Lucy Myatt set up her video game and comic book store, Level Up, 2 years ago in Liverpool UK. In a world where the larger stores are failing it’s great to see a smaller, independent set up thrive. Now Lucy has her eyes set on a new evolution of her current store. With the help of the fund raising site Indiegogo she plans to open up her own Arcade cafe. Lucy managed to spare 10 minutes with JoypadAndMe to answer a few questions.
JoypadAndMe: What inspired you to create your retro video game and comic book store in Liverpool?
Lucy Myatt: I worked in GAME in Chester and actually started my business in a carboot market in Ellesmere Port, It was my dad who has the genius idea of looking into Grand Central shopping center. We went to check the place out, and it was just perfect.
JoypadAndMe: So what gave you the interest to start up a retro gaming shop rather than a more current gen place?
Lucy Myatt: I actually opened my store intending to just be an independent shop that did retro. Within the first month of opening, the retro side took off so much I quickly realised I was to become a retro video game shop. My original interest in opening a gaming shop started years ago, I had always wanted one since I had worked at Game 5 years ago. I loved games, but the company became harder and harder to work for as their policies changed.
JoypadAndMe: Have you had any personal favorite memories from running your current retro gaming shop?
Lucy Myatt: My greatest memories have always been the interaction with my customers, whom I class so many now as good friends.
JoypadAndMe: What gave you the inspiration or idea to use the fundraising site indiegogo?
Lucy Myatt: After we were rejected from the bank for a business loan, I had almost lost hope of this dream happening. I then remembered, someone else I knew had used this website, so I checked it out.
JoypadAndMe: Have you had any support from anyone in the gaming community yet?
Lucy Myatt: I have had a lot of support from my regular and local gamers and a few local websites too. If you mean anyone of any names then not yet However, in the comic world we have been retweeted by Mark Millar, writer of Kick Ass, and he was also kind enough to write to me offering advice.
JoypadAndMe: Do you see the UK as having a big a gaming interest as the US?
Lucy Myatt: I’ll be honest, this isn’t a question I have ever really asked myself, but the daily telegraph say that 8 out of 10 homes in the UK own a next-gen console whilst 7 out of the 10 homes actually play them (Daily mail) whilst only 63% of America are gamers. So the numbers are higher in America due to population but the interest seems actually higher in the UK.
(Lucy researched these figures from the following articles)
Source 1 (From Telegraph.co.uk) Source 2 (From DailyMail.co.uk)
Source 3 (From Lovetoknow.com) Source 4 (From Arstechnica.com)
JoypadAndMe: What do you think of the gaming community in Liverpool
Lucy Myatt: I think its numbers are much greater than I realised. Ever since I’ve been campaigning for indiegogo, I have got in touch with a lot of gamers who have been so interested that I didn’t even know existed.
JoypadAndMe: What is your vision for your planned arcade cafe?
Lucy Myatt: I want to provide a humble setting for people to relax, play games, read comics and eat in. We are wanting to provide regular events within the place such as movie nights, geek quizzes and many more.
JoypadAndMe: If money was no object, what would you love to add?
Lucy Myatt: I would love to do something crazy like, open a comic museum or hire a massive warehouse and do a giant comic con in Liverpool or something.
JoypadAndMe: What is your background in gaming
Lucy Myatt: My personal gaming background goes back to when I was 5 and I tried to play dizzy the egg on my sisters Amstrad. My main consoles of my childhood was a Sega Mega Drive and Psone though. My professional gaming background runs from 19 years of age, working in-game were I got heavily into games (mainly my 360) and then opening my own game shop two years ago 🙂
JoypadAndMe: What do you find interesting about the retro game genre?
Lucy Myatt: What I find interesting about it is that it gives you something that a modern game can’t give at this point in time. Memories. A lot of people play retro games because its something they played as a child, no one every really wants to grow up and this is one way they can relive their childhood. Others also enjoy playing them as one may enjoy reading a classic novel, some titles are just simply something you must play in your life time.
JoypadAndMe: Do you have any upcoming games in 2013 that you are looking forward to?
Lucy Myatt: DEADPOOL!!!! oh and some other stuff aswell, Bioshock Infinite and the new Broken Sword game seem awesome.
JoypadAndMe: What are your hopes for 2013?
Lucy Myatt: It would make the happiest person in the world if I could have the cafe open before this year is out.