Online business gets new space with virtual reality, arcade, collectibles | State & Region

Owners of a new Raleigh County business say they are looking forward to providing visitors of all ages an opportunity to stop in for a bit of fun.

Family Game Knight, located near the MacArthur Walmart, will celebrate its grand opening Monday with a ribbon cutting and game demos.

The business, co-owned by Danny Reed, Mike Brown, Brandon Gration and Dylon McBride, offers a variety of activities — both free and paid — for families and individuals.

Reed, who serves as the primary owner, said the business began online in October 2020, when he turned to Etsy to sell small knickknacks and figurines, inspired by comic books and games, he made at home on his 3D printer.

“It just started to grow from there and I kept adding printers,” he said.

Eventually, Reed, who was working at both Staples and Ollie’s in Beckley, said he decided to expand.

“I talked to a couple of friends and asked if they would be interested in helping out, going together and starting a business,” he said. “That’s pretty much how it started.”

Visitors to the brick and mortar Family Game Knight can still purchase the figurines and other collectibles Reed creates using one of 16 3D printers.

But the men combined their collective interests to expand their venture in a variety of other ways.

“We all love board games, superheroes and comic books,” he said. “We’re all into video games so we just decided to merge everything into one.”

Reed said the business offers a variety of comic books — primarily from the 1990s to today — compendium collections and action figures.

But those interested in doing a bit more than shopping are invited to choose from a variety of board games, which they can “check out” and play for free on a gaming table downstairs.

“We have pretty much every board game you can imagine,” Reed said. “They (customers) can play the game they want and when they’re done they can return it and play another one.”

The business also features an arcade. Reed said visitors can pay for 30-minute, hour or two-hour time slots during which they are permitted to play all the games they choose.

“All of our arcade games are old school/retro,” Reed said, listing Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, Frogger, Centipede, Gold Tee, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, NBA Jam, Mortal Combat, and Rampage as examples.

And back upstairs, Reed said customers can rent time in a virtual reality room where they will don an Oculus headset and choose from a variety of games.

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Though Family Game Knight is just officially opening, word of the business began to spread in 2021 when the owners launched a Kickstarter campaign.

“We started the campaign to try to gauge community interest and to raise money,” Reed said.

The interest from the community was there, as Reed said the campaign raised $10,000 for building renovations and other start-up costs.

That interest in the business, he said, has grown more in the weeks leading up to the grand opening.

“We’ve had a lot of support and excitement from the community,” he said. “People seem like they’re really excited to come hang out and play games.”

Reed said he looks forward to growing the business, which he believes is an important addition to the local community.

“It’s a safe, fun environment for people here in the Beckley and Raleigh County area to come and hang out,” he said. “It’s something that will bring the community closer together and maybe bring other new, unique businesses that give people something to do.”

Family Game Knight, located at 1905 Robert C. Byrd Drive in MacArthur, is open Monday through Saturday from noon to 8 pm

Email: mjames@register-herald.com

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