Game shop offers up magic and conversation

At Colony Games on Broadway Avenue, "it's all interacting."

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Anthony Landahl

Steve Archer was fond of games of all kinds, but when he and his wife, Jamie, were married, she was not so attracted to the activity.   

"When my husband and I got married, I made him get rid of all his gaming stuff," Jamie said. "I was like 'There will be no more of this in our lives.'"

As their oldest son, Anthony, grew up and started to become interested in tabletop and card-based fantasy/sci-fi games, Jamie allowed the revival of the gaming passion and soon she started playing herself. 

Now she helps run the only gaming store in Brookfield. 

For those who love the rush of excitement when rolling dice or the intricate storylines of a role-playing session, Colony Games is the place to be for these activities and more. 

It offers a variety of games from Dungeons and Dragons to Magic the Gathering and from Risk to Settlers of Katan. It also keeps gaming supplies in stock, including Pokemon and Magic the Gathering cards. 

Customers have the option of coming in during open gaming sessions to learn about new games or play with friends. The store also offers group events including Magic Night on Fridays and Pokemon Saturdays in the afternoon. 

Colony Games is a true mom-and-pop operation. Steve and Jamie run the store with Anthony. They have been in business since 2012 and moved to their current location of 9152 Broadway Ave. last September. 

The store stayed in downtown Brookfield for three years and, before that, in LaGrange Park where Steve and Jamie ran a Montessori school. 

As their passion for gaming was growing, they thought of an idea to open their own store next to the school and let the students help run it. The students took inventory and organized products, learning aspects of running a business. However, after they lost their lease, the Archers hit a roadblock. 

There was already an established Montessori school in Brookfield, so they looked at their second option and moved the game shop to Grand Boulevard. 

The shop was built on Montessori beliefs -- less concentration on profit and the competitive spirit and more on the interaction of people. This meant eliminating video games from the list of activities in the store.

"We did not want video games in the shop, because we want children and adults and young adults to have the opportunities to converse with people," Jamie said. "When people are in the shop, it's all interacting. It's practicing the art of conversation." 

Jamie said there are a few gaming stores in local neighborhoods. One store similar to Colony Games is located in Westmont and one store is in LaGrange, but it only features board games. 

She adds that customers come from all around the Chicagoland area to play. One customer even lives closer to two or three stores but travels farther just to play at Colony Games. 

Jamie said the shop's code of socializing makes it attractive to customers. 

"There are people who have formed friendships and bonds who may not have normally interacted with each other if they didn't have a common interest in the games that they play," she said. 

The shop is open to anyone interested in playing. Due to street construction on Broadway Avenue, the store is open seven days a week, including from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and Sunday. On Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, the store remains open until midnight. 

Questions can be directed to the Colony Games' Facebook page or by calling 708-485-9152. 

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Darcy Lewis from Riverside  

Posted: July 19th, 2019 11:23 AM

Great job reporting and writing, Anthony. Way to go!

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