Three friends launch Basildon’s first gaming centre

James Ellis with friend John Sinclair outside the shop

James Ellis with friend John Sinclair outside the shop

First published in What's On by

THREE friends are transforming an empty shop into a new gaming centre.

They have turned the former discount gold store in Southernhay, Basildon, into XLounge Gaming, which opens tomorrow.

Visitors will be able choose from a catalogue of more than 200 xBox games and enter tournaments and leagues.

Childhood pals James Ellis, 30, who previously worked in retail, Jordan Harris-Little, 27, who has a rendering business, and Billy Walker, 29, who runs a delicatessen in Basildon market, have invested their savings in their new venture.

Mr Ellis, of Byfleets, Vange, said: “There’s not much in Basildon for kids to do so they end up hanging out on street corners, drinking and getting into trouble.

“We saw during the recent riots what this can lead to, so we’re providing a safe environment they can hang out in.

“Gamers can become quite isolated if they’re sitting at home playing on their own, so we hope this will help them to make new friends with similar interests.”

The shop has 20 gaming booths, equipped with high-definition television screens, headphones, internet connection, gaming handsets and low, leather gaming chairs.

A separate room has been transformed into a sound-proof Guitar Hero studio, where gamers can play songs by pressing coloured buttons on electronic guitars.

There is also a dance mat area, where dancers can perform a given routine to music. Three of the gaming bays have been adapted for wheelchairs and the walls are being decorated in framed comic book covers and graffiti.

Gaming sessions cost from £4 an hour.

Among the games available are racing games, sports games and war games – with provision for both children and adults.

Avid gamer Mr Ellis hopes the lounge will breathe new life into an area of the town centre blighted by dozens of empty shops.

He said: “It’s so quiet in this part of town, it’s like a ghost town.

“There’s only one other xBox gaming lounge like this in the country, Xtreme Gaming in Colchester, and we’re hoping to open two or three more in the future.

“We’ve done a lot of research and know this will be popular because people queue up for hours to buy newly-released games. The industry hasn’t been affected by the recession.”

For more information, visit www.xloungegaming.co.uk

Comments (28)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

2:34pm Sat 1 Oct 11

Brunning999 says...

Healthy!
Healthy! Brunning999
  • Score: 0

3:04pm Sat 1 Oct 11

emcee says...

Mmmm. Nothing that cannot be done in the bedroom. It's not as if most of the kids do not have access to an XBox or PS anyway and, in turn, most have access to online facilities these consoles provide. It may be an ideal place to meet up with mates and try out a game before you buy but at £4 per hour they are hardly going to spend forever in there. It will be interesting to see how this goes.
Mmmm. Nothing that cannot be done in the bedroom. It's not as if most of the kids do not have access to an XBox or PS anyway and, in turn, most have access to online facilities these consoles provide. It may be an ideal place to meet up with mates and try out a game before you buy but at £4 per hour they are hardly going to spend forever in there. It will be interesting to see how this goes. emcee
  • Score: 0

6:45pm Sat 1 Oct 11

Feisty CBC says...

£4 per hour?!!!! I predict the red ring of death.
£4 per hour?!!!! I predict the red ring of death. Feisty CBC
  • Score: 0

7:39pm Sat 1 Oct 11

naughtyladyofshadylane says...

no personal comment, I just had to submit so I can be emailed the comments to read.
no personal comment, I just had to submit so I can be emailed the comments to read. naughtyladyofshadylane
  • Score: 0

12:00am Sun 2 Oct 11

linksz says...

I'll be well up for some cod tournaments!!
I'll be well up for some cod tournaments!! linksz
  • Score: 0

9:37am Sun 2 Oct 11

Bosniavet says...

Like others, I cannot see it being a great success, but I do think it a good idea.
However, I have to ask - how long before the place is robbed?
Like others, I cannot see it being a great success, but I do think it a good idea. However, I have to ask - how long before the place is robbed? Bosniavet
  • Score: 0

10:21am Sun 2 Oct 11

iam english says...

good on you both .hope u all have great success
good on you both .hope u all have great success iam english
  • Score: 0

10:21am Sun 2 Oct 11

iam english says...

good on you both .hope u all have great success
good on you both .hope u all have great success iam english
  • Score: 0

1:11pm Sun 2 Oct 11

chunkus04 says...

what a good idea, although at £4 an hour i cant see this place lasting too long... i mean i wouldn't give my kids money to go and sit in there and play the consoles that they already have in their bedroom/front room...
what a good idea, although at £4 an hour i cant see this place lasting too long... i mean i wouldn't give my kids money to go and sit in there and play the consoles that they already have in their bedroom/front room... chunkus04
  • Score: 0

1:53pm Sun 2 Oct 11

ShipShape says...

Good luck to you, lads!

It's great to see that there's still some people prepared to have a try, I hope its a great success for you.
Good luck to you, lads! It's great to see that there's still some people prepared to have a try, I hope its a great success for you. ShipShape
  • Score: 0

5:01pm Sun 2 Oct 11

geezer, innit says...

make sure there's plenty of big bottles of pop and huge bags of crisps in the larder....
make sure there's plenty of big bottles of pop and huge bags of crisps in the larder.... geezer, innit
  • Score: 0

6:28pm Sun 2 Oct 11

emcee says...

ShipShape wrote:
Good luck to you, lads!

It's great to see that there's still some people prepared to have a try, I hope its a great success for you.
Less of a "try" and more of a huge gamble I think.
[quote][p][bold]ShipShape[/bold] wrote: Good luck to you, lads! It's great to see that there's still some people prepared to have a try, I hope its a great success for you.[/p][/quote]Less of a "try" and more of a huge gamble I think. emcee
  • Score: 0

9:06am Mon 3 Oct 11

carnacation says...

We’ll get kids off street and into our X Box lounge

With a headline like that, sounds as if your doing the kids a favour, the money you will savour.
It wont work, you will never have enough £4 per hour paying customers to pay the rent, let alone make a profit, and for that reason, I'm out.
We’ll get kids off street and into our X Box lounge With a headline like that, sounds as if your doing the kids a favour, the money you will savour. It wont work, you will never have enough £4 per hour paying customers to pay the rent, let alone make a profit, and for that reason, I'm out. carnacation
  • Score: 0

9:09am Mon 3 Oct 11

carnacation says...

I also suggest that due to school times anyone under the age of 16 in there Mon to Fri, had better beware of the truancy officers Lol
I also suggest that due to school times anyone under the age of 16 in there Mon to Fri, had better beware of the truancy officers Lol carnacation
  • Score: 0

10:50am Mon 3 Oct 11

naughtyladyofshadylane says...

I would like to know how much t cost to set this up, and how much the "running" costs will be, i dont see how it can possibly work?
I would like to know how much t cost to set this up, and how much the "running" costs will be, i dont see how it can possibly work? naughtyladyofshadylane
  • Score: 0

2:29pm Mon 3 Oct 11

saddo99 says...

naughtyladyofshadyla
ne
wrote:
no personal comment, I just had to submit so I can be emailed the comments to read.
Me either. I clicked on free solar panels. You don't need to make a comment to receive e-mails. Just make sure you are logged in and tick the box.
[quote][p][bold]naughtyladyofshadyla ne[/bold] wrote: no personal comment, I just had to submit so I can be emailed the comments to read.[/p][/quote]Me either. I clicked on free solar panels. You don't need to make a comment to receive e-mails. Just make sure you are logged in and tick the box. saddo99
  • Score: 0

2:47pm Mon 3 Oct 11

carnacation says...

The Basi kids will love the blacked out windows, hiding away
The Basi kids will love the blacked out windows, hiding away carnacation
  • Score: 0

3:05pm Mon 3 Oct 11

R85 says...

Jeez theres a lot of negative comments, I guess that’s just the English way – negativity. Seems like a good idea, one of the few things that may actually get a few peeps off the streets! The government have come out with too many stupid schemes that they seem to think criminal youths will go for! Admittedly if I was a teenager £4 an hour seems a bit steep…...more expensive than drinking actually if you drink the cheap shyte – at that age I’d probably opt for the drink too, lol…..sure it will entice many and be a benefit to the area though!
Jeez theres a lot of negative comments, I guess that’s just the English way – negativity. Seems like a good idea, one of the few things that may actually get a few peeps off the streets! The government have come out with too many stupid schemes that they seem to think criminal youths will go for! Admittedly if I was a teenager £4 an hour seems a bit steep…...more expensive than drinking actually if you drink the cheap shyte – at that age I’d probably opt for the drink too, lol…..sure it will entice many and be a benefit to the area though! R85
  • Score: 0

4:08pm Mon 3 Oct 11

evilsnakes5 says...

Good luck to them.
If only for the tournaments. If they can backing from the proper people. It would bring some needed income to the area. I think i will be visiting them one day soon.
Good luck lads.
Good luck to them. If only for the tournaments. If they can backing from the proper people. It would bring some needed income to the area. I think i will be visiting them one day soon. Good luck lads. evilsnakes5
  • Score: 0

4:08pm Mon 3 Oct 11

evilsnakes5 says...

Good luck to them.
If only for the tournaments. If they can backing from the proper people. It would bring some needed income to the area. I think i will be visiting them one day soon.
Good luck lads.
Good luck to them. If only for the tournaments. If they can backing from the proper people. It would bring some needed income to the area. I think i will be visiting them one day soon. Good luck lads. evilsnakes5
  • Score: 0

10:10pm Wed 5 Oct 11

saggyanna says...

Obviously everyone who has negative things to say about x lounge doesn't understant the concept. Its not just for kids to go and play on a games console that they already have in their bedrooms, they have competitions and leagues too, which if gaming is your hobby you will understand.

People need to stop being so negative about something which you know very little about
Obviously everyone who has negative things to say about x lounge doesn't understant the concept. Its not just for kids to go and play on a games console that they already have in their bedrooms, they have competitions and leagues too, which if gaming is your hobby you will understand. People need to stop being so negative about something which you know very little about saggyanna
  • Score: 0

10:16am Thu 6 Oct 11

naughtyladyofshadylane says...

so leagues and competitions, for how long at £4 an hour? No one answered my earlier query how much has his cost so far and how much to run?
so leagues and competitions, for how long at £4 an hour? No one answered my earlier query how much has his cost so far and how much to run? naughtyladyofshadylane
  • Score: 0

10:49pm Thu 6 Oct 11

saggyanna says...

Do you ask any new business the cost of what they have done, no! Because thats not your business. They are doing well to spot a gap in the market and go for it.
Do you ask any new business the cost of what they have done, no! Because thats not your business. They are doing well to spot a gap in the market and go for it. saggyanna
  • Score: 0

4:13pm Sat 8 Oct 11

littlelisa12 says...

i think this is a great idea, its not just about whether kids have these in their rooms or not,its about the socializing aspect. yes it will get kids off the streets that are into gaming but it caters for a lot of other people that play games not just the stereotyped teenage trouble makers that most people seem to think are the only people who play consoles. I currently work for a game shop so get to see all the types of people who actually buy games so can vouch for the cross cultures this shop can breach. I think £4 an hour is nothing compared to £45 that most games cost to buy. and also it stops these so called "troublesome teenagers" that are the only people to play games according to most people, its cheaper than going to a cinema to see a film for roughly a similar length of time. its a great idea that's tapping into one of the few retail sectors that's still experiencing positive growth in the face of a recession. At the end of the day if you do not like games or gaming and therefore do not think this shop is a good idea then don't visit the place or comment on this article why waste your breath if all you are going to say is negative things?
i think this is a great idea, its not just about whether kids have these in their rooms or not,its about the socializing aspect. yes it will get kids off the streets that are into gaming but it caters for a lot of other people that play games not just the stereotyped teenage trouble makers that most people seem to think are the only people who play consoles. I currently work for a game shop so get to see all the types of people who actually buy games so can vouch for the cross cultures this shop can breach. I think £4 an hour is nothing compared to £45 that most games cost to buy. and also it stops these so called "troublesome teenagers" that are the only people to play games according to most people, its cheaper than going to a cinema to see a film for roughly a similar length of time. its a great idea that's tapping into one of the few retail sectors that's still experiencing positive growth in the face of a recession. At the end of the day if you do not like games or gaming and therefore do not think this shop is a good idea then don't visit the place or comment on this article why waste your breath if all you are going to say is negative things? littlelisa12
  • Score: 0

5:16pm Sat 8 Oct 11

naughtyladyofshadylane says...

saggyanna! I beg to differ, you read lots of times in articles how much money people have put into a venture, also business rates should not be a secret?? I just wonder how its going to work financially?
saggyanna! I beg to differ, you read lots of times in articles how much money people have put into a venture, also business rates should not be a secret?? I just wonder how its going to work financially? naughtyladyofshadylane
  • Score: 0

8:28pm Wed 12 Oct 11

saggyanna says...

If someone is putting their own money into a venture then it is none of your business so i beg to differ with you. Maybe you should get yourself a hobby and you might understand the concept a little more.
If someone is putting their own money into a venture then it is none of your business so i beg to differ with you. Maybe you should get yourself a hobby and you might understand the concept a little more. saggyanna
  • Score: 0

10:43pm Wed 12 Oct 11

naughtyladyofshadylane says...

read of one only the other day, twas the two uncles of jamie oliver, article said how much they had poured into their pub before deciding enough was enough. dont talk to me like that. I am unticking the box so no need to reply , i won't be seeing it,so get off my case. Free world freedom of speech and all that ,bug someone else. i hate people who comment like you.
read of one only the other day, twas the two uncles of jamie oliver, article said how much they had poured into their pub before deciding enough was enough. dont talk to me like that. I am unticking the box so no need to reply , i won't be seeing it,so get off my case. Free world freedom of speech and all that ,bug someone else. i hate people who comment like you. naughtyladyofshadylane
  • Score: 0

11:21pm Wed 19 Oct 11

littlenogigrappler says...

I know the three men that have started this, the hard work they have put in, the amount of money. They have done an excellent job. The idea behind it isn’t a huge money making scheme, it’s about a safe friendly gaming environment they have created jobs for themselves not huge salaries out of thin air but a very very modest income from lots of hard work. It’s a brilliant idea that they have had but instead of sitting around and talking about it they have taken a chance.
I have seen husbands pop in for an hour while there wives shop, I have seen mothers drop off there teenage children so they can shop in peace. The competitions have been successful so far with prizes that have been a huge success. They have an after school club which is £3 for two hours £1.5 an hour is a bargain.
They are donating the use of there space to a college and school careers group as "connections" is no longer open. There is also a "cops vs. kids" weekly event soon that is free, where the local children and teens get to play against the local police in there spare time, so as to build police community relationships.
I know they are also planning to get a couple of local youths into full time work there and enrol them into college at the same time so building young people in the communities skills in responsibility and knowledge can only be a good thing right?
They also at the drop of a hat sponsored “berry boys football team” so that the team had a kit as the other sponsor pulled out at the last minute, without them they would not have had a team this year.
Lastly I think they are going to speak with a youth church group so they can hold meetings there too.
Get behind this people, make it work, I am probably sure that they could receive more money just by sitting indoors and receiving benefits then they do for working 50 hours each a week, but they are doing something positive.

I applaud them, if there were more people trying this hard the world would be a better place.

! Remember. Positivity breeds positivity! Spread the good news not the bad.
I know the three men that have started this, the hard work they have put in, the amount of money. They have done an excellent job. The idea behind it isn’t a huge money making scheme, it’s about a safe friendly gaming environment they have created jobs for themselves not huge salaries out of thin air but a very very modest income from lots of hard work. It’s a brilliant idea that they have had but instead of sitting around and talking about it they have taken a chance. I have seen husbands pop in for an hour while there wives shop, I have seen mothers drop off there teenage children so they can shop in peace. The competitions have been successful so far with prizes that have been a huge success. They have an after school club which is £3 for two hours £1.5 an hour is a bargain. They are donating the use of there space to a college and school careers group as "connections" is no longer open. There is also a "cops vs. kids" weekly event soon that is free, where the local children and teens get to play against the local police in there spare time, so as to build police community relationships. I know they are also planning to get a couple of local youths into full time work there and enrol them into college at the same time so building young people in the communities skills in responsibility and knowledge can only be a good thing right? They also at the drop of a hat sponsored “berry boys football team” so that the team had a kit as the other sponsor pulled out at the last minute, without them they would not have had a team this year. Lastly I think they are going to speak with a youth church group so they can hold meetings there too. Get behind this people, make it work, I am probably sure that they could receive more money just by sitting indoors and receiving benefits then they do for working 50 hours each a week, but they are doing something positive. I applaud them, if there were more people trying this hard the world would be a better place. ! Remember. Positivity breeds positivity! Spread the good news not the bad. littlenogigrappler
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree