Greetings folks, and welcome to what may very well be the final post of Mountaineer Life. We are going to look at Vintage Videos & Games, a Morgantown game store located right on High Street. Its storefront includes a lovely display case full of gaming artifacts.
Don't see this lineup very often
The display is certainly intriguing, a definite plus to having a store in this location.
Shall we see what's inside?
The first thing that hit me when I entered Vintage Videos & Games was the sheer abundance of inventory.
Vintage Video & Games doesn't skimp on the video, as evidenced by this small slice of its DVD/HDDVD/Blu Ray collection
The second thing that hit me was the variety of the store’s inventory. The store’s inventory spans a huge amount of gaming history, from Atari to current gen and everything in between. Particularly notable is the NES game library, which attracts many collectors to the business. Sega Genesis games are also abundant.
Sega Genesis cartridges waiting for a home, with NES cartridges flanking on the right
Vintages Videos & Games also does a lively trade in classic consoles, with many such specimens on display in the shop.
Check the Jaguar box up there. Don't see one of those every day
Some classic consoles waiting in the wings
They even have a…
So clearly the place lives up to its name. But how did it come to be? I spoke with the place’s founder/owner Kevin Riggleman, who gave me the bildungsroman of Vintage Videos & Games.
The store opened in 1996, but in a form different than its current one. Initially, the place served as a cross between a video game flea market and a bazaar for other enterprising folk. The place was populated by private owners with their own individual tables and stock. As time wore on, however, this approach faded into the annals of history, leaving the more traditionally structured Vintage Videos & Games as we know it today.
Kevin explained the store’s situation at the outset of our tale. “We might have had 100 games when we first started,” he said. “We had one 8×3 card table with all of our stock on it.” Looking around at the establishment’s overflowing shelves, this statement seemed far-fetched, but Kevin simply shrugged. “Every month it [our stock] got a little bigger.”
Kevin (in the red)and Drew (in the olive drab jacket) talk shop behind the sales counter
Drew Moyer, an employee at Vintage Videos & Games, discussed the biggest problem facing the store. “Piracy is really bad for us,” he stated. Both Kevin and Drew bemoaned the burgeoning problem of entertainment piracy. Given that about half of their business is in movies, the combination of Netflix and movie piracy is cutting into the store’s bottom line.
Drew mans the register
I asked Drew and Kevin about their level of involvement in the Morgantown gaming community. Kevin has been by Four Horsemen Comics and Gaming a few times, having played D&D since way back. Drew, a huge City of Heroes fan, doesn’t really see a need to venture down to Save Point in light of the fact that his own PC setup is top notch. Still, the two were aware of the businesses I’ve been covering. They were particularly generous in their praise of Sarah and Owen down at Save Point, and glad to hear (from me) that Save Point was going strong.
One last interesting aside: Ryan, one of the brothers who founded The Game Exchange, worked at Vintage Videos & Games for four years before he began his current job over there. Small world, eh?
So that about wraps ‘er up. If nobody else posts after me, let it be known that it has been a pleasure writing about gaming in Morgantown for the past month or two. I hope you folks have learned as much as I have about this truly wonderful hobby and the community which sustains it. From all of us here at Mountaineer Life, thanks for reading. And if you still want to hear what I have to say about gaming, head over to Mountaineergamer.com and check it out, or follow me on Twitter @Capnwinters
My gaming blog: MountaineerGamer.com
My Twitter (also featuring gaming, as well as other topical/humorous stuff): @Capnwinters
Vintage Videos & Games Facebook page