For most, it’s about nostalgia.
Gamers have come out in droves to a new video game shop in Penticton in search of that precise feeling of sentimental affection for the past.
Specializing in retro games, Game Cave Video Games and Amusements has become a haven for Penticton gamers since its Oct. 14 opening. The shop stocks old-school games and consoles dating all the way back to 1983’s original Nintendo Entertainment System to more recent consoles like the PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360. There are even a handful of collector’s edition consoles in the original packaging.
“It’s like candy land for gamers,” said frequent customer Andrew Stenhouse, who has visited the shop every day since it’s been open.
Game Cave’s owner, Trevor Sparreboom, a self-described “hardcore video game collector” of 25 years, has been blown away by the amount of business his shop has seen in its initial weeks.
Sparreboom opened the store with inventory from his personal collection as well as games and consoles purchased after scouring the internet.
“Now that I’ve got the store open the inventory kind of comes to me, people have brought in a lot of stuff,” said the former manager of Andre’s Electronics.
As Game Cave is the only shop in Penticton that deals exclusively in video games, Sparreboom expected to see a fair amount of customers. However, business so far has greatly surpassed his expectations.
“It’s been incredible,” Sparreboom said. “I had a feeling it would be busy and that there would be a lot of positive feedback from it… but when I finally opened it just took off, it was super, super busy.”
The original Nintendo console has been the most popular console by far, said Sparreboom. He sold out of the retro video game console — home to classic games like Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt — on the shop’s second day open. Currently, Sparreboom only has unopened collector’s editions of the console in stock.
“The older these things get the harder it is to track down good, working ones,” Sparreboom said.
Consoles like the original Playstation, Sega Genesis, and Nintendo 64 have also been hot-ticket items.
Sparreboom grew up in Edmonton playing Sega Genesis games like Sonic the Hedgehog and NHL 94. While he has an affinity for a handful of old-school games, he said it would be too difficult to pick one as his favourite.
“If I had to go back and pick just one, honestly I don’t think I could,” he said. “There’s just too many that are amazing and that really impacted me.”
These days, Sparreboom says he’s a little too busy to spend much time gaming. “I’m playing a game called life where I run a business for six days a week, 12 hours a day right now,” he said. When he does get a bit of downtime, the new business owner and father gravitates towards sports games like Madden NFL or FIFA.
Sparreboom said he’s always looking for trade-ins at Game Cave’s 464 Main Street location. He offers either trade-in credit or cash for retro games and consoles.
“I hope to be here for a long time,” he said. “I’m super stoked and I thank the community already for the massive support that I’ve seen in the first couple weeks here… it’s been awesome.”