The Heart of Gaming, one of the only remaining arcades in London, was robbed on the 22nd July. The arcade is popular with gamers as alongside the modern consoles are retro machines and old gaming cabinets with classics such as Donkey Kong, Street Fighter 2 and House of the Dead.
The thieves took more than £5,000 worth of equipment which included the most recent consoles, games and peripherals. Thankfully the arcade machines were left untouched, the thieves targeting smaller more saleable items.
The timing of the robbery could not be worse, any time is a bad time to be robbed, but just at the start of the school holidays is very unfortunate. Mark Starkey (owner of the HOG) and April Periera-Finn (Manager of the HoG) sought to galvanise the support from their large community and fanbase and through a gofund campaign sought to gain £5000 to replace the stolen items and smashed their target within two days (at the time of writing this article the total reached was £5430). The response has been fantastic and what is so heartening to see is that many people who donated have not even been to the HOG but wanted to help such an important cause for the gaming community. With the funds achieved anything extra is going towards buying security cameras and furnishing the building with higher security doors. Who said that the gaming community was toxic? This is the community coming together to help a cause they believe in. Long live the HOG!