Co Down parents open safe place for gamers of all ages to wind down

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    A Co Down family are celebrating the first birthday of their business which targets those with an interest in gaming.

    Helen and Steve Graham opened the Good Game Lounge in Newtownards in August 2020 after noticing a lack of things to do for a certain age group, which included their son Theo.

    Both being passionate about gaming, the business offers a safe, fun and inclusive space for children and adults to come together and play.

    Speaking to Belfast Live, Helen, who is originally from Canada, said the people of Newtownards have been very supportive.

    She added: “We were desperately trying to find something that would fit the brief of what kids want to do. Whether we like it or not, they all play video games and they want to play. We don’t want a bunch of kids, in a bedroom, huddled around one screen. We wanted somewhere social and neutral and for them to explore games they may not have at home.



    Helen Graham, owner

    “There is a lost demographic when the kids, if they aren’t sporty, they get to an age where they are maybe too young to airsoft but too old to go to soft play. This was a different option for them for social interaction.

    “We have 16 XBOX One stations with about 40 games. We have access to a massive games library too so we can keep it current. We have a retro station which has the original PlayStation, a Sega Megadrive and Nintendo Game Cube. We also have a Nintendo 64 too and Virtual Reality.”

    Helen says they have had young people come in on their own, and leave with new friends.

    And their vision for the Good Game Lounge is that it is open, free from judgement and fun for young girls and boys and those older gamers too.

    She added: “My husband and I, we are parents before we are business owners and we want to make sure that it is a safe space and somewhere that parents know their child is not going to be ignored and they can make new friends. It’s been really great and really rewarding.”

    Video by Belfast Live videographer Harry Bateman.

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