This public-private partnership was a collaboration between the City of Cleveland’s ‘technology czar’ and Cleveland State University, the Cleveland Institute of Art and Case Western Reserve University to reverse Brain Drain. Each school has digital art/ animation programs and each year, all 40+ graduates migrate to the west coast for jobs in the gaming and animation industries.
The Gaming Commune was conceived as a commercial incubator with a gaming lounge to subsidize a low rent/ free rent area where gaming designers would work and collaborate with one another to create businesses that remained in northeast Ohio.
A narrow storefront at Public Square next to East 4th Street was selected as a desirable and accessible location.
Patrons will swipe a credit card or buy time from their cell phones to play the latest video games and beta test new games not yet released. Full food and beverage is contemplated. The gaming area features large flat screen wall LED’s with lounge furniture for players with high-top café seating behind for observers. The incubator is housed at the rear of the space and includes a loft balcony as an observation room.