Luke and Yvonne Rosenbohm have taken the gaming experience mobile with Game On Illinois.
Mobile businesses are booming across the country, extending far beyond the proverbial food truck. The Peoria area has seen a number of these concepts come to life, from mobile fashion boutiques to the Schoolhouse Express—the new, traveling incarnation of a decades-old brick-and-mortar school supply shop. It was only a matter of time before the gaming experience, too, went mobile.
That’s just what Luke and Yvonne Rosenbohm of East Peoria have done with Game On Illinois. The business is much larger than a truck—it’s housed in a semi-trailer, custom-built locally and equipped with a line of Sony PlayStation and Xbox consoles and controllers. It’s climate-controlled, wheelchair-accessible, Wi-Fi-capable, and available for just about any event, from birthday parties and fundraisers to festivals and even the March Madness Experience, where they launched with great success in 2017.
Game On is a team effort: Luke manages the events and serves as the face of the business (when he’s not fulfilling his duties with the Illinois Air National Guard), while Yvonne handles booking, social media and other behind-the-scenes tasks. Neither are hardcore gamers; entrepreneurship was the mutual draw. “I started my first business when I was eight,” Yvonne notes. “We've always been business-minded, and we very much enjoy working together.”
While most Game On bookings are in the Peoria area, they’ve traveled nearly to Chicagoland and as far south as Springfield. It seems they’ve hit on a winning formula—this past June was their busiest month yet. “We had a week where we were booked every single day,” Yvonne notes excitedly.
The couple keeps up on all the latest games and is constantly upgrading their technology capabilities. Having fit the trailer with Wi-Fi—enabling them to offer the wildly popular online game Fortnite—they recently added virtual reality to their repertoire. VR opens up a world of new possibilities, from training to team building to education, as well as a more physical element.
“You work up a sweat in some of the games!” Yvonne explains. “Our kids play it, and their hand-eye coordination is amazing. It’s even helping my five-year-old learn to read! Job Simulator is one of the games, and you have to read some of the instructions.”
The willingness to explore new ideas has been key to the couple’s success, both in and out of the game trailer. Game On isn’t even their only business—in conjunction with Peoria’s LHF Compost, they haul away food scraps and other organic material, keeping waste out of the landfill and turning it into compost. It’s clear they not only have a passion for what they do, but a passion for bettering their community. “We want to make a difference,” Yvonne explains. “We want to invest in where we are.” a&s
For more information or to book your mobile gaming experience, visit gameonillinois.com.