Published: 8:00 AM January 16, 2022
A van packed with fun is set to finally tour the city after battling troubling times in lockdown.
James Bean and Jamie Fox, both 32, set up The GameStation – a van kitted out with thousands of pounds worth of gaming equipment – in 2019.
But a week before their first event, lockdown put the brakes on the £22,000 mobile gaming venture based out of Catton Grove Road.
James, a delivery driver for Next, said: “Covid stopped everything. All the money we invested into the van we couldn’t do anything with.”
James Bean and Jamie Fox of GameStation – Credit: Submitted
While still being employed in their current jobs, Jamie, a landscape gardener, said: “We had to pay for everything out of our own pockets in the meantime. We took out a business loan which obviously had to be paid off.
“It was very stressful but once we started and built the van, we couldn’t let it go.
“All our friends and family were saying just how brilliant an idea it was, so we had to stick with it.”
But their patience has paid off with The GameStation hosting its first event in December.
Jamie said: “It was fantastic watching the kids playing all the games and seeing everything working – it was awesome.”
“We’ve got weddings, birthday parties and we hope to get into festivals and after school clubs to help promote video games in a more positive light,” added James.
Children enjoying what games on offer inside the GameStation van – Credit: James Bean and Jamie Fox
The pair’s friendship was built around video games and the pair have noticed how the medium has helped during lockdown.
James explained: “Gaming is good stress relief and can have a positive effect on your mental health because you can play along with other people when you couldn’t go out and see them.
“We wanted to bring back that togetherness.
“When you see the smiles on kid’s faces it’s all worth it. I remember we had five children all huddled around another who was playing Fortnite and you could see everyone having fun.”
Jamie added: “Short term we just want to be able to make a living doing what we enjoy.
“But long term we would love to expand the business and potentially turn this into a franchise, with vans all over the country.”
A look inside the GameStation which houses a variety of different consoles – Credit: James Bean and Jamie Fox