It's been a long time coming, but after looking for a spot to open their gaming/hobby store for over two years, Joseph Allen and Greg Pothier have a spot in the heart of downtown Halifax.
Games People Play, located in the former Random Play store on Barrington Street opened its doors in mid-January. Allen, one of the co-owners said a store like this wouldn't be possible without an established, passionate gaming community.
"We're already making connections with the gaming societies at the universities and even Hal-Con," he said, noting many group events are already in the works. "This community is no longer staying in the shadows, or in the back of a store. It's becoming more popular, with the increasing acceptance of superhero movies and shows like ‘Big Bang Theory,' and it shows that there's more to geeks and nerds."
Inside the store are various board games including Settlers of Catan and Dominion along with trading card games, action figures and other ‘geeky' materials. But the two owners are hoping to expand their offering to include comic books and video games.
"We probably spent the better part of a year searching for a perfect location from Quinpool Street, to up by Maxwell's Plum, even to the waterfront," Allen said. "This location, after doing quite a bit of research, met all of our needs for space and our demographics. There are about a dozen different bus routes that go by every day, many of those full of passengers."
Allen said that they ultimately chose to open in Halifax because of the number of universities nearby, one of their biggest demographics. Both Dalhousie and Saint Mary's have gaming societies, which already expressed interest in holding events at the store.
Greg Pothier, the other co-owner of the store said the goal is to provide a comfortable, social space where people can try before they buy.
"We get stares when we say that we encourage people to come in and bring their own games from home and play so that we can foster a community feeling for gaming," Pothier said. "And people look at me and say ‘well how are you going to make money?' but the community aspect is a really important driving force into why we do this."
He noted that people who come in to play a game such as ‘Magic: The Gathering,' so far the store's best seller, may also chose to buy a pack of the cards while they play with friends.
"Here at the store, we are part of the gaming community," Pothier said. "And I consider it to be a family, to be honest."