The Art of the Gaming Dojo
Denver is diverse in it’s geek population. Today we talk to Junae Bennett, Grand Master at the Gaming Dojo:
Rocky Mountain Geeks (RMG): What’s your involvement with The Gaming Dojo?
Junae Bennett (JB)I am the owner of The Gaming Dojo
RMG: Tell us briefly about The Gaming Dojo.
JB: The Gaming Dojo is a place for all gamers to come and collab in a non hostile environment.I want to bring all gamers together from Cards Against Humanity to Call of Duty.
RMG: You’re a relatively new gaming lounge, when did you open?
JB: We opened in July of 2015
RMG: How did you choose The Gaming Dojo as the name?
JB: The Gaming Dojo has a significant meaning because there is where you come to be schooled and get better. I also run an after school program that teaches kids problem solving, critical thinking and coding through video game. It is a true Dojo.
RMG: How would you describe The Gaming Dojo?
JB: The Gaming Dojo is a friendly competitive gaming environment where anyone can come and feel welcomed. We welcome everyone of all ages.
RMG: What inspired you to have a game lounge?
JB: The Gaming Dojo came about because I wanted to know more gamers and I also wanted to give kids a place to get the gaming experience. Not everyone can afford the next gen systems and I want everyone to be invited into the gaming culture despite their financial status.
RMG: How many people work at The Gaming Dojo?
JB: Tell us about them. It’s just Junae Benne and a few volunteers every now and then.
RMG: Why did you choose Aurora, CO to base the lounge?
JB: I live in Aurora and I care about the community here therefore, I wanted to uplift it with a gaming lounge.
RMG: What makes The Gaming Dojo different than other area gaming locations?
JB: The Gaming Dojo is different from other gaming locations because it’s based on the community and it’s needs. We have our after school program for youth to not only entertain them but educate them. We also have free movie nights with free popcorn every month. We love to see people have a good time.
RMG: What is your favorite game at the moment?
JB: My favorite game at the moment will have to be Mortal Kombat. I get super hype about it every time I pop it in.
RMG: What are some of your goals for The Gaming Dojo?
JB: We would love to see more people and more community involvement. We would also love more opportunities to support the gamers and people of Aurora and then branch out to other cities.
RMG: You’ve stated that one of your goals is be a place, “where gamers of all ages can come and interact in a non hostile environment.” How are you ensuring that?
JB: During the day time we invite gamers from about 8years old to come through however, after around 10pm it’s a 21 and up crowd. The average gamer is 35 so I want to include but I also don’t want to forget about the next generation of gamers.
RMG: What type of gamers do you hope frequent The Gaming Dojo?
JB: We want gamers whether you want to play Magic the Gathering or a competitive Smash player – come one come all.
RMG: What type of events or programs do you have at the lounge?
JB: Our primary program at this point is our Game On After School! program. We will continue to do movie nights. The Game On After School! program begins in January at various locations. One location is the Aurora Opportunity Center on Dayton and Colfax. The students learn problem solving critical thinking and beginner’s coding through video games. The age range is 8-19. Right now it’s $30 per month for reach student who wants to attend. This program is year round.
RMG: Anything specific you’d like to mention about the lounge, upcoming events, or anything else?
JB: We will have a Christmas movies playing every week in December. We’ll have that calendar up on the website very soon!
RMG: How can other Rocky Mountain Geeks find you?
9801 E Colfax Ave