A decade ago, our concept of a gamer was very different to what it is today. Back then, gamers were assumed to be male, geeky, with poor social skills and questionable hygiene habits. Today, however, if you want to see the average gamer, you need only look in the mirror. Gaming has become a mainstream hobby, as common and socially acceptable to all ages as watching TV or reading a book.
As a result, a whole industry is blossoming all around us devoted too gaming. Over recent months, that has, by necessity, been restricted mostly too cyberspace. However, Montreal is something of a hub for the gaming industry. As well as being home to more than 200 companies in the gaming industry, it boasts some real-world venues that every gamer should make a point of visiting when life in the city returns to normality.
Before the days of smartphones, consoles or even home PCs, we used to have to go to an arcade to play video games. North Star Pinball shows you how it all began. Many of the machines date back to the 1950s and 60s. It’s also a fabulous place to enjoy a relaxed drink or two and a light meal.
For an even more authentic experience, head across to Arcade MTL on St Dennis. No bar or food menu here, although you are welcome to bring your own as you get reacquainted with classics like Space Invaders, Pac-Man and the rest.
Casino gaming used to be seen as something mysterious and perhaps a little bit dangerous, thanks in no small part to its depiction on the big screen. The internet age changed all that and brought blackjack, roulette, slots and the rest to the masses. You need a resource like the MapleSlot review site to see all the online options, but when it comes to brick and mortar casinos, there are two main options to choose from in Montreal.
The best-known is Casino de Montreal, the largest casino in Canada and one of the largest in the entire world. With more than 3,000 slot games and 115 table games, you are truly spoilt for choice. The other popular choice is El Jumelgi, a more intimate venue where the focus is on poker tournaments, although there are also a dozen or so slots and other table games available.
Getting fully immersed
The beauty of visiting a gaming venue instead of just playing online is that you can get fully immersed. That’s certainly the case at A/Maze. An escape room experience is a little like being thrown into the middle of a video game, and A/Maze has a whole list of rooms to choose from, whether you are into horror, fantasy or pop culture.
Or how about immersing yourself in the very latest technology at MontVR? Here, you can try out some cutting edge virtual reality games, either by yourself or in teams. It provides a tantalizing glimpse into the future of gaming.