Biz Beat

It’s all fun and games at these new Vintage Faire Mall and Village One stores

Two of Modesto’s busiest shopping centers just got a lot more fun.

A new video gaming lounge has opened in Vintage Faire Mall and a new Warhammer store is coming to Village One Plaza. The mall’s PLAYlive Nation, which opened last month, is aimed at video gamers of all ages. Village One’s Warhammer, which will open later this month, focuses on fans of the popular tabletop strategy game.

The Vintage Faire Mall site has been turning heads already during the busy shopping season. The store, located on the upper level two doors down from J.C. Penney, is dramatically lit with most of the illumination coming from more than 25 big screen TVs. The lounge is lined with reclining easy chairs where players can challenge the person sitting next to them or others online all over the world.

Each station is hooked to an XBox, and the close to 70 titles available range from popular games like World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Call of Duty and Halo to Minecraft, Star Wars, NBA, NFL, FIFA and others. But no adults-only games are stocked in order to keep the space all-ages and family friendly.

On a recent visit the lounge was bustling with players, from preteens to teens and above. Time can be purchased by the hour, day or monthly memberships. The space can also be rented for private parties and events. First-time business owners and friends Mithra Bandi and Lakshmi Gunna said they were attracted to the franchise, which has lounges across the country, because of its appeal to youth.

“It’s more like a social hangout place then just a video gaming lounge,” said Bandi.

The lounge will also start hosting after-hours and overnight events, after the mall closes. The first will be a planned Late Night Bash from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Dec. 23. Pizza, drinks, competitions and prizes are included in the $24.50 pre-registration fee. Regular gaming ranges from $9.99 for an all-day pass Monday to Thursday to $9.99 per hour to play Friday-Sunday. Monthly memberships start at $24.99. And, time purchased never expires so you can spread it across several days and visits.

Brenda Myrick stopped in with her two sons, Miguel and Mateo Vazquez, and their friends to let them play last week. The Newman resident said the concept is a perfect fit with the mall.

“We were in the mall and saw it before it opened first and I thought, ‘Wow, this is really cool.’ I can be shopping while the boys can play,” she said. “I’ve been gone two hours today and they haven’t moved.”

PLAYlive also has board and card games on site like Magic, Pokemon and, yes, Warhammer.

PLAYlive Nation is open 12-9 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. For more information call 209-297-3000 or visit www.facebook.com/PLAYliveVintage.

Speaking of Warhammer, the strategy tabletop game will soon have its very own store in Village One Plaza. The shop will let people play the game, paint miniatures, buy merchandise and generally socialize with other players of the worldwide phenomena. The game, which is aimed at ages 11 and up, have different editions aimed from those more interested in science fiction (Warhammer 40,000) to those more into toward fantasy (Warhammer Age of Sigmar).

James Bell, the marketing coordinator with Games Workshops whic is opening the Modesto Warhammer store, said the shop will also have a lot of free services for fans like miniature giveaways, painting demonstrations and expert advice. The shop, which will have its grand opening Dec. 16, will be one of 470 Warhammer stores worldwide.

“People will be able to play for free at the shop, learn more about it. We’ll walk them through every single thing they need to play and show them for free,” he said.

For more on the Warhammer store, at 3020 Floyd Ave, Suite 205, call 800-394-4263 or visit https://www.facebook.com/WarhammerModesto.

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