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Owner of Black-owned mobile gaming trailer in Detroit wants to inspire kids to chase their dreams

Tooba Shakir 7 months ago 0 1

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(CBS DETROIT) – The gaming industry continues to be a booming business around the world. According to Statista, revenues reached nearly $300 billion this year, and that’s expected to grow.

Nowadays, gamers are not only playing for fun but also using video games as a career opportunity. 

One Detroit man is doing just that through his mobile gaming business as he hopes his journey to become a business owner inspires kids to believe in themselves and their dreams.

Tyrell Slappey is living what he considers the American Dream and turning his lifelong love for video games into a successful business.

“I just been gaming left and right. I never stopped. I’ve called off work for games. I’ve taken leave. I have canceled plans. I love gaming, man,” Slappey said.

Slappey is the co-owner of Round One Gaming Lab, a venture he started with his mother and business partner.

It’s a mobile gaming trailer that resembles an arcade on wheels.

Slappey started the venture a few years ago, and it’s become an attraction at birthday parties and other events in Metro Detroit.

The trailer has five plasma screens, the latest editions of the PlayStation and Xbox, and almost every game you can imagine.

Round One Gaming Lab is a gamer’s paradise and a kid’s virtual playground

“When we pull up, the kids are outside cheering, cheering as we’re pulling up,” Slappey said.

Those reactions from kids are a reminder for Slappey of what led him to this point.

His love for gaming started during childhood, but he never thought his passion would evolve into a billion-dollar industry.

“You couldn’t have told me in a million years that gaming would be where it is today,” he said.

The kids are also a reminder of how far he’s come.

Slappey grew up in a tough neighborhood on Detroit’s east side. He says it’s a blessing to be a business owner despite having few male role models in his life.

“Single mom. Pretty much raised by mostly women around me,” Slappey said. “Any of the influences that I had that were male weren’t always positive. They were in and out of jail.”

Slappey says when kids see the trailer, they don’t just cheer; they get curious.

They ask Slappey questions about how he became a business owner. It didn’t take long for him to realize that the games weren’t only making kids happy but also giving them hope while at the same time giving Slappey purpose.

“This business isn’t just gaming or entrepreneurial role. It’s really hope for those kids in the city,” he said.

Slappey says it’s rewarding to see the impact he can have on people through gaming, and he says he wants to expand to touch as many kids as possible.

“We don’t just want this thing at barbecues, backyard parties and birthdays. We want to be at events that are also the heartbeat of Detroit. The auto show, and the Thanksgiving parade. We want to be down at LCA (Little Caesars Arena), we want to be at the Lions’ tailgates, and we’ve been getting a lot of business at some of those things that we name,” he said.

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