NORWALK, Conn. – Video game lovers will soon have a place in Norwalk where they can come to play the newest console and PC games with other fans.
Game Haven is launched by Brent and Paola Goren and will be located on 10 Cross St. in Norwalk. Brent Goren said he envisions it as a community center where people who are passionate about games can come play their favorites, make new friends and even learn the skills to make their own games.
“We want to create a nexus point for people to come enjoy themselves, relax, and do what they love in an environment that’s safe, comfortable and clean,” Goren said.
During the week, people will be able to stop in and play games, and there will be after-school and tutoring programs for kids to work on their homework before playing games. On weekends it will be open later and host special events such as tournaments, matches, parties, and cosplay and costume contests. Parents will be able to drop their kids off while they enjoy a date night, or even come and play some of their favorite games themselves.
One of Goren’s goals is to remove some of the stigma attached to gaming, and show parents that video games can lead to educational opportunities and successful careers. He has designed a curriculum of classes that will be offered at Game Haven, where kids can learn about topics such as graphic design, storyboarding, level architecture and coding.
“It’s a great opportunity to meet other kids in the area who love gaming, but also a chance to learn through gaming,” he said. “We want to give people who are passionate about games a way to channel that energy to a career.”
Goren lives in Milford and has been in love with gaming since he received his first Nintendo at a young age. He studied a wide variety of subjects in school before becoming a mechanical engineer, but realized that his real passion was video games.
“It’s so important to love what you do, and the most important part of that is really knowing what you love,” he said.
There will be food and drinks so people can gather their friends and hang out. There will also be Internet connections so you can play online with friends around the world. They will also have a broadcast to Twitch, so people will be able to check online who is playing at Game Haven at any time.
Game Haven has also applied for a grant through the Chase Mission Main Street Grant program , for which they need votes to be eligible. Goren said that if they receive the grant they will use it to set up virtual reality systems for games like Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus.
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