Press Start Arcade offers employment to Pointe-Saint-Charles youth
Walk through Press Start Arcade’s doors and a two-joystick replica of Pac-Man awaits.
The cabinet is custom-made wood; the game plays just like it was 1984 — safe for the fact that it doesn’t take quarters anymore.
It’s one of four arcade games set up in the space, in Montreal’s Pointe-Saint-Charles borough, which is the brainchild of a coalition of neighbourhood women.
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“We found out that young people want more employment opportunities in the neighbourhood, more places where they have decision-making power,” said Michelle Duchesneau, an adult adviser of the arcade.
Teens working at the arcade collect the $5 maintenance fees and check-out console games.
“Working at an arcade is a dream job, almost,” said Shane Keith, 17.
“Just to come here and work with kids.”
Arcade-goers also have a choice of console games and arcade standards, like air hockey.
Many of the people at the arcade are adolescents brought there by their parents, who are also looking for a way to blow off some steam.
A popular pub is open just downstairs.
“It allows us to be able to enjoy having some adult time and having adult conversation while the kids are well occupied,” said Trish McKenzie, a parent.
“And they absolutely enjoy every moment they’re upstairs.”
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