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06-30-2018 at 04:12 AM
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Gamers' Without Borders! Part 2

Quebec City is about a 3 hour ride from Montreal. The weather didn't make the ride any shorter as it was overcast and rainy. The rain wouldn't stop for another two days. Quebec City has a European feel with its pedestrian friendly streets and small shops. Most of the locals are bilingual (French and English) so its not to difficult to get around if your like me, limited to English.

My apartment was located on Rue Saint Joseph. Its a street full of small art and clothing boutiques, restaurants, coffee houses, sundries, and pawn / discount shops. On my first day of exploring, I noticed an esports bar and restaurant about 4-5 storefronts away from my apartment. The Lvl Op Resto Bar seemed like a good place to relax playing a video game, drink a pint or four, and munch on some Poutine, a favorite dish in these parts that's basically french fries drenched in gravy.

During the rainy days, I browsed the bookstores (they sold more than books) and discount / pawn shops for any bargains. Space in my suitcase was very limited so whatever I purchased, I would need to be very selective. One of those items was an old Coleco Quiz Master - 4 Player version. It was tempting but just too big to fit. : (

Further down the rue, I did find a discount / pawn store that was selling used video games at a good discount, 3 game for $10. With the exchange rate in my favor, I ended up buying six which converted to just over $15 US dollars. If your expecting the next line to be something like, ".... and one of the six was an unopened Stadium Events for NES" well prepare to be disappointed. These are games that I wasn't aware of and/or they fill some holes in the ever-growing hoard of my gaming collection. Here's what I picked-up.....

On one the side streets, I saw my first 'foreign' barcade, MacFly. It had a nice neighborhood bar atmosphere and a decent amount of pinball and vintage arcade machines. Of the 8-10 pinball machines lined up against the 1st room's wall, Haunted House was the one that really grabbed my attention. The second room was dominated by an air hockey table, but there was enough room for a Pac Man cocktail table and a stand-up 2 in 1 or 4 in 1 machine. The backroom, which felt like a tight hallway, was packed with stand-up arcade machines to the left and right. Ms Pac Man, Galaga, and other mid 80s pixel hero's were well represented at MacFly. At night, this place was full of nothing but smiling faces and laughter, waxing nostalgic on what was the 80s arcade scene and for the younger generation, a glimpse of what it was like.

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Quebec City has a vibrant gaming vibe of esport competitors and video game enthusiasts. So those are the consumers of video games but what about the creators? Well just a short walking distance from MacFly, a building rises in the distance with a familiar logo. That's right, the Ubisoft Quebec Studio is prominently located on the fringe of the downtown business district. From what I've read, Ubisoft Quebec is the lead developer of the Assassin's Creed series. Send all praise and criticism to their studio headquarters.

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Of course there are other things to do in Quebec City outside of gaming. I'd recommend taking a stroll inside the old fort, touring the citadel, and taking a short road trip and hike up Montmorency Falls. Its definitely a worthwhile trip to include on anyone's buck list.
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