A place to play

Ultima Gaming maintains loyal following

Ultima Gaming stocks a wide variety of board games, trading cards and video games. (Submitted)

Ultima Gaming stocks a wide variety of board games, trading cards and video games. (Submitted)

A group plays Magic the Gathering at Ultima Gaming. “It’s pulling in really big numbers for a tiny town,” Robbie Olson said of the store's following. (Submitted)

A group plays Magic the Gathering at Ultima Gaming. “It’s pulling in really big numbers for a tiny town,” Robbie Olson said of the store's following. (Submitted)

From the outside, Ultima Gaming looks just like any other retail store on Perham's Main Street. An "open" sign flashes next to the store's posted hours as traffic steadily runs in-and-out of the post office across the street.

On a typical evening, just as other stores are winding down and locking up, Ultima becomes a haven for gamers of all sorts. On any given night, the store's event center and gaming lounge is home to Dungeons and Dragons players role playing their way through a quest, a Nintendo tournament with a cash prize, or friends casually playing and swapping Magic the Gathering trading cards.

"I'm not trying to just sell stuff," said store owner David Jopp. Instead, Jopp said he's focused on making a physical space where gamers are actually together, not just playing alone at home.

To the uninitiated, the 30 feet separating Main Street and Ultima's gaming lounge feels like a mile. Banners hanging from the ceiling feature stylized art depicting elves and sorcerers from the Magic card franchise next to an enlarged Pokemon logo. Beyond that, a lair with black paint on the walls (to reduce screen glare) is home to the store's console arcade. Numerous TVs and computers are on hand for tournaments or available to rent.

Robbie Olson, a Ultima customer, said the store is "a place we can all go to make it happen." 

For full article, go to: Perham Focus

Source, image(s), credits & more: Perham Focus | Carter Jones