Fort Worth

New Fort Worth video game store is banking on community and nostalgia of old games

Think about that one video game you begged your parents to buy you when you were a kid, and they said no. Think about the disappointment you felt, and then it was too late — it was no longer available.

Well now it is. Fort Worth has a retro game store called RetroBution Games at 6251 Granbury Road that carries a little bit of everything, from the original Atari and Nintendo games and consoles to the modern PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.

If you’re wondering how they managed to find these old games even though they’ve been out of production for years, it’s because of their buy/trade/sell system. Since the grand opening on June 1, owners Josh Billingsley and Sarah Reiter have seen a steady influx of their customers willing to trade in their old games for store credit. And what’s more, people are buying them pretty quickly.

“We put a big emphasis on coming in now,” said Adrian Santiago, the creative director. “What we posted online yesterday may not be there today.”

Today you can even walk in the store to find the very first selfie camera, which was the Nintendo GameBoy Pocket Camera.

“Those little slices of history that you grew up with and said to yourself, there’s no way Mom and Dad will buy that for me,” Santiago said, “now it’s on the shelf at a fraction of the cost and you’re the adult.”

Billingsley thinks the reason retro games are so popular is because there’s a communal aspect to it. Ever since the internet took over modern gaming, everything became anonymized — people were drawn to the ability to play games with random strangers halfway across the world.

But there are still people who miss when playing video games was limited to the people in a single room. That nostalgia and that communal aspect brings people together, which makes RetroBution a neighborhood meetup location for game enthusiasts of all ages.

“Now that these people are older, they enjoy meeting up with other people and ... reminiscing about the past,” Billingsley said.

Carla Jimenez covers breaking business news and commercial retail development. Born and raised in Euless, she took a detour in the Midwest for a few years, but she’s back in the land of football, barbecue and Dr Pepper.