Over the weekend, two Newtown, Connecticut residents opened a family friendly video game arcade in the town called the Sandy Hook Arcade Center (as reported by Polygon). The all-ages arcade is meant to help the town heal and promote family values in the aftermath of the elementary school shooting in December where 26 human lives were lost as the result of a shooting rampage by a lone gunman.
The arcade was founded by Andrew Clure and Scott Cicciari, two long-time Newtown residents, who wanted to share their love of pinball with the community. Clure says that the response to their idea from the arcade industry and the local community was "tremendous."
"For us this is not a business," says Clure, "it's simply our commitment as parents and residents to promote one of the core values in Newtown — family."
Cicciari says that putting together this arcade has renewed his faith in the "goodness of people." The arcade is a collaborative effort, with small businesses in Newtown, companies across the country, and local residents and officials contributing in various ways to the arcade.
The arcade is a not-for-profit organization that will feature pinball machines and digital games, including Kinect titles, and even some air hockey. Admission fees from non-local customers and donations will be put toward running the arcade, with leftover funds going to the town. Newtown residents can play for free.