Get Your Game On owner Alex Horvath liked his old space on Packard a few doors down from the Blue Front party store just fine, but he got tired of people walking in every day who’d never known they were there. “Four years in, and we were still getting that,” he says. So in early March Horvath moved his four-year-old board, card, and video game store into the former Great Wraps restaurant space next to Amer’s Deli on South State. He’d hoped the near-campus location would bring more visibility and walk-in traffic, and he wasn’t disappointed: “The first two days were just bonkers,” Horvath says. “Lots of new faces, lots of people who didn’t know we’d been around since 2007.”
One of the most popular parts of the business are the gaming tables where anyone can come in, sit down, and embark on an epic fantasy adventure via the board or card game of their choice. In the new space, all the merchandise is on the main floor, and downstairs is where all the action is. “Our entire basement is dedicated to gaming tables,” Horvath says. “We do a lot of card game tournaments. Magic the Gathering [a collectible fantasy card game known to devotees as MTG] is the most popular, but we also do board games. Warhammer [a fantasy board game devoted to battling the forces of darkness with scale-model figures] continues to be popular.” You can play games with your friends for free, but most afternoons Get Your Game On hosts some kind of tournament, usually with a small buy-in fee of $5. It goes into a pool to pay for prizes, which are given out in the form of product and store credit. “There’s a lot of crossover” between players and customers, Horvath says. “They may come to play in a Magic tournament, but before they leave they’ll buy a video game.”
Fostering a sense of community among gamers has always been one of his main goals. “Of all the things I maybe got wrong early on, that was the one we definitely got right,” Horvath says. “People would come in the store who didn’t know each other, or they were from out of town and didn’t know Ann Arbor. We’ve seen lots of connections made, a lot of friendships. We got lucky. We really nailed that one. Community is the reason we’re still open.”
Get Your Game On, 310 S. State. 786-3746, Mon.-Thurs. noon-9 p.m., Fri. & Sat. noon-10 p.m., Sun. noon-6 p.m.