Earlier this month I reported that a multiplex in Belgium (it's in Europe) was launching a new gaming service, and I expressed my hopes that American theaters would follow suit. Unfortunately, the cinema in Ann Arbor is not offering a similar big-screen alternative for gamers. Their service, called CyGamZ, uses flat screen TVs. How this is different from the usual multiplex arcade games is that CyGamZ allows for multiple players and a high-speed internet connection. How this is different from your gaming at home is that it is more social. How this has anything to do with the movie theater experience is questionable.
I understand that theaters are in financial worry -- of course, I blame the studios -- and they need to find new ways of attracting customers, whether to the movies or to some other moneymaking idea, but setting aside a division of the floor to Xbox and Playstation gaming is not the answer. Other alternative plans, such as live concerts and sporting events, have made sense because they still utilize the auditorium and the big screen. Is National Amusements afraid to gamble on renting out an auditorium for gaming? Or are they unable to even think of such an idea because of studio influence on screen use? Whatever the reason, American theater chains need to figure something else out, because while Belgium's XL Gaming is innovative and smart, CyGamZ is desperate and stupid.