Wallace hopes to create memories with Game Barn
Les Wallace, Cherokee Nation citizen and Game Barn owner, organizes Nintendo 3DS and DS games at the Game Barn in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Wallace opened the store in May and offers to buy, sale and trade games. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
A “Tetris” game stands out in rows of Nintendo Game Boy, Game Boy Advance and Sega Game Gear games at Game Barn in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Game Barn provides anything from handheld to console games ranging from $2.95 to $32.95, with some exceptions. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
A Nintendo Kiwi Green Game Boy Color sits between a “Dr. Mario” Nintendo Game Boy game and a yellow Game Boy Pocket at Game Barn in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Game Barn is a new video game store in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Game Barn is located at 1000 S. College Ave., south of the Tahlequah Community Building and is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – From Atari 2600 to PlayStation 4, from Donkey Kong to Link, there has been several memorable consoles, games and characters that have played a role in people’s childhoods that continue to stick around.
Les Wallace, Cherokee Nation citizen and Game Barn owner, is helping put those consoles, games and characters back into the hands of those who grew up with them and the younger generations.
“People like games, so I’m making people happy by providing this service for them to find games at reasonable prices,” he said. “If it was a game that they remember playing as a child or as a teen, and I can have that in the store for them to purchase at a good price, then that makes me happy too, to see them happy.”
Wallace began the business after his former job took a “toll” on him.
“I just wanted something different where I could control my own outcomes, make my own decisions and just try to make more money to try to provide for my family,” he said.
He said his customers can also find consoles, games and accessories such as controllers and power cords.
“I try to keep the store where somebody will come in, and they’ll find something that they like,” he said. “People are different, and they like different things, so I try to keep a variety of things.”
Wallace said Game Barn, which has a buy/sale/trade model, gives customers a chance to buy new games at a decent price.
“Basically, my goals are to make this a place for the customers to come here and trade their games in and give the people that hasn’t played the games a chance to buy the game at a reasonable price. That’s why I’m so for pre-owned games because you can’t go in and buy the latest game for $25. The games are expensive,” he said. “So I just want to make this place a place for the community of people who play video games to come in and trade off and pass it on to the next person, so they can get a game at a reasonable price.”
In the case of trade-in goods, Wallace said he tests them before he sells them.
“Everything in my store, I test before it goes out in the cases or on the shelves. If something should happen to get by, I make sure that I make it right with the customer,” he said.
Wallace said although he takes trade-ins, he doesn’t do console repairs.
“I do some work with the old cartridges like cleaning them and refurbishing them and replacing the batteries, but that’s about the furthest extent that I go as far as repairs,” he said.
With games ranging from $2.95 to $32.95 and consoles from $21.95 to $99.95, Wallace said he tries to keep his inventory at “fair market value.”
“I try to run promotions, like on some of my handheld game cartridges I offer buy two, get one free of equal value or lesser. On my trade-ins, I offer a little more for trade-ins than most video game stores, I’m pretty sure, that way it gives people an opportunity to get the most for their trade so they can get that game that they’re looking for,” he said.
He said he also runs weekly specials for those who wear video game-themed or Game Barn T-shirts. Wallace said he wants customers to know that this is “your game store.”
“My phrase is, ‘Game Barn Video Games, Your Game Store.’ So it’s the people’s video game store,” he said. “It’s not my video game store. I’m just the mediator. I just present it and provide a place for people to come trade and sale and buy games.”
Game Barn is at 1000 S. College Ave., and open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, visit Game Barn on Facebook or call 918-457-9663.