Did you know there are even more geek stores to explore? This series profiles the hotspots outside of our well-known favourites. These are the places tucked away in the odd nooks and crannies of the Forest City. From Westmount to Argyle to Hamilton Road, London is full of places citywide to pop in and nerd out.
This week’s focus is on Game Cycle, a secondhand media chain with two locations in London. One at 79 Wharncliffe Rd S and the other at 972 Hamilton Rd.
John Smithers is the store manager of the Wharncliffe location. He shared info about the store and some thoughts on London’s geek scene.
What are your specialties?
We have items ranging from the original Atari system all the way up to the current generation of consoles. If you are looking for accessories we carry controllers, cables, and more. Plush, keychains, necklaces and posters, we’ve got those as well. We also have one of the largest collections of movies in the area with well over 20000 DVDs and Blu-rays, including a large selection of rare, out-of-print DVDs you won’t find anywhere else.
We also offer disc resurfacing and battery replacement in older games. If you have an old Pokemon game that no longer saves, bring it into us. A few minutes later, you will have a new battery and you can start a new adventure. Do you have games you’ve already finished and don’t play anymore? Bring them in and one of our expert staff will appraise the items and offer you an in-store trade and cash amount.
Why should people visit your store?
We get so many awesome items each week that our stock is always changing. Every time you come in we are going to have something different. We have a knowledgeable and professional team, and we do our very best to make sure that coming into Game Cycle isn’t just another shopping trip. We try to make it an experience.
You can travel back in time to your childhood and check out all the old systems you had or wished you had when you were a child. It’s even a chance to show your children what video games were like “back in the day”. It’s also a great opportunity to check out a lot of systems you may not have even heard about. You are almost guaranteed to find something you never thought you would find unless you went online. The advantage of buying at Game Cycle is that you are dealing with real people who also love everything about gaming and movies.
Also, you can check out the product and actually see what you are purchasing without having to wait for weeks. We also pay the tax on all items we sell! What you see on the tag is what you are going to pay at the register. Service, knowledge, and selection. An experience every time.
How do you see the geek scene in London?
I have lived in London my whole life and have been a “geek” the entire time. I grew up loving Star Wars and playing a ton of PC games. The first system I owned was a Sega Game Gear. It’s what started my love affair with gaming. As I got older, I started to enjoy movies as well as video games and to this day I try my best to play and watch as many games and movies as I can.
During my time as part of the geeks, I have only seen it grow in London. We have 2 comic cons now! Years ago it wasn’t cool or popular to like video games or superheroes or anything nerdy. Now it’s mainstream. Nerdy has become the new popular. Video games have progressed to become a major part of not only the local but also the global geek scene. It would be tough to find someone who hasn’t heard of Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, or Halo. I only see gaming getting more and more popular as the games become larger and more immersive.
What is unique about the secondhand gaming experience?
We offer people a chance to play not only the newest games but also the games they grew up with, and that is something you can’t get at many other places. There is something satisfying about holding an old video game cartridge in your hand. It’s like holding a piece of history. It’s not the same clicking on a file or an icon to load a game. For many collectors, a physical copy of a collectible game is far more rewarding than a large download library. We provide a great place to get the best secondhand games at the lowest, most affordable prices in town. Why buy new when you can get a used copy at a fraction of the cost?
Check out Game Cycle from 10am-8pm Monday to Saturday or 11am-5pm on Sundays and Holidays. Find them at 79 Wharncliffe Rd. S. and 972 Hamilton Rd.
Want to know more about the lesser known geek spots in London, ON? Stay tuned, Sammy’s monthly series has all the info!