Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

GameOn! - The Ultimate Gaming Environment Story


Deidre and Daniel Thompson provide fun for kids of all ages!

by Laura Seawell

The absolute most incredible gaming environment around!

The absolute most incredible gaming environment around!

Deidre Thompson is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and with her husband, Daniel, is now the proud owner of GameOn Gaming Center. Having successfully owned and operated the GamerBus since January of 2014, they host over 400 video game birthday parties and events a year. With more video games going to an online format and the need for high-speed internet connection, they decided to add a brick and mortar storefront to their existing mobile business. The vision for the ultimate gaming environment has led them to create the GameOn Gaming Center that is now located in the Kemps River Shopping Center in Virginia Beach.

On a particularly sunny day, it takes a minute for one’s eyes to adjust upon entering the incredible game room. But once the adjustment is made, devoted gamers gasp: they have entered the ultimate gaming environment! The darkness broken by dayglow blues and greens emanating from behind the screens. Sleek, rows of black command chairs are lined up like 16 spaceships ready for lift off, inviting gamers to begin. Five, four, three, two, one—blast off! GameOn!

“Bringing kids out of their rooms
and into our center
makes video games social
and way more fun.”

—Deidre Thompson

“The super-fast fiber connection and the atmosphere provide a place where people come to play, connect, compete and form amazing friendships,” Deidre says. “Bringing kids out of their rooms and into the center makes video games social and more fun than just playing at home.” In addition to their spectacular birthday parties, a special highlight of the GameOn Gaming Center is their unique offering of the weekly Fortnite Tournaments every Friday from 6-9 pm. This is just one of many really cool events they hope to host here.

Deidre had worked for Verizon for over 14 years before she left the corporate world to become an entrepreneur. For the past 11 years, she has owned and operated Megabyte Tykes, employing teams of teachers to set up mobile computer labs in different children’s learning centers and teach computer skills to preschoolers.

In 2013, Deidre needed better health insurance so she began driving a school bus for Chesapeake Public Schools. With limited time between her morning and afternoon shifts, she needed a more efficient way to run her computer classes. She purchased her first bus. which she christened the Puterbus—as in computer bus. While shopping for insurance to cover the PuterBus, Deidre came across the original GamerBus. She contacted the original GamerBus owner who revealed he was selling the business. Knowing her husband Danny had a love for gaming—always the creative entrepreneur— Deidre knew that this could be a family business in which they and their three children could work together.

“Buying the GamerBus was the hardest thing we had ever done, harder than buying a house,” Deidre recalls. “It took over five months but finally it was ours!” But two years later, in 2016, the engine blew and we had to give over $5,000 in business to our local competitor. It was a tough time, but after a lot of crying and praying, God just said to me ‘Be still. I will take care of you.’”

“About three months later, the local competitor called and she asked if I wanted to buy her bus,” Deidre recalls. The bank gave her only enough to buy the vehicle, so for two years, she had to drive around with somebody else’s name on its side. Then, last Halloween, the Thompsons retired that original bus and bought a trailer. Finally, it has the name on both units. “Then along came Fortnite and blew up our world!” Deidre says excitedly. “The buses currently do not have the ability to play Fortnite, so—voila! GameOn was born! It opened on October 6 of this year!”

The center has two large gaming rooms, both with 16 gaming stations each, which include X Rocker Gaming Chairs, 43” flat screens, and 16 Xbox One systems. One room has a 75” TV with a WiiU, and the other includes a 75” TV connected to a Nintendo Switch, for a total of 34 gaming stations in one building! It is truly a site that must seen to be appreciated.

The center has Fortnite, PUBG, Roblox, Madden19. NBA2k19, Street Fighter, Overwatch and all of the games in the Xbox game pass—over 100 games! The systems in the center are Xbox One, WiiU and Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo Games currently are—Just Dance 18, Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros, Splatoon and more. The Thompsons are planning to soon add PS4’s.

The center is geared for people of gaming age, but there are other options for kids not quite old enough to play console games. Anyone calling to book a party, ask about the BEAM interactive floor add on!


Puterbug Computer
and Stem Classes for Kids Ages 3-6
Science Experiments • Math Skills
Computer & Keyboarding Classes
Also, includes
BEAM interactive floor play!

Birthday Party Packages
Hands down, the easiest birthday party
you will ever have, just bring your cake!

          • Party lasts 2 hours
          • Up to 16 gamers (includes birthday gamer)
          • Over 100 games available
          • Game tech to assist with games
          • Party hostess to assist with all setup & cleanup
          • Free cinch sack for the birthday gamer
          • Pizza add-ons available
          • Party add-ons

Also available, a BEAM interactive gaming floor – great fun for all ages, especially for younger kids who are attending your party that are not quite ready for console gaming.

Open Play available by the hour
   from 12:00 pm until 9:00 pm daily
   (except during tournaments or parties)
call ahead to be sure of open space.

Monthly memberships available
allow for UNLIMITED walk in
Free-Play gaming  anytime we are
not hosting a party or tournament
ESPORTS Tournaments

Call us to host your tournament
in our venue

Snacks and
non-alcoholic beverages available

GameON Gaming Center

5386 Kemps River Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23464