We've been prepping the first floor of the office to be a communal space for NG meetups and there are little modern details that I'm proud of. For example, built-in HDMI inputs. Ultimately I want to have animations playing IN the windows with clear OLED displays.
Many of the shops in our town aren't especially useful to the current generation and it makes me wonder what would make life more interesting and noteworthy around here. I like to start with what would be an awesome town for ME personally to live in and see where things go from there. Some ideas I've considered:
A Treasure Museum where you can go and play every game ever made by Treasure (Gunstar Heroes, Radiant Silvergun, Guardian Heroes, Silhouette Mirage, etc.) as well as written history and photos from this quiet studio in Japan.
An SNK Art Gallery with loads of concept art by SNK artists (google "metal slug concept art" for an example). Same could be done with Udon (Capcom artists).
A store that stocks the neat stuff people make on-line that you wish you could see in-person.
A store with all the NG merchandise, of course! And maybe merch from other cool websites like Penny-Arcade. Like a web-merch alliance.
A yoga studio with an adjacent smoothie or tea shop. I like following up exercise with what at least feels like a healthy treat and while I imagine this sort of combo exists in plenty of hip neighborhoods, I don't seem to come across it.
When I was in college I would go to 611 Records and listen to vinyl on the turntable listening stations. When I stopped collecting vinyl I did the same thing at CD shops. Now everyone downloads their music so there isn't much draw to a CD store. Is there some sort of potential social space for music fans that is less extreme than a concert but more public than browsing on-line?
I was at a museum once that had a stop motion camera with a set of blocks. You could move the blocks around, press a button to snap a picture, then watch the finished sequence when you were done. There was also room to fit your face or hands in front of the camera, which extended the fun. Despite this being just a few years ago, after more than a decade of animating on computers, I totally loved it. Maybe we need a place where you can take your kid, pay for an hour and just play with blocks, clay, action figures and a one-click stop motion camera.
What if you could go to a place where you sit in a sound booth and dub pre-made cartoons, as a way to try voice acting without knowing how to plug a microphone into a computer. I know a guy who wants to voice act in our games soooo bad, but he has never tried voice acting for web content. He COULD hook a microphone up to his computer, find an animator on Newgrounds and put something together, but that really is a daunting task for a lot of people. Why not let him spend $5 to sit in a booth for 15 minutes and talk over cartoons, then press a button to upload his goofy dubbed video to some website and email himself a link. You could bring your girlfriend or kid into the booth and do it together, then laugh about it together. Who knows, I think people would really enjoy it. Those photo booths are still popular in Japan even though everyone has cell phone cameras.
So those are some of my ideas. What would be the store, museum, service, etc. that would make your town awesome?