One of the themes of 2020, aside from social isolation and COVID-19, is how popular video games are.
And we’re not just talking about the actual gaming aspect of things, either.
From live streams to conventions to adaptations, gaming is growing into its own as a major media and cultural force. For some of us, this is a shift that is long overdue. Yet for the wider public, it’s like they’re discovering games for the first time.
That said, there is one brand name that is a touchstone for pretty much everyone (especially OG gamers) and that is Atari.
Atari has gone in and out of business more times than we care to count and they have had so many gaming iterations it is hard to keep up with at the end of the day. One constant that threads through all of this and that is that Atari, for a largely (marketable) cohort, means video games.
Perhaps that’s why the concept of an Atari-themed hotel chain is not that outlandish, particularly when you look at the growth of eSports, the Games Done Quick series, and Nintendo’s partnership with Universal Studios for Super Nintendo World.
With outlets opening in Phoenix, Chicago, Denver, Seattle, Austin, San Francisco, and San Jose, the Atari Hotels promise to offer guests a fully immersive gaming cultural experience with entertainment venues and game-themed bars and restaurants.
GSD Group’s Napoleon Smith, III, specifically cited nostalgia as one of the many forces that Atari hopes to tap into when guests arrive. The design aesthetic touted by the group so far shows off a retro 1980s look with nods towards gaming and cyberpunk motifs.
“It’s definitely a place for gamers, but it’s also for families. We always believe that a family that plays together stays together…We really want to bring some stuff that you only see in games to life.”
To that end, Atari hotels will come equipped for gaming and even events centered around gaming. That makes perfect sense seeing as how businesses that cater to gaming as a lifestyle are expected to post record growth numbers in the years to come.
“I think we [as a society] went too far digital in our entertainment, and now people are clamoring for something tactile, something that they can touch and be a part of…We want to see how much fun we can make one place for families and people who just want to feel that kid at heart that they’ve forgotten for a while. I think it’s kind of needed, especially after what we’ve gone through this past year.”
What do you think of the rise of eSports, films and shows about games, and destination locations like Super Nintendo World and the proposed Atari hotel? Let us know your thoughts on this in the comments section below if you like.
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