EXETER – The father and son team opens their own store selling video games.
Bob Rothwell and his son Brandon will open Reality Check Gaming Saturday at 104 Epping Road, which will specialize in selling video games and game consoles, including classic games like Atari and the original Nintendo Entertainment System. They will also sell action figures and other items from movies and comic books, including two arcade classics, Galaga and Mortal Kombat II. Additionally, they will buy and trade unwanted equipment and anyone who buys one of their consoles are welcome to try it out in the store.
“I’ve been playing since I was a little kid, so opening this store is a dream come true,” said Brandon Rothwell, 28, from Rochester. “It’s great to work side by side with my dad and have something of ours and we can be our bosses.”
Bob Rothwell said the store’s name comes from his son’s original hope of opening a place where people can play virtual reality games together. He said he gave his son a “reality check” due to the high cost of the equipment, and told him it would be wise to expand the range of what they offered. There are also several used Oculus VR headsets that will be on sale, so Reality Check Gaming discontinues.
“This year with new consoles coming out, you practically can’t buy them because they sold out so quickly,” said Bob Rothwell, an Exeter resident. “Everyone is home. They work from home and play video games. This is a great time to open this store.”
Darren Winham, Director of Economic Development, said he admires how efficiently the Rothwells are at finding hidden gems in all kinds of flea markets, yard sales, real estate sales, and other used stores.
“Brandon and Bob are American Exeter Games Pickers,” Winham said, “The stories of how they come through their inventory are wonderful and I wish them all the best.”
Brandon Rothwell said that while growing up, he originally wanted to open his Blockbuster’s video store because he liked to go to the former movie rental and video game giant and borrow the latest titles. He said his first console was a Super Nintendo in the 1990s, but as video games evolved, he came to love Play Station 2, which was released in 2000.
“As a child, I wanted to run my blockbuster,” Rothwell said, “but since they went the path of dinosaurs, I had to think of something else.” “I loved the PS2 because it had an amazing variety of games, and at that time, I thought the graphics were amazing.”
Brandon said Reality Check will soon start hosting an old game night Saturday that is out of the community, and participants must wear masks. He said players will compete for a portion of the entrance fee and can buy snacks and refreshments. Brandon said the Rothwells also wanted to eventually start hosting birthday parties.
“We want to create a good gaming community that is friendly, elegant, and offers affordable items,” said Brandon. “We want to give people a place to go during this time.”
Reality Check Gaming will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am-8pm
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