After building a social life around gaming, Bryton Kaufman is providing a venue for local gamers to do the same.
On Sept. 1, the 20-year-old opened Adventure Games Inc. on Second Avenue in Williams Lake, with a backroom dedicated to gaming that has been busy ever since.
“I am very into pop culture, even My Little Pony and Star Wars,” he smiled as he stopped to help two young customers in the store Friday afternoon.
“I know what I like and just hope other people do too.”
Kaufman grew up in Williams Lake and “really started” gaming when he was 16, he said.
When he entered a gaming store in Williams Lake and discovered the competitive trading card game Magic he was hooked.
He’s also obsessed with video games.
“I think they are one of the best forms of storytelling. They are a step up from movies and on par with books,” he said.
His favourite are story-based games, such as Alan Wake, a game involving a writer whose book comes to life.
The player has to solve a mystery and Kaufman likened it to being in a Stephen King story.
Kaufman also likes reading, especially fantasy novels.
His latest book love is The Way Of Kings, although he said it’s sad because it’s a 10-book series and the author is publishing just two a year.
“I’ll be old before I’m finished,” he suggested.
During the month of December the store is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Friday evenings there are consistent Magic events, where people pay an entry fee and have a chance to win prizes.
Sunday evenings are dedicated to board games.
“People can bring one from home or choose one when they arrive,” he said.
Saturdays are dedicated to special events and two weeks ago the store hosted a Halo video game tournament.
There were 35 people with 10 machines participating.
On Dec. 12 they will host a Nintendo 64 Smash Bros. event and every Thursday at 3:45 p.m. the store has a Pokemon run.
When it comes to gaming in Williams Lake, Kaufman said it’s not as big here as in other places.
“With all the cowboys here maybe people are shy about their inner nerds,” he said. “I hope to get people out of their basements.”
Kaufman also spends the forestry season working for a silviculture company he owns with his dad.
“I drive a skidder, we work all over and, mostly in the 100 Mile House area.”
So to help him with the store, he hired friends Arlis Tippie and Sean Thomas.
On Friday Tippie was manning the till wearing large white bunny slippers. As he looked over toward Thomas who was in the gaming room, Kaufman said, “he’s a Dungeons and Dragons guy.”
“They were in charge until I finished up in the woods in November,” Kaufman said.
Now that he is full-time at the store, his free time is pretty limited.
“When I do have time I’m researching for the store, sleeping or spending time with my girlfriend.”
Kaufman hired an Astoria, Oregon-based artist to design a logo, business cards, signs and posters for the store.
“I met him online and know him as Fredi. I’m super into art and have art on every spare wall in my home.”
The store also carries merchandise and clothing featuring favourite pop culture characters, such as the Minions, Dr. Who and Lord of the Rings.
It is also fully stocked with hard-to-find Halo lego.
“Most of our toys are for eight and up. The kind of things for younger kids that older people appreciate,” he smiled.