By Ty Van Horn
Elm Staff Writer
Downtown Chestertown welcomed a new member to its family this December. The Game Shoppe, located at 327 High St., is seeing an increase of Washington College student patronage this semester.
The Game Shoppe’s owner, WC alum Colin Stone 2004, was born and raised in Chestertown and noticed the lack of consistent entertainment for the modern gamer demographic. After nearly nine months of preparation, he established the perfect home base for those who do not want to drive all the way to Easton to pick up a preordered game.
“I have always wanted to cater to the younger demographic since I used to be a kid in Chestertown with not much to do,” Stone said. “I want to be a reason to leave the college bubble.”
Stone has introduced a progressive “try it before you buy it” philosophy to his enterprise, allowing a customer to play any game available in the store for roughly $5 – 8 an hour depending on the day. The store also offers an inviting social environment; there is a cozy lounge-like area filled with couches and high definition TVs hooked up to the latest video game consoles.
The comfortable atmosphere sets the stage for positive and friendly interaction exhibited by the staff.
“I’ve been to plenty of game stores where I’ve gotten excellent service, but this is the first one where even the customers have been welcoming and friendly,” said freshman Ceaira Jessamy.
Versatile video games are not the sole medium the shop supplies. The shelves host rows of movies, Anime, and television shows on DVD.
Stone also hosts tournaments, and not just of the video game variety: “Magic the Gathering,” a popular role playing card game, and “Warhammer,” a tabletop board game where opponents command armies and pit them against each other, are examples of alternative opportunities for participation and exploration.
Magic the Gathering is played socially every Wednesday, and Stone invites anyone from the WC Interactive Gaming Society to join them and host whatever events they’d like at his store.
“I just want to foster a relationship between the college and town and to accomodate the College’s needs,” Stone said.
“The Game Shoppe is far better than any Gamestop I have been to,” said freshman Nick O’ Meally. “I was able to talk to the owner about gaming like he was a friend. He even taught me how to play ‘Magic the Gathering’ for free.”
Stone’s plans for the future are quite ambitious. He wants to set up a VIP area reserved for those who purchase a membership with a 3-D television, a projector screen movie theater with surround sound, and many other peripherals for those who wish to have a good time with friends.
Store hours are 2 p.m. – 10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon – 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.