Nvidia GeForce Now phone boxes might sound like a farfetched notion, but it seems Jen-Hsun's utopian sci-fi vision of the future knows no bounds. Today the company announced the inclusion of GeForce Now in what's being called "The world's smallest arcade." Of all the places in all the wide world, it's located in a British red telephone box, in the middle of Manchester.
The idea behind the project was to create "a positive space for people to game that won’t get them into trouble." Apparently, we Brits have a raging gaming habit that can only be sated by diving into a 90-year-old high street relic, recently refurbished to incorporate more RGB LEDs than a Corsair booth at a tech show.
According to a recent poll Nvidia sent to 1,000 UK-based gamers, 17% admit to playing games at church, 34% would rather skip a meal than drop a game mid-level, and 43% have ditched a meeting with friends to play games. Perhaps even more atrociously, 73% admit to having played a game during work hours, and 10% have even gotten their games out at their own wedding, says Nvidia's press release, couched in disapproving all-caps.
We get it, we're terrible people. But this latest attempt to quell our mass gaming addiction comes in a form so unheard of that we figured it was worth a mention.
Back in 2008, the Adopt a Kiosk programme set out to save thousands of iconic British red phone boxes from falling into disrepair, according to The Independent, by offering local authorities the opportunity to purchase theirs for just £1. Since then, boatloads of them have been repurposed into little local gems ranging from itty-bitty book exchanges, to mini art galleries. Some even house life-saving defibrillators.
So the GeForce Now phone box is unlikely to save lives, or give people the opportunity to discover new and influential works of fiction, but at least anyone visiting Manchester can pop in and have a go on one of the thousands of games available on the ever-growing GeForce Now gaming platform.
It's a grand idea, with some interesting research behind it—I had no idea so many Brits were gaming at such inappropriate moments. My only concern is going to be vandalism.
I'm not sure if you've ever been for a night on the town in Manchester city centre... All I'm saying is I hope the glass in front of that screen is reinforced.