Remember the days when you didn’t need 20 fingers on each hand and the ability to wade through 30 pages of instructions to enjoy computer games?

One Yorkshire businessman does, which is why he’s about to open the UK’s first dedicated classic arcade games warehouse.

Chris Jackson, 32, is founding director of Williams Amusements which, after a successful launch on the internet, opens it’s first outlet in Pontefract today

It will boast around 60 mint condition games machines from the last 25 years including classics such as Pac man, Space Invaders, Asteroids and Defender as well as more up to date hits including Outrun, Mortal Kombat and Midnight Run.

And he admits the merging of a childhood fascination with computer games and the misfortune of losing his job as a print worker which led him to form the business was the best coincidence he could have wished for

‘’I love my work’’ beams Chris, ‘’I love to see people’s faces when they have a go on games they probably haven’t seen for years. It’s a dream come true’’

‘’The game play used to be a lot more interesting. You’ve got good graphics now but the more modern games are all about fighting or driving.

Pac Man is simple and addictive in it’s own little way‘’.

There’s also something about playing these games on a real machine.

He admits he has taught himself to repair arcade machines from the time ten years ago when he was given a table top version of Space Invaders to fix which had been abandoned on a skip

He has rescued machines from far more unusual settings than that, having even been given a Star Wars machine which had been used as a chicken roost

These days he picks most of the machines up from the US before spending weeks lovingly restoring each to a saleable condition

The outlet at Priory Works will boast a mix of machines to play or buy. He said the market was varied, with students picking up some of the cheaper table top arcade machines from under £200 to mint condition Star Wars coin-ops dating back to 1983 retailing at around £2000

‘’The one we’re asked about most is probably Space Invaders’’. We can supply any of the machines as coin operated or with a button for free credits’’

Gamers will be pleased to know he even keeps a supply of old 10p pieces to give to customers for their machines.

Copyright Geoff