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Sandy Hook arcade ‘allows kids to be kids again’

- February 22nd, 2013
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The weekend grand opening of the Sandy Hook Arcade Center. (Via Facebook)

While America debates what role, if any, violent video games played in the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre, kind-hearted gamers are using the medium they love to help those most affected.

The Sandy Hook Arcade Center opened last week, thanks to two kind gamers and a lot of community support. According to Polygon, it all started on the day of shooting.

Andrew, who has always had an arcade in the basement of his home, was hosting a December birthday party for his son on the day of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The family sent out emails to everyone invited, leaving it to the families to decide if they still wanted to attend.

“Not only did every kid come, but a whole bunch of the neighborhood came too,” he said. “I just knew from that moment that, wow, this is something that’s bigger than us, how kids would enjoy these games and have fun with it. I thought, hey, let’s see if we can make this a bigger sort of thing for the whole town.”

The arcade — which doesn’t charge anything for kids to come in and play with their pinball machines, arcade games or Xbox 360s — is run entirely on donations.

Polygon’s Tom Connors calls it “a place where families can perhaps for a moment forget the tragedy that swept through the town and shocked the nation. A place that allows kids to be kids again.”

So save the money you were planning to spend on the dissapointing PlayStation4, and give it to the kids of Newtown instead.

Or you can donate to Gamers For Sandy Hook, which is helping to cover the costs of victims’ medical bills and funerals.