New Area 51 waves white flag - seeks to make space for gamer girlfriends

By Sports Desk October 15, 2020

The male-dominated sport of gaming can be a fiercely competitive arena with a passionately loyal following.  Even it, however, struggles to prevail in the battle with a longtime rival, gamer’s girlfriends.  

No one knows the better than Area 51 Digital Lounge owner, Milton Pellington, and he has a plan to change all that.  Pellington is renovating Area 51, the home of eSports Jamaica which is located at Shop #2 Sabina Park, Kingston, to more comfortably accommodate the gaming demographic.

“We want to satisfy the market for gaming - the market for gaming is a big one. You have people coming in as young as 6 years old and I know gamers who are in their 60s, so it's a huge demographic and once a gamer, always a gamer,” Pellington said.

The gamer’s girlfriend has, however, long been a potential threat to certain sections of that gaming demographic.

When Area 51 was located in Clock Tower Plaza, Half-way Tree, from June 2002 to April 2011, Pellington realised his biggest competition was the girlfriends of his patrons.  They had the ability to influence customer turnout and how long his customers stuck around.

“When I was in Half-way Tree I found out that the biggest competitor we had as a game arcade was women - the ‘girlfriends’. The game arcade used to be heavily patronised by males. As you grow older, there is a new development in life at around 17 or 18 [years-old] and early twenties called ‘the girlfriend’. She’ll come to the game arcade and sit for a while, but she doesn't have the passion for that.  She will not feel comfortable evening after evening, night after night, day after day being inside the space - a hardcore game shop place with her boyfriend. She’s out of place, she feels like she's losing his attention. If you're not careful, you'll start to lose customers because you can’t compete with her; you will lose. There's no winning in that battle,” Pellington explained.

In order to mitigate the circumstances, the Area 51 Digital Lounge’s recent renovations will factor women into the equation and will attempt to soften the traditional hardcore game arcade environment.  It is a similar concept to his other venture, the ‘5:30 PM Social Lounge’.

“What I decided to do was to create a space that was not designed for males. The entire focus was on females. Getting females to feel comfortable in the space,” Pellington said.

“We created a space called ‘5:30 PM Social Lounge’ and everything was geared towards females with gaming in mind. We had a private movie theatre, big 55-inch tv screens, we brought in 3D. The theatre could accommodate 14 people at once, at one point. We had two bars, one upstairs and the main bar downstairs. We had VIP sections, food, and gaming as well. So, we created a space that the sophisticated female would keep enjoying even when her male counterparts [were] [gaming] with his friends.”

Area 51 will adhere to COVID-19 protocols upon reopening.  Along with temperature checks, Pellington insists he would rather have personnel spraying hands manually, instead of using an automatic sanitisation machine, because without someone enforcing that protocol, people may not choose to or will forget.

 

Please share your thoughts on Twitter (@SportsMax_Carib) or in the comments section on Facebook (@SportsMax). Don’t forget to use #IAmNotAFan. Until next time!

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