Joy Sticks

Before gamers had the option to kill each other anonymously via the Internet, they had to gather face-to-face in real-world arcades to do it. In that arena, friendships were made, rivalries were born, and a good time was had by all. Those days are long gone, but this summer, OhHeckYeah is turning Champa Street into a giant arcade to return that sense of camaraderie and fun to playing video games.

“A lot of people argue that technology puts us in a bubble, and I always say it’s not the technology, it’s the way we’re designing the technology that puts us in a bubble,” says Brian Corrigan, OhHeckYeah’s creative strategist. “Research shows play makes you more creative and more curious and builds trust between strangers. Our question was, 'Why not put it out into the street?’”

Two blocks of Champa, between 14th and 16th streets, will play host to three games this summer, turning the Denver Theatre District into a giant, immersive gaming experience. The simple, engaging, multiplayer games are designed for easy access and maximum fun, so you don't have to be a veteran gamer to dig them. And even if games aren't your thing, a host of other activities, from street yoga to karaoke, will be available to keep you busy while your loved ones get their game on.

The games begin tonight at 7:15 p.m. with an opening-night dedication and will continue Thursday and Saturday nights through July 26. For more information, visit
Sat., June 7, 7-11 p.m.; Thursdays, Saturdays, 7-11 p.m. Starts: June 7. Continues through July 26, 2014