Are you a geek? Have you ever been in an argument about who shot first? Do the majority of your shirts have fictional characters on them? Have you ever played video games for so long you developed thumb blisters? If so, we at the Asheville Blog have found your Shangri-La.
Open for about a month now, ApeX Game Lounge & Art Loft is located in Black Mountain, and has almost everything you need to silence the cries of your geekiness. Comic books, Pop! figures, action figures, posters, geeky clothes; there’s even a Star Wars foosball table. It needs a little TLC before being game-ready, but trust me, it is glorious. Then there are the video games; so many video games! From the original Nintendo console to the Xbox One and Playstation 4 along with practically any game you can imagine. All of this is ready to be played on flat screen televisions, or a wall sized projector screen for a low price per hour that includes two people.
Owner Daron James may be known to many adults as the guy who runs Diamond Thieves Body Piercing & Tattoo in Asheville, but in Black Mountain he’s all about the kids. By opening a sort of “video game museum” he’s hoping the younger generation learns a little more about the history of gaming. He’s also trying to keep them on task at school by offering free games to kids with the highest GPA’s.
In between asking names, explaining rules and prices, and joking around with the steady stream of teens and pre-teens walking in the store, he told me he was concerned that such a small town wouldn’t be open to receiving a store such as his. Ultimately, however, it might be better to be located in a small town setting. By most stores closing up around seven P.M. it forces kids to actually go outside, which is fine by Daron who explains “My biggest goal is resocialization.” By offering two-person pricing, and multi player consoles, he’s hoping kids learn to use technology, but also relearn how to actually talk and interact with each other while indulging in virtual worlds.
So Mom, Dad; when you are out wandering the streets and shops of Black Mountain, and you know your child is miserable, why not take them somewhere with games and comics while you’re at it? The kids will love it, and you might accidentally enjoy yourself as well. There’s also a very good chance you might run into the staff of the Asheville Blog. I have a very good feeling we will be there many, many times.
Check out the photos below for a glimpse of what ApeX has to offer