As the quarter break comes to a close, I’ve been reflecting on the many things I’ve done this past week in this rejuvenating downtime. I’ve actually been exploring Chicago quite a bit. For now, I’m just going to focus on this one particularly interesting place my friend and I stumbled upon by complete accident: Ignite Gaming Lounge
This digital haven is located up in Avondale, which can be reached by taking the Red Line to Belmont then hopping onto the Blue Line the rest of the way. The outside doesn’t really stick out so it can be easy to miss, unfortunately, but that’s really my only criticism of the place.
Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “What is a gaming lounge?” I know I was. At first, I thought it was going to be something like an arcade bar, but it was fairly different. The way it works is you pay by the hour (1 hour for $7, 3 for $15, 5 for $20, or 8 for $25), and you have access to all of the video games they have. Another great option they offer is that if you go Sunday-Thursday from 9 p.m.-3a.m., you get unlimited playing for $15. Make sure you bring your friends, too, so you can all play with/against one another!
All the systems and games at Ignite are really up-to-date and new. You can choose whichever console you want to spend your time on, including PS4, Xbox One, PC, etc. For their whole gaming library, you can check out their website. I, personally, am not in-the-know with games that have been released within the past few years so I was overwhelmed by all the titles. I don’t play video games much anymore, thanks to school. This was a welcomed rediscovery of an old hobby.
my friend getting ready to wreck some scrubs
Ignite has a snack bar with sandwiches, milkshakes, and fried snacks to fuel your late night forays into the virtual battlefield. Also, if you’re feeling competitive and want to put your skills to the test, they occasionally host tournaments there with prizes like Steam gift cards, video game swag, and cold hard cash.
The place itself was very sleek and modern. It definitely appeals to young gamers with their decor and general atmosphere. Speaking of the atmosphere, the crowd was basically what you would expect: a bunch of nerds playing video games (myself included.) I don’t say this is in a derogatory way; I simply want to let you know that if you really like video games, you’ll be in good company.
I was pretty surprised I’d never heard of Ignite. I don’t have anything like it back home. Hopefully, this post will bring more attention to it because it’s definitely worth checking out, whether you’re a hardcore gamer, casual, or anywhere in between. Chicago is always surprising me with so many cool and unique places. I’m so glad I’m attending a school that shares that same space. If you do decide to give Ignite a visit, just making sure you go easy on all the n00bs like me 🎮.