The Downtown Internet Lounge is hosting a 14-hour gaming marathon all-nighter on Nov. 9, 2019. (Supplied)

Vernon’s Downtown Internet Lounge to host all-nighter gaming marathon

Stretch your thumbs, there’s a Street Fighter tourney

Whether you play Ken or Ryu, you’ll have a chance to prove yourself in a Street Fighter tournament this long weekend at Vernon’s Downtown Internet Lounge.

And that’s only one of the things that will keep gamers busy during the Rock and Roll All Night & Party Everyday Marathon.

The 14-hour event — which kicks off at 5 p.m. Saturday and wraps when the sun comes up — will offer up the best of the best in the gaming realm. From Magic and Dungeons and Dragons to board games or Super Smash Bros. on the projector, there is something for everyone.

“These are events we try to do anytime there is a long weekend and we cover everything we do during our regular hours but at a much larger rate,” owner and operator Shane Eigeard said.

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The marathon even nights attract people of all walks of life, Eigeard said, from regulars to “irregulars.” The game-all-night aspect is taken on by many as a challenge and they say challenge accepted.

“There’s a need for this kind of outlet for kids in the community,” Eigeard said. “Everything we do here can be done at home, but coming here, you have that opportunity to be social.”

Plus, the all-nighter is an excuse to wear your pyjamas out of the house. Eigeard said those donning onesies will even earn some free virtual reality gaming time.

“It’s another flavour that adds to it,” he said.

The onesie tradition started a few marathons back when Eigeard, clad in a pink moose onesie, was the subject of ridicule from marathoning jokesters.

“So I thought, let’s use that as a catalyst for the next one to share in my joy-slash-misery,” he said, light-heartedly. “It’s an outlet to be silly and now it’s more a team-building camaraderie thing.”

So onesie-wearers unite and stretch your thumbs before attempting to prove you’re a true Street Fighter master.

Street Fighter, the beloved Capcom fighting game, was first released in 1987 and has captured the hearts of many has made a resurgence in popular culture thanks in large part to movies like IT, Wreck it Ralph and more so, Netflix’s popular TV show, Stranger Things.

“The tournament is trying to teach a whole new generation go back in their heads to get into Street Fighter,” Eigeard said. “There’s a nostalgia side for older clientele, plus we’re introducing it to a new generation.”

The funny thing, he said, it’s often the younger kids that whoop because older players tend to overthink it all.

“Our nine and unders — because of the simplicity (six buttons), they end up dominating their older brothers,” he said. “And for those who are typically the Luigi’s to their brother’s Mario, it gives them some time in the sun.”

Anyone, from any fandom; whether it’s Star Trek or Star Wars, or anything else is welcome to participate, Eigeard said.

“There is enough broad crossover, we call all engage with each other.”

Eigeard and his gaming ambassadors will be on hand to keep sleepy gamers awake, engaged and well-fed with pizza from Top Choice, “the best pizza around,” he said, and burgers from Wendy’s.

The cover charge is $30 and includes food and all of the fun. Just don’t fall asleep first.

“There is the couch walk of shame,” Eigeard said. “There’s friendly competition in all sorts of things (during marathon nights), not just the gaming. Like, who can last the longest, or who isn’t buying the energy drinks.”

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@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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