Unlike most of what I've come up with and put on this blog, this is not a digital idea, although some of its inspiration comes from digital technology.
A lot of the inspiration came from a somewhat disturbing dream that woke me up on Friday night. Since then, I tried to cut out the part that scared me and expand on the game element that might have business potential.
There is no reason to go step-by-step with the thought process, and I don't remember all of it anyway, but what I eventually came up with is something that combines two major potential sources of nostalgia for Generations X and Y: roller skating and arcade games.
In my vision of the physical venue that would house this business would have one large rink in the tradition of traditional roller rinks, but instead of being used just for skating, which could happen during off-hours (mostly weekday afternoons), it would be used to re-create classic arcade games on roller skates.
The first one that I thought of, and probably the most commonly used one due to its potential for multiple participants at the same time, would be a re-creation of the Snake game where the player would control a snake going after food dots while trying to avoid the wall and itself.
In the live version, each person would pay a fee ($5-$10 depending upon the local cost of living) to get an identifying number similar to what race participants have, but these would be on both front and back so staff can more easily take note of when a contestant collides with the wall or another contestant. Contestants will also get little velcro strips on their backs, and helmets for safety.
Once everyone is signed up, each contestant will be assigned to a basket that is labeled with the same number that the contestant has. Then a staff member will throw a soft, nerf-style ball out onto the rink and each contestant tries to be the first one to pick the ball up and place the ball in his or her basket. Once that happens, the staff member will throw out two balls, and then three, and so on until time is up (probably after an hour) and the game ends.
As previously alluded to, crashing into walls and other people is a bad thing. A staff member will keep collision tallies, and when someone has three collisions then they have to sit out for five minutes. Once released from the penalty box for the first time, two more collisions will lead to a ten minute suspension, and after that another collision will mean the contestant has to sit the rest of the game out.
The reason for the velcro is to add extensions onto the back of each contestant after each time that they put a ball in their basket, thus making avoiding collisions more difficult.
Whoever has the most balls in their basket when time is up is the winner, regardless of how much time they spent in time out or if they were in the game when it finished. Winner gets a prize to be determined by the proprietor of the venue.
This should include a bar, but people drinking at the bar should have to sign a special waiver taking responsibility for any accidents that may occur from skating while intoxicated.
I have ideas for how some other games would work in a roller rink, but describing all of those would make this post far too long. Feel free to contact me via the comments here if you are interested in discussing this further.