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LAS CRUCES – The newly opened Galaxy Gaming Lounge is a place for gamers — a hangout spot that will highlight gaming tournaments and release-day celebrations.

The brightly lit lounge, friendly to all ages, features literally thousands of games on more than 20 systems. Lounge guests can play on one of several consoles, including Nintendo DS, Atari, Super Nintendo, Xbox original, Sega Genesis, N64, Game Cube, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii (with movement space), Playstations 1-4, two arcade-style consoles, a full rock band setup, and an isolated 3D gaming room. The lounge is also equipped with wifi and a coupling hub for cross-console multiplayer gaming.

Manager Mario Saucedo emphasized the Galaxy Gaming Lounge can be much more than a haven for gamers.

“I want to have this be ground zero for E-sports in the local community,” Saucedo said. “We could have school learning, like architecture through Minecraft, psychology through Sims. All kinds of things people don’t always think of with video games.”

Tournament events and late night releases of new games are going to be an essential part of Galaxy Gaming’s offerings.

Currently planned are day long “NFL Madden” tournaments, and a “Super Smash Brothers” tournament for high school students. “Smash Brothers” tournaments are typically played one-on-one with single players advancing through a bracket, but Galaxy plans to spice up the format with “squad strike” in which teams of five players rotate within a single round. In January a trophy will go to the high school team that wins the season.

“This gives prestige to the high schools and the students that represent them, showing that E-sports are real sports, not just child’s play,” Saucedo said. “In high school I wish I could have shown my mom, with something like a trophy, that E-sports can be a career. This tournament is about giving kids who want to pursue a career in E-sports an opportunity to do that.”

Monthly salaries for pro gamers can range from $1,000 to $5,000, with some high-paying leagues providing salaries up to $15,000.

In addition to tournaments, late-night release parties for new games have been planned, such as much anticipated “Pokemon Sword and Shield” in November.

Game Knights

Many of the gamers at Galaxy became friends at events hosted by the Las Cruces Game Knights, a social club for gamers.

On a recent Friday night meeting of the Game Knights at Galaxy Gaming Lounge, game enthusiasts took a break from the consoles to discuss their favorite games. 

Kat Wince, who will likely be a prestigious gym leader for Galaxy’s Pokemon tournaments said her favorite game is “Guitar Hero.”

“Mostly because I like rhythm games,” she said.

Wince’s friend, Johnathen Sanchez added, “I love Guitar Hero. I also liked that one we tried out here. What was it called? Goat Simulator!”

David Tennessee who drove from El Paso to visit said, “I haven’t had a chance to play everything yet, but Galaxy Gaming gives me something to do when I come here.”

Buy Photo

The recently opened video game console-based entertainment lounge, Galaxy Gaming Lounge, is pictured in Las Cuces on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. (Photo: Nathan J Fish/Sun-News)

Hours and location

Galaxy Gaming Lounge, at 140 Wyatt Drive, opens at 1 p.m. daily and closes at midnight weekdays and 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

“We were originally looking into opening at the mall, but we knew a lot of the gamers interested in playing here wanted to play much later,” Sauceda said.

Cost to play at Galaxy gaming is $5 an hour. A monthly pass costs $50 a month.

“A lot of people will pay $60 a for a new game when it comes out. If you buy the month pass you can play all the new games all month,” Sauceda said.

The entire Galaxy Gaming Lounge can be rented out for events such as birthday parties.

“Back in the day gaming trucks would come to kid’s houses with a bunch of games,” Sauceda said. “They would charge like $300-$400 for like 5-6 hours. Now we have a place you can come to instead of having to get your house ready. It’s $200 for the entire day right now. Later if it becomes popular it will become $200 for four hours, so that we can do two reservations in a day.”

Spencer Taylor is a freelance writer and can be reached at sirspence7@yahoo.com.

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