Video games, food and friends.
All That and a Bag of Chips operates on a simple premise. $5 dollars gets you all-day access to a vast library of games, a bag of snacks and a community where you can hang out with friends — or even make some new ones.
Different from typical game cafes where you pay per hour, guests have access to play any game the business owns — ranging from the NES to current-gen consoles — from open to close. Cost of entry also gets you a bag of goodies including a soda, cookie and, yes, a bag of chips. Females get in free.
Owner Jory Ray talked about his inspiration to open All That and a Bag of Chips.
“When you go to school and you’re into sports it’s easy to meet people to hang out with because they’re into sports, same with music and art. But there’s not really anything for video games,” Ray said.
He explained that he wanted to create a community for people to make friends and have fun — other businesses with similar concepts charged by the hour and had less friendly environments.
“It was more about someone making money off people and less about people playing video games all day” Ray said.
All That and a Bag of Chips has only been open for about two months, but it’s the third location Ray has opened. Ray also operates locations in Maui and Aurora with the help of friends and is planning to open a fourth in Honolulu by the end of the year.
The location itself is small but packed to the brim with consoles and video game art. Upstairs gamers will find classic games — in just a few steps you’ll see Super Mario Bros. ready to launch and Halo ready to go on another just a few TV’s down. Just above the TV’s, murals of classic video game characters like Sonic the Hedgehog and Link from the Legend of Zelda line the walls.
Downstairs guests can find a space dedicated to newer games. There’s more than a dozen stations ready for gamers.
Sitting at one of the stations there’s friends laughing and playing through a song on Guitar Hero. It’s a vision Ray had in mind when he opened the place.
All That and a Bag of Chips has also become something much more valuable than being a place to just make friends – it’s also become an environment for research.
The location is in the process of receiving a study grant, which Ray hopes will help them prove video games are a treatment for autistic social skills development.
Ray was introduced to a study researching whether or not online gaming friendships were more sustainable than friendships in real life.
“I’ve been doing a lot of research at the [location] in Aurora,” Ray said. “I can tell you the results of that study right now. No they’re not.”
If successful, All That and a Bag of Chips will be able to apply for another grant to open similar locations nationwide.
“There’s not a lot of interaction these days that doesn’t involve cell phones,” Ray said. “Just the interaction that can take place here, it gives ability to make friends … As soon as you sit down and there’s someone sitting across from you and you guys make a joke, you understand at that point.”
All That and a Bag of Chips is open seven days a week from 3 PM – 2 AM. They’re located 702 S. College Ave next to Fat Shack. Outside food and drink are welcome.
Collegian A&C Reporter Dan DeHerrera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.