Shelves filled with hundreds of video games. An arcade room covered in television screens with everything from PS4 to Atari. This is what you’ll find at Replay Games in downtown Fargo.
“This is the store I wished existed and that no one has done here yet. So I decided I’d be the one who does it,” says owner CJ Schnase.
Located in the basement of the Exchange Building at 502 1st Ave N, the new gamer’s paradise not only allows you to buy, sell, trade, and rent all of your favorite video games, but is a space to try and enjoy different games and consoles while connecting with Fargo-Moorhead’s gaming community.
Schnase, a native of Fargo, has loved video games since he was young, and opening this store is somewhat of a dream for him. He remembers playing the Nintendo 64 at Blockbuster while his mom browsed movies, and how fun it was to go somewhere where everything was set up and he could try out different games. In high school, he took multiple classes relating to computer science and IT. After using online toolkits to learn how to build games, he realized his passion was creating video games. He decided to pursue that passion by attending the University of Advancing Technology to receive a 4-year bachelor’s degree in Game Development and Design.
After graduation, he and his wife decided that Fargo was where they wanted to stay. Schnase became involved in Fargo Game Makers, a group that connects current and aspiring game designers, creatives, and engineers. This, in addition to his involvement in a video game design course through MSUM’s College for Kids and Teens, made him realize there was an interest in and need for more spaces that allow individuals to play and learn about video games. He plans to open up the arcade section of the store as a space for local developers and organizations to host programs relating to development, as well as for birthdays, bachelor parties, and other private events.
Locating in the Exchange building was an easy decision for Schnase. “I grew up on the North side and love living here now, so I knew I wanted to be around this area. This space was available at the right time and had everything we wanted. Plus, we’re excited about the walking traffic that downtown brings.”
Schnase wants Replay Games to be a place for the gaming and development community to connect, grow, and have a space of their own. Not only does he hope to support this community through the store’s offerings, but he also has hopes of creating an Indie Fund, which works like a grant, to support local independent game developers.
Replay Games opened on May 1, and will have a Grand Opening celebration later in the month. You can follow their website, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter for updates and game-related content.
By Katie Spokely