Venue sought for gaming event

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Game on . . . Van Galvin (left, 9) of Mosgiel, and Quinten Cropper (8), of Dunedin, play at the Dune Corps Multiplayer Gaming Club in North Dunedin on Saturday. PHOTO: CHRISTINE O'CONNOR

The search is on for a venue to hold an “electric” multiplayer video gaming event in Dunedin.

Your Corps owner and operator James Wards, of Gore, said Enterprise Dunedin waived the hire fee for him to run three Dune Corps Multiplayer Gaming Club events in the Sargood Centre in Logan Park Dr.

A truck is packed with 20 multiplayer video games to hold an event in Dunedin in August, another in September and a final event on Saturday.

The event catered for two age categories – 15 and younger in the afternoon and 16 years and older at night.

Video game players were often isolated so the events provided “a great social alternative for the modern generation” to make friends and gain confidence in a supportive environment.

“We are trying to get the kids out in the same room, meeting new people of similar ages and having a laugh a minute.”

To ensure the children were having breaks from the gaming, an arsenal of Nerf laser guns were available to encourage them to have an exercise break.

More children related to gaming than to skating so it made sense to fund a gaming club than a skate park, he said.

The three Dunedin events sold out and the atmosphere was often “electric”.

The demand for the event was evident but it need more support from organisations to ensure it could be held regularly in Dunedin.

Events were held across the South Island, each area having its own club and mascot – such as a fur seal in Balclutha, a native falcon in Blenheim, a horse in Christchurch, an albatross in Dunedin, a sheep in Gore and a mako shark in Nelson.

“The kids get pretty patriotic about their region.”

The search was on to find a permanent venue to hire in Dunedin with the aim of holding an event on one weekend of each month.

The Sargood Centre was “perfect” but it was too expensive to hire it to make it feasible.

The dream was to leave his job as a dairy farmer and run the gaming events full-time, spending a week in each town, bringing the community together through gaming.

“This is where my heart is at – having an active role in the community.”

Enterprise Dunedin economic development programme manager Fraser Liggett said Enterprise Dunedin sponsored DuneCorps in a bid to get it up and going in Dunedin as a way to support youth development in the city.

The sponsorship of the venue hire cost Enterprise Dunedin $1200. Enterprise Dunedin envisaged the three months to be sufficient for Dune Corps to get going and for Mr Wards to explore other sponsorship options.

Enterprise Dunedin was working to develop a creative digital industry in Dunedin.