Dropping thousands on a high-performance computer is an unrealistic goal for many students. Many people may have played video games for years, but could never really afford a sophisticated gaming computer or console. Dead Dino Gaming Lounge is an ambitious new venue that is aiming to provide an affordable destination for people looking to experience video gaming in a social atmosphere.
The venue, which opened on Aug. 20, is the first of its kind in Fredericton.
“[We] went to a lot of different e-sports lounges in Canada and America,” said Sean McGillivray, one of Dead Dino’s co-owners, along with the Tyler Casey.
“There wasn’t one here and the demographic wanted it, so we decided to open one,” he said.
Fredericton has seen various gaming tournaments and expos in the past, but now the community has a dedicated social environment where it’ll find these things consistently.
Located downtown on King Street, the facility is outfitted with several high-performance gaming computers, along with virtual-reality headsets and a selection of consoles. They also have a fridge that’s stocked with beer and a generous selection of snacks are available.
The guys at Dead Dino have ensured that their equipment and internet are top of the line to deliver a painless experience. They have an extensive library of popular titles that is constantly kept fresh with new releases and the latest trends. You’re also able to bring in your own gear, and if you want to play your own games, you can download them there within minutes.
Although hardcore gamers will feel right at home, McGillivray made it clear that they’re catering to everybody.
“You really need no experience. We have people come in that have never gamed on a computer before, and now they do,” he said.
No longer do you have to let budget limitations or frustrating internet speeds govern your thirst for fun.
The business has acted as a catalyst for the local gaming scene, with frequent tournaments, streaming events and competitive leagues constantly on the horizon.
“It’s been amazing. New people come in every day and we have returning customers,” McGillivray said. The new community of gamers is constantly active and welcoming.
“There’s never any … ‘bar stuff,’ there’s never someone getting overly drunk and thrown out.”
Dillon Paul is a third-year sociology and native studies major at St. Thomas University.
When asked about what made Dead Dino appeal to him, he said, “I just like the atmosphere itself, and having access to high-end PCs. A lot of people can’t afford it, so it’s nice to have them here [instead] of you going out and spending $2000.”
Paul is so dedicated to gaming that he spent most of his time at the lounge one night finishing up a midterm between games, but a visit there for him doesn’t usually consist of school work.
“I’m done [school] by 3 p.m. so then I come here for a few hours … I’m here pretty much every day.”
As a devoted gamer, Paul sees the value that a place like this can have in the Fredericton gaming community.
“We definitely really needed it, after [the Fredericton Gaming Expo] stopped happening. It was just once a year, it wasn’t a gaming lounge like this.”
Needless to say, Paul said his experience has been positive so far.
“The staff’s awesome. I met them when I first got here [and] now [we’re] all good friends.”