November 4, 2023
Detroit native Tyrell Slappey is the latest entrepreneur to turn their love for video games into profit. His mobile business, Round One Gaming Lab, is an arcade experience he uses to show the city’s children alternative avenues to success, CBS Detroit reports.
Slappey, alongside his mother and business partner, launched Round One in 2021 and it has quickly become a main attraction for children’s events in Metro Detroit.
“When we pull up, the kids are outside cheering, cheering as we’re pulling up,” Slappey said.
And their intrigue in the trailer— which boasts five plasma screens hooked up with the latest editions of both PlayStation and Xbox as well as a variety of the system’s popular games—doesn’t end at simply having a good time. Slappey finds that the kids see a potentially fun and lucrative business opportunity for themselves.
“This business isn’t just gaming or entrepreneurial role. It’s really hope for those kids in the city,” he said.
That hope is something the young entrepreneur recognizes as a part of his mission to further expand his business. After all, he had few role models to look up to when he was an adolescent.
“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.”
Growing up on the East Side of Detroit, Slappey turned to video games as an escape but never could have imagined how profitable it would turn out to be, CBS Detroit reports.
“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,” he said. “You couldn’t have told me in a million years that gaming would be where it is today.”
For Slappey, the mobile aspect of an arcade on wheels allows him to touch as many young lives as possible, and he plans to do just that.
“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.