Games on: Enthusiast opens Ka¯ piti arcade
William uses community feedback in chosing games on offer
From a boy who loved gaming to an arcade owner, William Morris has taken it upon himself to create an a parlour for games in Ka¯ piti, something he wished was around when he was younger.
“When I was in college I figured there was nothing for teenagers to do, so I did the research and started Starlight Arcade.
“There are a few games at Ka¯piti Tenpin but nothing like this.”
After years of work, and with support from his family, he opened Starlight Arcade located at 34B Te Roto Drive, on Saturday.
Getting made redundant from his job and needing something to do, William together with his partner put together a questionnaire about starting an arcade in Ka¯piti, which they sent out to the community using social media.
“We just wanted to see if the community were interested if we started something like this.
“I did some research and found a great place in Auckland called Auckland Coin Machine who were able to source the machines for me.”
With 500 responses from the questionnaire to scroll through, William took the game suggestions on board, along with choosing some of his alltime favourites.
“We spent a while looking for a place as all the places we looked at around here were too small, too big, or didn’t want us there.”
Taking over the lease in October, renovations included knocking down walls and painting the remaining walls of the building which used to house a women’s gym.
A galaxy-inspired painted ceiling created with with glow-in-the-dark spray paint also adds to the atmosphere.
“It’s been a new experience for me — I don’t have a business degree, I have a degree in film which is not very helpful here.
“It’s been really interesting learning how to source things and dealing with suppliers . . . with a lot of helpful people along the way.”
The arcade is open Friday-Sunday from 12-10pm with additional hours during school holidays.
Games include air hockey, alley rollers, claw machines, Dance Dance Revolution, Dark Escape 4D, Mario Kart, pinball, Point Blank X, Quick Drop, Star Wars Battle Pod, Street Basketball, Tekken Tag Tournament and Time Crisis.
A number of other machines and games are also yet to arrive, with most operated by special Starlight Arcade tokens.
“A lot of the games chosen were from my knowledge of what is good and popular.
“But I wanted to make sure the community had really put something into this arcade.”
Time Crisis, Point Blank X and Daytona (which is still on its way) along with air hockey, basketball and pool were all highly requested machines.
“I tried to get as many as I could of the ones that were requested and the ones that you could win tickets on.”
Several of the games will give out tickets based on score which can then be exchanged for prizes which William said are even better than the ones at Time Zone.