'Country club for gaming' is coming to former Xerox Tower in Rochester – Democrat & Chronicle

This spring, an emerging community of gamers will soon have a home base as Rochester expects a new high-end video gaming experience. 
Ben Garvey is the founder of Great Lakes Gaming. He wants to erase the stigma of playing video games isolated in a basement.
“We want to be the country club for gaming,” Garvey said. “It’s not just about gaming. It’s about the social atmosphere and connecting with people.”
Great Lakes Gaming plans to open a state-of-the-art video gaming entertainment facility April 20. The 3,400-square-foot space will offer dynamic views of downtown on the 22nd floor of 100 S. Clinton Avenue, the former Xerox Tower.
GLG will feature 12 high-end PC stations, two private streaming booths, three couch console setups, and a cafe with healthy food options for members and guests. 
As Garvey explained, partnering with local restaurant Bite Rochester is rooted in sophisticating the gaming experience.
“Healthier food is better for a healthier mind,” he said. “When you eat greasy food, you play worse. Think of it like an athlete.”
Garvey graduated from RIT last spring. After initially studying Game Design, he switched gears to competitive gaming competitions, generally known as E-Sports. Garvey eventually joined the School of Individualized Studies to start his own business.
“The gaming community has grown each year I’ve been here in Rochester,” Garvey said. “Rochester is growing anyway, so that’s why I wanted to open here.”
Great Lakes Gaming will host leagues, tournaments, and events giving gamers of all levels a chance to compete. Weekly video game tournaments across North America will be streamed live on Twitch, the top live streaming service in the industry.
These events are free to enter and have cash prize pools.
On Tuesday, Feb. 22, at 2 p.m., GLG will host a pop-up event showcasing what’s to come in April in the lobby of Innovation Square.
“We want to offer a new way for people to interact,” Garvey said. “That’s what gaming is about.”
Contact Robert Bell at: rlbell@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter: @byrobbell & Instagram: @byrobbell. This coverage is only possible with support from our readers.


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