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A RIT grad is opening a modern hangout for video game players at Innovation Square in Rochester

 Rendering of the new video gaming facility opening in April at Innovation Square in Rochester
provided by Great Lakes Gaming
Rendering of the new video gaming facility opening in April at Innovation Square in Rochester

A recent RIT graduate is getting ready to open a new business at Innovation Square, a downtown Rochester complex that includes the former Xerox Tower building.

It’s described as a “state-of-the art video gaming entertainment facility,” and it’s the project of Ben Garvey, the president, CEO and founder of a company called Great Lakes Gaming. Garvey graduated last year from RIT, where he said he got interested in gaming and ‘esports.’ He also started taking entrepreneurship courses, which led to forming his own video gaming company.

Garvey said the new facility, on the 22nd floor of the former Xerox Tower, will feature a dozen high-end PC stations along with private streaming booths and a café.

Garvey said the idea is to offer a more sophisticated approach to a location used for video gaming.

“We saw a need for a little bit more higher-end experience, less of casual gaming, and more, sort of for the people that are more dedicated to gaming and wanting a place to socialize,” said Garvey. “I mean, after all, when you got to a country club, you’re not just there to golf, you’re there to make friends, socialize and just have a place to hang out.”

The café in the new gaming facility will have healthier food options, according to Garvey, who wants to get away from the stereotypical “Cheeto-dust” type of snacks that gamers might encounter in a typical gaming lounge.

In terms of demographics among his customers, Garvey said he hopes to attract gamers ranging from high school students through college to young professionals. He’s hoping to draw from the student apartments created at Innovation Square, as well as some of the high tech businesses that have recently moved to the downtown area.

The target date for opening the new video gaming center is April 20.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.