The advent of the cellular phone has certainly been the cause of the demise of the traditional landline phones. Young generations of today have no idea about the trouble that comes with requiring it for a long-distance call. But our grandfathers and their fathers before them definitely did.
With smartphones more rampant nowadays, making calls remotely has never been an easier and more accessible feat. This only further buries the need to get to a nearby phone booth, unless in a very specific emergency situation.
Nowhere is that notion truer still than in the UK, which saw its streets retaining the old telephone boxes, but sans the intended functionality. So much so that they were chosen to be sold to local authorities for a measly £1 a piece. Forget about an archaic telephone box becoming a small library for the reading kind, though. Now, the red telephone box is a more interesting place as a kind of sanctuary for the gaming individuals.
Set within the busy street of Manchester is what Nvidia GeForce Now claims as the “world’s smallest arcade”. How little it is in dimension is exactly the same size of the ancient velvet telephone booth, by virtue of being repurposed.
As for the gaming booth itself, it employs a pair of tablet and controller, which connects to the cloud via 5G. Even the label for the kiosk is clear about the latter from the outset, with the label “Cloud Gaming” plastered in all-caps. Adding more to the attention is the contrast of colors as the tiny arcade emits an Nvidia-signature green LED through a transparent glass.
But more than just a spectacle to those who come across it, the refurbished box seems to have a noble intention to it. That is, to establish “a positive space for people to game that won’t get them into trouble”.
That objective, however, did not just suddenly come out of nowhere. Rather, it came from the result of a poll led by Nvidia itself, which shows some surprising findings. In particular, about people’s inclination towards gaming and how it affects them in real life. Like, how a large portion of participants would choose to forego experiencing certain important events or almost evade responsibilities just to game.
Image used courtesy of NVIDIA GeForce/YouTube Screenshot
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