Get ready! This summer – June & July, 2014 (Thursdays & Saturdays from 7:30pm - 11:00pm) – Champa Street in Denver, from 14th Street to the 16th Street Mall, will be transformed into a street arcade like you’ve never seen. This isn’t your father’s old-school arcade. Powered through a combination of the Denver Theatre District’s LED screens, building projections, street art, social media and a website, this immersive arcade is going to be a gaming experience for all!
ON THE WEB: The public will be able to interact with video game characters through personalized Twitter profiles powered by local improv comedians from Bovine Metropolis.
ON THE STREET: Once you’re on Champa Street, you’ll feel it – the pulse of the arcade bringing downtown to life. To play at the arcade is to be immersed in each game. The entire two city blocks will be full of street art and custom structures that will transport players to a modern game world. The enormity and excitement is going to blow people away.
GAMES: Built by the Denver-based, award-winning creative team of Legwork Studio and Mode Set, the games will allow players to use their body as controllers while playing on the huge Denver Theater District LED screens. Microsoft Kinect devices will be utilized so participants feel like they’ve jumped right into the video games.
CULTURAL PROGRAMMING: The experience doesn’t stop with just games. Every night the arcade is open, the public can expect the unexpected. Businesses and organizations in the surrounding area are gearing up to extend the gaming story with karaoke, live music, dancing, theatre and comedy. Anything can happen. Anything is possible.
WHY: Gaming often gets a bad rap. Most people associate it with an activity that’s just for kids, geeks and sci-fi nerds. We see the arcade acting as a social glue by connecting strangers on the street. Downtown Denver is home to more than a quarter of all Denver jobs, and anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000 people visit the 16th Street Mall per day. Studies continually show that play of any kind makes us more creative, curious and happy. It even contributes to helping build trust between strangers—what a novel thought! By infusing play into public space, we hope to build a community that is more creative and connected. It’s no coincidence that the most innovative people attribute play as the gateway to a good idea. If we can help inspire new ideas by integrating play into the built environment, then our project is a success. At the end of the day, who doesn’t want their city to be more fun?