MOUNT LAUREL – Have you heard about the new game in town?
AFC Gaming Center opened in June of 2017 and offers all types of video gaming experiences, including virtual reality.
Curtis Green, who teaches television production at Sayreville High School in Middlesex County, is the owner and operator along with his wife Tia.
The couple live in Mount Laurel with their three children ages 16, 14 and 10.
“I’m a high school teacher,” Green said. “I don’t know how long I’m going to do that. I’ve always wanted my own business, and I was looking for like a franchise.”
He looked into a possible franchise opportunity with a popular mobile gaming truck, but it was too costly.
“I loved the business model so I said, ‘what if it is stationary, like brick-and-mortar where you come?’” he said.
Having a dedicated and larger space offers AFC more opportunity as well.
“We have more screens,” Green said. “We can fit more people. We have a bathroom. We have a place for parents. Right here we line up the tables, and the kids come, they play, they have their ice cream and their pizza and go right back to gaming.”
Green said AFC provides a unique experience of “socialization and entertainment through interactive gaming” and hosts birthday parties, tournaments and interactive open-play gaming.
“AFC’s goal is to provide the community with a safe, fun and entertaining atmosphere for the entire family,” Green said.
AFC Gaming Center in Mount Laurel hosts gaming tournaments, birthday parties, open play and more.
Celeste E. Whittaker/Staff Photographer
The facility, located at 129 Gaither Drive Suite O in the East Gate Business Center, has a main gaming area, which includes six 50-inch HDTVs, one 65-inch HDTV, three Xbox one’s and three PS4 game systems, a PSC virtual reality set up and one Wii U system.
There are gaming couches and “The Parents Zone” area, a space for parents to hang out while their kids play.
AFC Gaming has open play on Thursday and Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. at $7 per hour. They offer a menu of hot dogs, chips, cookies and soda.
The center specializes in open play and birthday parties, offering three packages for parties, including a Diamond & Pearls option just for girls.
Standing in the main area of his colorful business, Green said most of the parties are for children between the ages of 7 and 16 and range from $389 to $558.
Green and his wife of 23 years own and run the business. The North Jersey natives moved to Mount Laurel 12 years ago and made it home.
Tia Green is the party planner and organizer, he said.
“It’s typical for a first-year business,” said Green, also a former college professor at Rowan College at Burlington County. “It’s a lot of word of mouth and Facebook. That’s where most of our advertising comes from. We have a lot of referrals, recommendations. You’ll have your party here, then a child will say, ‘I love this place’ and they’ll come back and have their party here. Right now that’s where we get most of our business from.
“The concept here, gamers game by themselves. But gaming can be community so we want people to come in and not play against somebody they don’t see but play next to somebody that they can feel and touch and talk to.
“I would love to see this place full of teenagers on a Friday night, safe environment, playing video games.”
Celeste E. Whittaker: @cp_CWhittaker; 856-486-2437; firstname.lastname@example.org
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