Where the Wired Things Are - Glitch Gaming Lounge0
Everybody loves a good juxtaposition. From frozen hot chocolate to Labradoodles and adult coloring books, there isn't much better than a fish out of water. Here's one for you: Kaitlin Joan Feddema in a gaming lounge.
In my early adulthood years, I became the only member of my family to finish an entire level of Call of Duty with zero kills. I also successfully scored two goals on my own team in FIFA, held on ongoing record for the fastest loss in Smash Bros., and evicted my poor Sims family after a simple grease fire burned down the rest of the house. It's safe to say that this girl is not much of a gamer. Which made my trip to Glitch Gaming Lounge that much more interesting.
Founded by Waleed Gudah in 2017, Glitch Gaming Lounge is a located on South Westnedge in Portage. From first time gamers to seasoned professionals, the hub is a prime location for friends to gather and play on a multitude of consoles, from old school Nintendo to virtual reality and everything in between. The lounge also hosts lock-ins and tournaments where gamers can face off uninterrupted by the pace of everyday life.
But for Gudah, the small business is simply an outlet of his passion: video games. His inspiration for Glitch was developed at an early age.
"I grew up playing games," Gudah said. "My grandparents lived in Jordan, and my dad used to take me to visit them every year. We would play at the local gaming lounges all the time."
Back in the states, the Gudah visited Ignite, a gaming lounge in Chicago for further inspiration. It wasn't long before he was scoping out properties in Kalamazoo. When the right one came along, the facility was renovated and opened to the public. Gudah described the process.
"I didn't want to be in an office every day. I wanted to branch out; see if I could open a business. We found the perfect location, and it just kind of happened. My girlfriend came up with the brand identity - she gets all the credit there. I love getting to do what I love every day."
The gamers lounge is also collaborating with other partners in the community. The staff is in the planning stages with Portage District Library to lead "Ready Player One," a seminar for kids focused on Virtual Reality (VR) and the future of technology. There is also a collaboration brewing between Glitch and Kalamazoo Central High School. The school hopes to be one of the first in Kalamazoo to house an E-sports team, and Glitch is on the forefront of the effort.
The long-term goals for Glitch Gaming Lounge? National takeover.
"I'd love to get to the point where we could form a league and compete with other leagues around the country,” Gudah said. “We’re starting small but I see big things happening in the future.”
For now, Glitch is focusing on helping develop the gaming scene within Kalamazoo. Passionate about the community, Gudah seeks to grow the fan base, host more lock-ins and tournaments, and continue to offer a safe, fun environment for gamers of all kinds.
This is Kaitlin, logging off from Kalamazoo.
Quick Connect with Waleed Judah
- Favorite Season? Summer - I hate the cold
- Favorite Food? Oatmeal as a kid; now I would say Pad Thai
- Books or Movies? Movies - favorite movie is Short Circuit
- Ideal Vacation? Somewhere very-very warm, like the desert. I went to Spain once and wanted to stay there. But I like Michigan summers.
- Favorite Stress-Relief Activity? Video games; specifically Lego Rock Raiders.
- Favorite Things about Kalamazoo? Ball drop on New Years, Crow's Nest - the burgers are so good! "Kalamazoo is a really nice grassroots community, people really seem to care about each other!"