Life In Leeds
You're a gamer
If you’re a self-confessed gaming geek, you’ll be happy to hear that you’re definitely not alone in Leeds, or at Leeds Beckett! Here’s just a taster of what you can expect in our city…
A new addition to Leeds is the Arcade Club in Kirkstall (near Morrisons). It's open Thursday to Sunday and at £16 it's not cheap but drinks are very reasonable (£2.50 for a beer), all the games are free and you can stay as long as you like. There's something for everyone, across the three floors, from retro arcades to modern games and virtual reality. If you don't fancy competing with the kiddies for game time, Thursday and Friday evenings are adult only sessions.
Patriot Games is a bit of a haven for gamers. Located on Regent Street, it’s a huge store full of video games, board games, cards and hobbyist accessories. There’s a large playing area where you can grab a spot and play games for free. If you end up spending a full day there (easily done!), the local takeaway even delivers food right to your chair. Patriot often hosts cool events instore too – everything from Pokemon tournaments to a Yu-Gi-Oh! Weekly league.
Press Start Gaming Zone
Fancy chilling on a comfy sofa, challenging your friends to a game of MarioKart and eating a delicious burger? Well, this is exactly what you can do at Press Start Gaming Zone! Come along to play classic games at Press Start, located within MEATliqor restaurant in Leeds city centre. They’re open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and they can always be found hold gaming tournaments, where you can play absolute classics like Street Fighter 2, 007 Golden Eye and Galaga. It’s a must-visit for any keen gamer in Leeds!
Yorkshire Games Festival
This is always an amazing event. Held at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, this 5-day festival is a celebration of all things game related. For aspiring developers, or anybody interested in working in the game industry, there’s panels and conferences with huge name speakers. Alongside this, there’s plenty of free gameplay and other activities to enjoy, as well as the opportunity to explore the fascinating museum afterwards. What could be better?
Retro Games Night
Belgrave Music Hall is renowned among Leeds students as an awesome place to go, and for good reason! Every few weeks they host a retro games night, complete with over 25 different retro consoles for you to play on. There’s stalls selling games and geeky accessories, big screens broadcasting games, tournaments and some great prizes. You can play games such as Point Blank, Pacman and Street Fighter 2 on consoles such as the Nes or the Switch. What’s even better, Belgrave always blasts out great music, and sells some of the most delicious pizza in Leeds.
If your gaming skills are sharp, you’ll probably be pretty good at solving problems and getting yourself out of Leeds’ selection of escape rooms before you get locked in! We’re lucky to have quite a few to choose from, meaning you’ll never get tired of putting your logical thinking skills to the test. We’ve got Tick Tock Unlock, which has many different themed rooms (including a VR powered ‘Mineforce’ room, an Alice in Wonderland room and one that’s ominously named ‘The Asylum’…spooky!). The aim of the game is to unlock the room’s deepest, darkest secrets in order to escape. There’s also ParaPark room on Vicar Lane, Escape Hunt in The Light and The Great Escape Game, and many others. Make sure you bring along your sharpest team mates and get solving those puzzles.
Board games and other games
Brew Dog on North Street
This funky little bar is full of wonders. First, it has three huge shuffleboard tables for you to play on – think curling, but on a table covered in sand. It also has an underground cavern full of more arcade games and board games than we can count. What’s more, they also serve over 32 different types of beer on tap. Why not gather your friends for a game while enjoying one of their special craft beers? Watch out on the beer though - some are deceivingly strong!
There’s now three different Roxy bars in Leeds, meaning you’re never short of choice for a fun night out. Between the three different venues you can try your hand at ten pin bowling, play table tennis, shuffle board, beer pong, crazy golf, pool, plus even more! Why not challenge a group of friends to an epic game tournament, touring all three locations? We can imagine things would get competitive!
Leeds Meeples is just one of many board game groups in Leeds. They pride themselves on their light-hearted and relaxed environment – no fierce competition here! Leeds Meeples simply gathers to play games for fun and have a great time. You don’t need to know how to play each and every game as they will teach you beforehand. Join them to play games such as Ticket to Ride, Dominion, Agricola and Chrononauts. They meet regularly at Wharf Chambers, which is just behind Leeds’ famous Corn Exchange building. Why not stop off at the Corn Exchange after a game session to munch on some delicious food from one of the Corn Exchange’s food outlets?
We’re very excited to talk about this one….LARPING! LARPing, or Live Action Role Playing, is an epic adventure, where you dress up to match your creed and re-enact battles with your enemies. You simply don your armour and get involved! There’s many local games in Leeds, including the ones run by Fools and Heroes in Meanwood Valley. Where better to LARP than in a wood that may have influenced Tolkien's Middle Earth?
As well as all the cool stuff to do in the city for gamers, there’s also plenty of opportunity to indulge in your passion at Leeds Beckett. We have a BSc (Hons) Games Design course which benefits from teaching by industry professionals, and excellent software. There’s also the opportunity to showcase your work at our end of year shows, and get that all-important exposure to some of the industry’s top gaming employers.
You can also join one of the several game-related societies at our university, or even make your own. We’ve got the Gaming Society, Geek Culture Society and the Computing Society. They regularly host LAN parties, hackathons and tournaments for you to enjoy with your friends, as well as nights out and other socials.