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A Case of Mistaken Identity

Normally, I'd leave the self-promotion to personal social networking sites and forums, as well as chasing people down on the street to give them a card, but I think this most recent happening merits some words.

A little over a year ago, I and several friends began discussing the possibility of opening a used games store / LAN center. It was something of a hypothetical flight of fancy at first, though we eventually warmed to the idea and started taking it more and more seriously. We applied for several loans, but were turned down. Several realtors faffed us around on the rates for their locations before we found something both appealing and reasonable.

Long story short, it was NOT very easy.

The circumstances and logistics surrounding the opening and managing of our store are INCREDIBLY difficult. I don't care to advertise this fact, but I've been, essentially, homeless for a little over a year now. Two good friends were kind enough to take me in, and these are the same two friends with whom I helped to get "Game On!" going. The deal is one that is mutually beneficial, both for myself and for the well-being of the store. In order to keep operational costs down as much as possible, the store does not have any employees.

You hear that? It's just me and two other people (who seldom work shifts apart), running a store that's open at least 88 hours a week. They continue to work full-time at their dayjobs in order to supplement the store throughout its initial "darker days", and take over for me on certain evening and the majority of the day on Saturday.

I am here the rest of the time.

Now, let me make it clear that I am not, in any way, complaining. I am not seeking pity nor praise. I am only trying to highlight to you how very invested I am in this store. The fact that I forego a wage and am, in fact, indebted to those showing me hospitality is one that often doesn't sit well with my pride. I'd much rather be contributing money to my livelihood, or even living on my own. Unfortunately, the circumstances of the situation simply don't allow that at this time, which is FINE.

But it does not change the fact that this is a hard, hard situation.

We put great thought into the name of our business. "Game On!" evokes that collective subconscious, excited desire to take something head on and do your best. It's that feeling you get when about to engage in friendly competition with friends and peers. Plus, being a game store, it's always good to have some "game" in your name.

So when we learned that another store had opened up less than a week ago in the same city as us, and ALSO carries the name "Game On", it most definitely took us by surprise. Not knowing whether to feel insulted, or hurt, or threatened, we tried to talk about it as reasonably as possible. Should we pursue some legal course? Do we have any ground to stand on? What's the etiquette in asking somebody else not to be in the same business as you with the same name?

Ultimately, we'd decided to talk to them personally and see if we could work something out. We have big plans for our business and hope to be a significant community presence in the state of Colorado, for both casual and competitive gamers a like. It was our understanding that we would have some time to handle this.. that is, until I was contacted by several friends this morning, informing me of a story run on Kotaku and our local 9 News.

Apparently, this other "Game On" managed to get some attention, largely due to the fact that the fellow that opened the store is young and recently lost his mother. Now, while I am not saying that these facts are unimportant, and most definitely feel sympathy for this guy as an individual, I've gotta' say that it's somewhat terrifying that a local business that shares the same name as us has suddenly gained such notable exposure.

Our store's E-mail has already received several messages from Kotaku readers across the nation, asking us to perhaps develop an online store that they might help us in some way. Granted, one could argue that the fact that they're finding us by mistake means greater exposure for our store as well, but we're relatively honest people and don't care to be found via misunderstanding. Additionally, we've been trying to make a name for ourselves!

Almost seven months open and we've already developed a modest community, as well as ties with other pockets of gaming in Denver. We are not looking forward to having to explain to various E-mails and callers that "no, we're not those other guys" or "thank you for your concern, but my mother is very much alive".

I do not hold any ill will towards the other owner, though I now have NO idea how we're supposed to approach the "same name" subject without appearing to be complete asstards. This is a terrible situation, and I'm ADDITIONALLY upset that this store, from a journalistic point of view, was somehow merited with greater news value.

To be perfectly honest, THAT is insulting, and I could not be more upset at Brian Crecente, especially considering that I have met and spoken with him personally, both about gaming and our store.

All we know to do right now is handle the situation as graciously as possible until we get a chance to talk to the other owner personally, and hopefully work something out that everybody is okay with all involved.

But, all in all, we worked hard to get as far as we've come in this short period of time. We never asked for a story nor did we think anybody had any reason to write one. It's hard not to find it entirely unjust, however, that THEY were handed a story when WE were not.


Elijah (the other store owner) is HELLA' reasonable and understanding. They'd apparently heard about our store only a few days after they opened and were already considering a name change. He's just as considerate and concerned with local business and the gaming community as we are and care to be, and we'll be having a sitdown with him later this evening.

This will likely work out just fine. With any luck, we've made another new friend.
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About Sentryone of us since 1:15 PM on 01.02.2009


-Who He Be-

(This wonderful image brought to you by Beyamor.)

Name: Damon R. Nagy

a.k.a.: Sentry, Jigglypuff, Jam

Damon is a twenty-something year-old manthing what currently "manages" an independently-owned games shoppe ("Game On!") in Denver, CO. He's entertained delusions of intelligence and relevance his entire life, and hopes to someday be recognized as a pundit in several fields, though his insatiable, insufferable ego will likely forever demand more. As it stands, the store he works at cannot afford to pay him, and as such his current gaming experiences are limited to those used titles that come through the store itself, or those rare occasions when his friends should happen to purchase something that he'd also like to play.

This fellow is arrogant, egocentric, narcissistic, and riddled with insecurities, anxieties, and contradictions, but occasionally - just every so often - manages to be a pretty okay, kinda' nice guy. A bit off-putting at first, but if you give him a chance he might just grow on you.

Also, he's very pleased to meet you.

(This one by Antwhan.)

-Where He At-

E-Mail: [email protected]
Facebook: DNagy
Twitter: @Sentry_
last.fm: Syncopaiua
YouTube: Syncopaiua
MySpace: Lemon Lyman

Xbox LIVE: Sentri
PSN: Syncopated

Store Site: Game On!
Store Twitter: @GameOnDenver
Store YouTube: GameOnDenver
Store Steam: GODenver


[Musing] E for Effort: In Good Faith

[Musing] I, the Author: I, the Metanarrative


[Stereotoid guest review] "Stubbs the Zombie"

-What He Play-
(as of February 25th, 2010)

At Current:
God of War III
Heavy Rain
Deadly Premonition
Uncharted 2
Mass Effect 2
Bit.Trip Core

Recently Completed:
Flower* (mmm~)
Bit.Trip Beat (jam~)
PixelJunk Shooter (jam~)
Beautiful Katamari (whee~)

Hopes/Intends to Play/Purchase:
Metroid: Other M
Noby Noby Boy
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet

-Favourite Mediastuffs-
(In alphabetical order, so as to avoid ranking.)



28 Days Later
Almost Famous
As Good As It Gets
Batman Begins
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Battle Royale
Beautiful Girls
Benny & Joon
The Boondock Saints
Casino Royale
Chasing Amy
The Court Jester
The Darjeeling Limited
The Dark Knight
Empire Records
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Everything Is Illuminated
The Fifth Element
The Glenn Miller Story
A Goofy Movie
Grosse Point Blank
Hard Candy
High Fidelity
Howl's Moving Castle
The Hudsucker Proxy
Interstella 5555 (Daft Punk)
The Iron Giant
It's A Wonderful Life
Keeping The Faith
Kill Bill Vol. 2
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Layer Cake
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Little Shop of Horrors
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Lost In Translation
Love Actually
Man on the Moon
Meet Joe Black
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
My Fair Lady
My Neighbor Totoro
Playing By Heart
Porco Rosso
The Prestige
The Road To El Dorado
The Science of Sleep
Shaun of the Dead
Sin City
Singin' in the Rain
SLC Punk
South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut
Thank You For Smoking
V For Vendetta
Vanilla Sky
What Dreams May Come
Whisper of the Heart
White Christmas
Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Xbox LIVE:Sentri
PSN ID:Syncopated
Steam ID:Syncopaiua


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