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be better,” says Mash. “On breaks, the coaches can help them with tweaking things or even just holding the mouse differently, and they move to the next level.” Even if Level13 is empty — an unlikely occurrence due to its popularity — the venue is still a worthwhile playing opportunity. “Our center is connected to the internet via a fiber optic gigabit line. Anyone playing at Level13 can play with gamers in other centers or at home,” says Mash. “We also host gaming tournaments, where we connect gamers from multiple centers like ours in an eSport title.” The price tag on social gaming isn’t bad, either. There are a few different pricing options at Level13, all of which seem pretty reasonable: $10 for one hour; $25 for three hours; $100 for thirteen hours; and day passes for $33. To utilize the virtual reality experience, the rate is $10 for twenty minutes, and $30 for an hour. “Most gamers will play two hours straight without a problem,” says Mash. “Some of our hardcore gamers can play from open (10am) until close (10pm) no problem.”

The Appeal to Parents

take you to Level13.’ It works every time!”

While gamers of any age are welcome at Level13 eSports Gaming Center, it’s particularly popular with young teens, with 9-to-11-year-olds booking the most parties. It’s not hard to see why.

Rather than plopping your child in front of a screen and relinquishing all control, parents can take comfort in knowing that they’re still in charge. “The only restrictions we place on gaming is what parents say is okay. We resist the youngsters’ requests to play violent games and have dozens of nonviolent games to choose from,” says Mash. “Ultimately, however, if mom or dad says it’s okay, it’s game on.”

“First, the price. Paying by the hour is always better than buying your own highend computer, paying for games, and then keeping your system maintained and running optimally. Anytime a new game comes out, you may need to shell out $59 to play,” says Mash. “At Level13, you pay for time, and that’s it.” Another factor may not occur to someone who doesn’t live with a gamer. “Second, the noise — how loud gamers can be when playing at home. Get that out of your house and let us handle the noise,” says Mash. “Third, the control. Gaming at home can be a veritable black hole. Kids disappear into their room or the basement for hours on end. By gaming at Level13, you can completely control how much game time they’re getting. We have a lot of parents who use Level13 as an incentive: ‘Clean your room, do your chores, and we’ll

And while drop-off does exist for kids ages eight and older — perfect for heading right next door to Barnaby’s for dinner and drinks while your kids are entertained and engaged — there’s also a space for you if you choose to stay. “We have a lounge in the front with a TV, and we allow BYOB for both parents and 21-and-older gamers alike,” says Mash.

Video Gaming & College For parents who still aren’t sold on video gaming — in a social setting or not — Mash has some surprising news. “There are actually over 300 universities and colleges in the U.S. that now offer eSports



Profile for The WC Press

The WC Press Digital Issue - February 2020  

Voice of the Borough

The WC Press Digital Issue - February 2020  

Voice of the Borough