Opening of a games fair in Livonia
Call Cecil Clark, Jr., the childhood hobbies of the original Twitch.
Long before video games were released online, Clark said as a kid he would go to his friends’ house and watch them play a myriad of games on TV.
âGrowing up I might not have been a player, but I was with a lot of my friends who were players,â he said. “I watched them play the games for 12 hours at each other’s house.”
Today, a business that started out as a way to give people a way to play the video games they love outside of their homes has grown into one of Livonia’s newer businesses.
After seeing the impact on video games in homes, he decides to start a new type of business for him: a video game salon. Its first location opened on Greenfield in Detroit several years ago, and earlier this year it brought the concept west to Livonia.
“It has intensified more and more,” he said. “When I opened it it became a family place. Now it’s not just for kids anymore, it’s also for adults.”
My Game Room, 29114 Five Mile, has opened in the Brickshire Plaza shopping center, just east of Middlebelt. He joined several other video game salons in the neighborhood, an increasingly popular concept. Although it opened earlier in the year, it recently celebrated its grand opening with the Livonia Chamber of Commerce.
The space is divided into two parts: the lobby with a few fun-style games such as a basketball shot and tables for the event space; and the games room behind a curtain. There, visitors have the choice of playing a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X console, both around a year old. Players each have a wall mounted TV for playing with gaming chairs throughout the space.
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Stations can be hired by the hour and Clark recommends contacting the space in advance to reserve. Visitors can log in to play multiple games belonging to the lounge, or they can log into their own PlayStation or Xbox account to access their own library of games in the lounge.
Clark said he hopes to add other platforms in the future, including computers, which are popular for gaming.
âA lot of gamers are moving towards PCs so we’ll be adding them as well,â he said.
He hopes that gaming tournaments will also be held in space in the future.
Space is also available for special events, Clark said. Since its opening, it has been using it for events such as birthdays and even baby showers.
It is a model that has gained a lot in popularity, with a lot of visitors. It has grown so big that Clark hopes to open more with the help of investors in other parts of the country, including Chicago and Phoenix.
Locally, Clark said he hopes to expand elsewhere in the Detroit subway as well, including another nearby salon: Clark said he’s working on the potential opening of another in the Laurel Park mall. Place at Six Mile and Newburgh. He said he also hopes to visit the Meridian Mall in Okemos, which is owned by the same company as Laurel Park Place.
Clark said the response he has received from guests has been increasingly positive. Especially with the extended restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, gathering in a place like My Game Room has been exactly what many of its visitors needed.
âEspecially since COVID, we haven’t had this unit to come together for a long time,â he said. “So people are happy when they come to play. They are excited, especially kids, because they can play with other kids.”