The SEGA Park in Bournemouth is now a “Leisure Exchange” which is like an arcade, only emptier and worse. A roving reporter took us some photos of the inside and was even kind enough to write some captions for us. We can now take the rest of the day off to stare blankly at a screen and line up our icons, because if the icons aren’t lined up properly…

“The place has gone from being a testing site for every single new Sega arcade machine to a large empty room with no people and even less machines… oh, and a big area dedicated to ‘gambling'”

“This used to be where it said SEGA PARK in big blue letters. Now it says… well, this. And there’s a big silver AMUSEMENTS sign above the door, just in case people are too thick to work out what a Leisure Exchange is. On the plus side though, the Quasar’s quite good – nice and big, with loads of good places to hide”

“Sonic’s still in the windows despite the place no longer being a proper Sega Park, probably because they’re waiting for some chavs to smash them with a brick so they can claim for new Sonic-free glass on the insurance”

“The view from the front door. This place used to be CRAMMED with machines – really interesting ones. Now, there’s a huge gap in the middle (like, HUGE) and all the machines have been pushed against the walls. There’s a sole pool table at the back, which the chavs use mostly for sitting on”

“The newest machine the place has, besides Virtua Striker 4 and House Of The Dead 4 (both of which we’re surprised even appeared in this tired old place) is this WCCF card game. No one ever plays it. But then, there’s never anyone in here. To be fair though, having this and OutRun 2 SP is vaguely impressive… it’s just a shame all the other machines have been lost in the process”

“These people are playing Virtua Tennis 2. There are two VT2 machines in the arcade, but one’s got a shit screen that’s all purple and warped. It used to have several sit-down beat-’em-up cabinets (Tekken 4, SVC Chaos, Soul Calibur II) but they’re all gone now. In their place is a Sonic Blast Man punching machine. Bleugh”

Had we written this we would’ve included some sort of narrative structure about the day and probably lied about there being tramps cooking up smack in the toilets. Still, it’s not bad for a free update. Thanks!