Filled with handmade gaming cabinets, 16-person multiplayer games, pinball machines that trigger strobe lights, and games featuring nothing but LED strips, Wonderville is an arcade like no other.
For years, Wonderville co-founder Mark Kleback showcased the world’s most strange and inventive games through the Death By Audio Arcade collective, founded out of the now-shuttered Death By Audio space, which emphasized local multiplayer games and social connection.
In 2019, he and his partner in both life and business, Stephanie Gross, founded an arcade space that invites all veteran and novice players to come together and explore the medium. With a growing trend of games being played at home in isolation, this push to bring players together started the journey to Wonderville through their DIY Arcade Cabinets and strong support from the local development scene.
Today, the venue features a rotating collection of independent video games that will shatter your expectation of what a game might be, blend art and technology in innovative ways, and perhaps inspire you to make a game yourself. A recent exhibit, for example, featured video games that were played with anything but a controller like a juicer, or another that was played through a doorstop.
Wonderville doesn’t end with games, it’s also a space for New York artists and musicians to congregate and feel at home. Wonderville hosts an array of free and ticketed events from visual art shows, to techno music, to comedy, to seminars.
Know Before You Go
Entry is free. They open every day at 6 p.m. but often have seminars in the afternoons on weekends. The space is divided up between a bar, an arcade/gallery, and a spacious courtyard in the back. Check out their website and facebook page for more information on upcoming events.
Every other Wednesday, they host open playtests allowing for patrons to get a look at the games of tomorrow and for developers to have a drink when playtesters find their game-breaking bug. Tuesdays are filled with friendly competition and tournaments on new and exhibited games, often rewarding players with unique prizes. Sundays and Mondays are a time to take a step back from digital games and dive into a variety of board games available at the Wonderville or even bring in your own. Weekends are the time to relax and enjoy live music and visual art shows while you play, and when the rhythms get to infectious to stop everything and dance.