looks more likely to be one of more variety and diversity. We might still personally prefer the old-school approach, but for a younger audience or just to try something new, video game bars seem to be here to stay, and they're only going to get bigger.