Troy Deggs of St. Rose has big dreams and a drive to make them a reality.
He has traveled to different regions of the country in an effort to learn how to bring his passion to life and steer it into a career, as he hopes to one day soon open his own gaming café in the region and, ultimately, one in his home community.
“It’s something I really started thinking seriously about in college, where I’d visit these places and thought it was something that would be pretty awesome to have back where I live,” Deggs said. “Right now I’m trying to narrow down a site and earn enough money to put in consoles, games, video cards and everything. We’re a small community and we don’t have much here. I want to bring people in to have fun and play in a safe environment.”
Deggs had his first ambitions upon such a project during his time at Destrehan High School, a graduate of the Wildcats’ senior class of 2016. There, he was a member of the school’s highly successful robotics team, and during his time there the program became the first team in the state to twice qualify and compete in the Robotics World Championship – the team ultimately did so for three consecutive years.
It was there he started harnessing his will to make his aspirations to reality, and along with it his ambition and creative energy.
“You jump into robotics and you’re a family,” Deggs said. “You’re on the fabrication team, or the programming team, and you’re constantly brainstorming anything we can do to bring our thoughts to life.”
Like most gamers, Deggs grew up playing his favorite games at home. From there, he started exploring larger competitive environments, playing e-sports and entering tournaments.
“You take part in it and you have fun. Now I’m at the point where I want to put something of my own together,” Deggs said.
He’s made a point to learn the business when visiting different areas, like Texas and South Carolina, where gaming café’s are more common.
“Basically how they set up and use timing systems (for each person’s allotment on a game), and how they create a comfortable environment, a welcoming one,” Deggs said. “You’d like people to want to stick around, naturally.”
Deggs hopes to get the ball moving by the middle of the year, and he’s working to raise the money needed to launch the project. As with any startup enterprise, that’s the challenge. He wants to earn and raise enough money on his own efforts before potentially pursuing a loan. Ultimately, the hope is to establish something in a high traffic area before branching that off to a site in his home community of St. Rose.
A couple tournaments a week, geared toward specific competitive game types, would be one aspect of building a base of repeat visitors, he believes. That would tend to attract more hardcore gamers.
Ultimately, though, it would be about fostering camaraderie.
“With gamers, they all talk about (gaming cafes) as a third home. It’s like a bar, where people go after work and relax,” he said. “It’s similar to the old arcades of the past.”