EDITOR’S NOTE: We work with student reporters from the UW News Lab from time to time, as do many publications around Western Washington. One student journalist suggested a closer look at West Seattle’s only vintage-video-games (and more) store, and here’s the result.
Story and video by John Jinneman
University of Washington News Lab
Special to West Seattle Blog
The store’s actual opening in mid-January came in wintry weather. But on the bright and sunny first weekend of February, Pink Gorilla Games held its West Seattle grand opening event, full of excitement.
On both days visitors were treated to snacks while they made purchases or hung out and played games. Customers could also get raffle tickets by joining Pink Gorilla’s Facebook page or buying merchandise.
After closing on Sunday, Feb. 5, they contacted winners – with the grand prize, a $100 gift card.
“The community really appreciates us, and that’s what really helps,” said Paublo Smith, co-owner and operator of Pink Gorilla Games West Seattle branch.
“We get along with the communities that we are in, and the people that live around there and shop there.”
But, maybe not surprising for a video-game-specializing store, they got a tech boost, too.
Being a part of the community, Pink Gorilla staff organized an opportunity for customers to meet, play games and exchange StreetPass data.
StreetPass is a feature on the 3DS — Nintendo’s newest portable system — that allows players to exchange player data and complete puzzles of Nintendo franchises by passing other people with 3DSs on the street.
“I heard about this event from the StreetPass Seattle event,” said Wayne Holmquist, a member of Super Suburbia Multiplayers. “I came here to get some potential pings.”
Upon seeing a post on Pink Gorilla’s Facebook page about a StreetPass event, Andrew Reistroffer and Danny Najera from Streetpass Seattle organized a group of people to check out the store and play games.
“Once we get all these people together, part of the 3DS is to share the community, and there are all these sharing parts within the console,” Najera said. “Having them all here makes it so much easier to get all those little things accomplished, and then playing the games altogether is awesome.”
Reistroffer said they usually meet once a month in a location decided upon by the community to share information and play games.
Besides hosting events and selling video games, Pink Gorilla Games-West Seattle will be selling more traditional games.
“Here, we are going to bring in board games, because West Seattle has a lot of that community vibe,” Smith said.
Along with all the video games and soon-to-come board games, Pink Gorilla carries the newest sets in the three most popular trading card games: Magic the Gathering, Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh.
“We carry games for everything from the current generation to, as we like to say, ‘leave no system behind,’” Smith said. Currently the West Seattle branch does not carry a lot of import games, but Smith said if customers want import games, they are glad to do special orders.
“If people want something else we will bring those in too, we really just want to provide what people are looking for,” Smith said.
Pink Gorilla Games in West Seattle is open every day from 11 am to 7 pm, at 6053 California SW.
(JOHN JINNEMAN is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory.)