The founders of the Sandy Hook Arcade Center say they hope it helps promote the “family values” that Newtown, Connecticut is known for.

Two parents from Newtown, Connecticut, the site of the infamous Sandy Hook Elementary School mass murder, are taking a pro-gaming approach to helping the community heal with the Sandy Hook Arcade Center, a family-friendly gaming center that opened on Sunday.

“The world has been inspired by the strength and unity of our Newtown community and the support has been wonderfully overwhelming. We struggle to find a road or path to help us to move forward as we are enveloped by the love and donations that have been pouring in from literally everywhere,” founders Andrew Clure and Scott Cicciari wrote on the arcade’s website. “The core value of Newtown has always been family and in this time we find comfort in being together, neighbor to neighbor. With that thought in mind we want to draw on our passion and experience to build the Sandy Hook Arcade Center for the children and families.”

The arcade boasts more than 22 games, including stand-ups, pinball tables, air hockey and foosball, plus two Kinect setups and a photo booth. As a non-for-profit operation it will be supported by donations and admission fees from out-of-town visitors, but Newtown residents will play for free. “We were very careful in our game choices – all the games will be family/kid friendly,” the founders said on Facebook.

The grumpy oldster in me still misses the dingy, smoke-filled arcades of old, but even I have to admit that this is a pretty fantastic idea and certainly a far better approach than the proposed cull of violent videogames that followed immediately after the shooting. Based on Facebook comments, the Newtown community has embraced the arcade as well. “My kids loved it – went back two days in a row!” one parent wrote. “Thank you for doing this for our town and the children.”

Source: Sandy Hook Arcade Center

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