January 21, 2020

By BEN STODDARD

Independent movie and game stores are becoming scarce as chain stores and downloading services take over the market. Yet there is still no experience like walking into a store and holding rare titles and beloved classics.
Games Exchange has been in the used game market for over 20 years. Based in downtown Kitchener near the bus terminal, they buy and sell games for pretty much every game system ever released. From modern systems such as the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii to classic consoles such as the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, you can always find games from every well-known game system since the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES.) Every now and then, they have a bunch of Atari games available as well.
“We take used games for pretty much everything,” Stephen Ciokan, a manager at the store, said.
You can often find well-known games such as Ninja Gaiden Black or Killzone 2, but it’s the rare titles that fly off the shelf.
“Recently we had Earthbound, it’s not extremely rare, but it’s a highly sought after game for the Super Nintendo. It’s worth $100; we sold it in days.”
Occasionally they will receive rare game consoles as well.
“About a year ago we had a Panasonic 3DO.” The 3DO was Panasonic’s attempt at entering the video game market. It was cancelled one year after it released, with only two million units sold.
When you walk into the store, you’re immediately surrounded by racks of used games. The store counter, straight ahead, has several TVs and working game consoles set up so you can test games before you buy them. The store wall on the right is covered with PlayStation 2 games (the PlayStation 2 is still the top-selling home console ever.) Most of the store’s classic games are to the left. The store is decorated with old game posters and magazine pages. Behind the counter there are shelves full of game and system boxes.
There is a display case to the left of the front counter that holds any rare games or systems in the store, including an R.O.B. accessory for the NES, which is usually holding a portable game system or a rare game in its hands (R.O.B. is a robot that is virtually useless.) It also usually houses the unboxed games for the NES, SNES and the Sega Genesis.
Beyond trading used games, Games Exchange will replace batteries for cartridge-based games (you need a working battery to save your game progress.) They’re also involved in the community, sometimes donating to charity or hiring high school students for co-op credits.
To learn more, or to see what used games are available, visit www.gamesexchange.ca. The store is at 91 Queen St. S. Kitchener (519-745-3832.)