A single parent from Dublin who built a retro arcade machine to try and connect with his teenage son has turned the gaming machine into a business.
Aidan Deering said he was losing his then 13-year-old son to digital devices as he spent hours playing on his mobile phone and home game consoles.
After struggling to build a relationship with Sean, the Dublin father came up with the idea to build a two-player traditional arcade machine.
He said: “I was a single parent and I was trying to connect with Sean, who was at the stage where he wanted to be with his friends and play his own games.
“I didn’t have much of a connection with him, so I sat up four hours every night for about four months to make the machine.
“I used to play the video games as a kid and always loved it, so I thought it would be really good to do.
“It took a few months to build and the first time we played together it brought out the competitiveness in the both of us and straight away there was a connection.
“We played it every day for a week or two and it made our relationship a lot stronger.
“As the machine is a two-player game, it means the users aren’t always on their own.
“We are losing a generation through tablets and digital devices, and I thought it could work as a business as I’m not the only parent to struggle with a teenager.
“I knew I was losing him because he was getting to that age and I wanted to get him back.”
Mr Deering set up Mini Arcade Rental Systems and travels across the country to gaming shows with the help of 16-year-old Sean.
He now sells the bespoke arcade machines and also rents them for social events.
“A lot of kids love the arcade games. It’s funny watching them use the joystick as they are so used to the touch screens,” Mr Deering added.
“You can see parents with their kids laughing and joking as they play the games together.
“It’s something for parents and children to do together and anyone can rent it out for communions and parties.
“I’ve sold machines to a few celebrities like Nick Frost, Rob Beckett and Conor McGregor as well as a few others.
“It’s really about the kids and the relationships between them and the parents. It also gives parents the chance to beat their children.”
The arcade machines features hundreds of retro games including Golden Axe, Street Fighter, Pac-Man and Space Invaders.
The machines sell for around 1,000 euro (£895) with cheaper options also available.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?