Video gaming café to open in Norwich

A new video game cafe is to open in Norwich. Picture Jon Gage.

A new video game cafe is to open in Norwich. Picture Jon Gage. - Credit: Jon Gage

A video game café is to open in Norwich and will give people the chance to play their favourite games while tucking into a panini.

One Life Left will offer gaming alongside snacks and drinks and players of all ages will be able to play everything from 8-bit video games to today's latest releases.

It is the brainchild of Jon Gage, 36, whose work as a manager of retailer Game gave him insight into the gaming industry where he was able to identify a gap in the market.

'From my time spent working at Game I have seen that the gaming industry is moving towards a more digital model and there will soon be a smaller presence on the high street,' he said. 'If you look to the Far East and the USA the gaming industry is huge and based around cafés and competitions and I thought that it would work well in Norwich as the city is one of the top places in the country when it comes to the concentration of players and money spent on gaming.'

The idea of the café is a simple one. Customers will be able to purchase the usual coffee or panini but the twist is that when they return to their table there will be a games console there they can enjoy as the consume their food and drink.

The café, which will be situated next to Farmyard Restaurant on St Benedicts Street, has put in a licensing request with Norwich City Council to serve alcohol in the evenings when age-restricted games will be on offer.

Mr Gage said there will be a large variety of games on offer including some the people may not be familiar with.

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'We will have the games and consoles everyone knows and loves but we are also hoping to work with local game developers so they can bring in new products for people to try,' he said. 'The whole of Norwich's creative industry is getting behind the project with people at the University of East Anglia, local artists and people I know who are going to do some videos and animations.'

He added: 'I don't have a favourite game, I have been interested in games all my life but if I had to pick it would be the mid-90s as that is when I grew up.

It is hoped the café will be open by May.

• For more details visit the One Life Left Facebook page.

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