Game over

Down­town gam­ing lo­ca­tion clos­ing at the end of the month

Journal Pioneer - - PRINCE COUNTY - BY AL­I­SON JENK­INS

A pop­u­lar gam­ing den in Summerside’s down­town is clos­ing at the end of the month.

Game ON! has been the place to play and stock up for games like Magic the Gath­er­ing, Dun­geons and Drag­ons and Poké­mon. The spot has been a home away from home for man­ager Colby Waite, but he’s de­cided to go back to school.

“It’s time to make a change,” he said.

Owner Josh Pyle-Carter has a se­cond, sim­i­lar, busi­ness in Hal­i­fax called the Deck Box and he and his wife Rachel have de­cided to fo­cus on the Hal­i­fax lo­ca­tion in­stead of re-staffing the Summerside store. “It was mak­ing a job for some­body and there was a com­mu­nity there. That was im­por­tant to us,” said Pyle-Carter.

He was happy to place his trust in Waite, but can’t see how he’ll re­place him and train some­one new from the main­land.

Most of the space in Game ON! is ded­i­cated to three long ta­bles sur­rounded by fold­ing chairs. It’s noth­ing fancy, the el­e­gance and ex­cite­ment are found in the games. Mats il­lus­trated with char­ac­ters from the games cover the ta­bles.

The walls are lined with shelves of Dun­geons and Drag­ons play books and al­bums of ev­ery Magic the Gath­er­ing card col­lec­tion ever is­sued.

Game ON! was orig­i­nally in the McNeill Mall when Waite be­gan gam­ing with them. A few friends in­vited him along one evening.

“I used to play Magic the Gath­er­ing

be­fore, so I had a few older cards. I came in one day and de­cided to sit down to play. Had a blast. Whether it was the friends, the card games or some mix of the two, the place felt amaz­ing.” He was work­ing in a call cen­tre and play­ing with friends helped him man­age the stress of the job.

Af­ter a year of be­ing a cus­tomer, Waite had got­ten to know the own­ers well. Rachel was run­ning

the P.E.I. lo­ca­tion while Josh ran the main­land spot. The dis­tance got to be a strain, so they ap­proached Waite to run Game ON!

“I talked my­self into it, they talked to me about it as well and I started here.”

Rachel worked along­side him for a few months un­til he was com­fort­able and Waite has been man­ag­ing things ever since.

Most of the clien­tele come

to­gether to play Magic the Gath­er­ing, but, re­cently, Waite has no­ticed a resur­gence in the pop­u­lar­ity of Dun­geons and Drag­ons.

“It had a stigma to it,” he said, but a cou­ple years ago, the tide turned and lots of new play­ers have picked up a 20-sided dice. “You have peo­ple com­ing to­gether that you’d never see in the same so­cial cir­cles play­ing it en­joy­ing it, mak­ing new friends.” The

clos­ing of Game ON! won’t mean the end of the gam­ing com­mu­nity in Summerside, though.

“There’s al­ways go­ing to be a place,’ he said. There are a few folks talk­ing about get­ting to­gether for reg­u­lar meet-ups.

“While they may not be the same as us, I do hope that the peo­ple that go there def­i­nitely have the same en­joy­ment that they got here, that home away from home.”

AL­I­SON JENK­INS/ JOUR­NAL PI­O­NEER

Cody Waite sorts through the new col­lec­tion of Magic the Gath­er­ing cards that just ar­rived at Game ON! on Wa­ter Street, Summerside. The store is clos­ing at the end of De­cem­ber.

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