7 February 2022

ANU travels back in time with pop-up 'Game On' arcade

| Max O'Driscoll
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Game On arcade at ANU

The ‘Game On’ arcade at ANU welcomes all generations. Photo: Supplied.

Calling all old-school gamers. A free pop-up arcade has arrived at the Australian National University – and it’s open for all to enjoy.

Located within the Kambri cultural precinct, ‘Game On’ features traditional pinball and arcade machines, air hockey, table tennis, a foosball table and much more. The arcade is free to students, staff and visitors.

General manager of the Kambri cultural precinct, Nicole Short, said the arcade on Joplin Lane (Shop 156-B6) opened to a strong showing from staff and students on Thursday, 3 February.

She said the idea stemmed from wanting to “bring everyone back together after being disconnected with COVID” and provide an outlet for staff and students.

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“It’s right down in Joplin Lane, which sits below the library and the Marie Reay Teaching Centre,” Ms Short said. “We envisioned students and even staff could go down there and have a wonderful space to hang out and socialise in between classes and lectures.”

The arcade will be open on a four-month trial from 10 am to 4 pm daily.

Ms Short said opening hours and long-term plans may be subject to change. It will ultimately depend on how much the arcade gets used.

Game On

‘Game On’ is located on Joplin Lane (Shop 156-B6) within the Kambri cultural precinct, ANU. Photo: Supplied.

“We’ve got it set up for a few months, but we’re going to look at it, and we might potentially keep it,” she said.

“At the moment, we just want to make sure people are using the space, and then we might keep it open later. We’ve even talked about moving some of the machines throughout different areas of the university.”

ANU students have added to the “retro arcade feel” by contributing their designs.

“We decided to create an old-school, vibrant arcade to welcome staff and students back to the university in a really positive way.

“We worked in conjunction with ANU School of Art and Design students and then `My Games Room’ to get the machines.

“We had them commission large-scale artworks, and we selected current and former students. We specifically wanted artists who knew how to do more street art.”

The pieces displayed come from Faith Kerehona, Izaäk Bink, Samantha Corbett, Georgia Kamvissis and Natasha Pidlock.

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Visitors can make their own artistic contributions in the accompanying “artwork activation area” by responding to the prompt “I am inspired by…” through the use of paste-ups, a sticker wall and chalkboard.

More information can be found at the aMBUSH Gallery website.

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