Hit­ting the road

Mo­bile video gam­ing bus set to travel any­where in Nova Sco­tia

The News (New Glasgow) - - BUSINESS - BY HARRY SUL­LI­VAN

Have video games, will travel. Step­ping up into Stephen Lums­den’s minibus is al­most akin to walk­ing into a live ar­cade. Gam­ing mu­sic emits si­mul­ta­ne­ously from four flatscreen tele­vi­sions as strings of colour­ful lights add to the scene. Un­der­neath the 43-inch high­res­o­lu­tion tele­vi­sion screens are gam­ing con­soles, while the floor of the bus has been cov­ered with rub­ber­ized, in­ter­lock­ing mats of vary­ing colours from blue to green, yel­low, grey and red.

“I have head­sets but I’ve been find­ing out a lot of peo­ple like the sound of all the TVs,” Lums­den says, in re­sponse to a ques­tion about the vary­ing mu­si­cal sources and sounds.

Wel­come to Sco­tia Gam­ing and En­ter­tain­ment.

The “video gam­ing bus” is one com­po­nent of Lums­den’s new­ly­cre­ated busi­ness. Along­side the drive­way lead­ing up to his house in Sal­mon River is a re­cently-in­stalled shed that ap­pears rather in­nocu­ous un­til one steps in­side. There, dis­played on sev­eral shelves and hang­ing from prac­ti­cally ev­ery wall are ac­tion fig­ure dolls and other movie and video game char­ac­ters.

“My col­lec­tor that I get them from (in Florida), he has over 20,000 items, so he’s go­ing to be my go-to,” says Lums­den.

One of his old­est items is an ac­tion fig­ure in its orig­i­nal, though slightly tat­tered, box from the rock band Kiss, dat­ing back to 1978. There are also Bat­man fig­ures, X-Men, Wizard of Oz, GI Joes — and the list goes on.

“This would prob­a­bly be my favourite item,” Lums­den says, pick­ing up a box con­tain­ing a Gal­va­tron Trans­former from the Gen­er­a­tion One se­ries, and which dates to the 1980s.

That item is at priced $850, which Lums­den views as a bar­gain. He ex­pects to sell it on­line.

“If it was new in the box, it would be a lot higher in price,” he says.

Lums­den, 28, be­came in­ter­ested in play­ing video games af­ter re­ceiv­ing a Sega Gen­e­sis game for Christ­mas at age five. His in­ter­est in­creased dur­ing his teenage years to the point where he even­tu­ally ended up study­ing video game de­vel­op­ment at the Truro NSCC cam­pus. And, he says, it was dur­ing that pe­riod that he be­gan to gen­er­ate ideas for an ac­tion fig­ure/col­lecta­bles re­tail shop as well as a way to cre­ate a mo­bile video gam­ing room.

Thanks to the help of his fa­ther and some of his dad’s bud­dies, the 2005 Ford mini-bus they pur­chased was con­verted into the mo­bile gam­ing unit it now is.

And, based on the re­sponse dur­ing his re­cent grand open­ing and the book­ings he has re­ceived so far, Lums­den is op­ti­mistic his new busi­ness will be a hit for birth­day par­ties, fundrais­ers and more.

“They loved it, be­cause, it’s like ev­ery­thing’s close to­gether, so they still play with each other on the same TV if they want or they can play on dif­fer­ent TVs and talk to each other at the same time,” he says. “They just want some­thing unique. They just want some­thing dif­fer­ent.”

Lums­den says his mo­bile gam­ing bus is the only one of its kind in Nova Sco­tia that he is aware of, while the near­est one like it in Canada is in Toronto.

He cur­rently has up­com­ing book­ings in Amherst, Great Vil­lage and Hal­i­fax and is ea­ger to go wher­ever else in the prov­ince his bus is re­quested.

“We go all across Nova Sco­tia,” he says. “And we also have fundrais­ers get­ting in­volved. Christ­mas Dad­dies want me to do some­thing with them.”

Lums­den can be con­tacted by phone at 902-814-7639, on Face­book at Sco­tia Gam­ing and En­ter­tain­ment and on­line at sco­ti­agam­ing­shop@gmail.com.

HARRY SUL­LI­VAN/TRURO NEWS

Stephen Lums­den, of Sal­mon River, has cre­ated a new busi­ness called Sco­tia Gam­ing and En­ter­tain­ment. One com­po­nent of his com­pany is a mo­bile video gam­ing bus for host­ing birth­day par­ties, which he will take any­where in the prov­ince.

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