A hub for video gaming
Randy Metcalf/The Explorer, Assistant manager David Kramer helps 16-year-old Caleb Archambo (left) and James White, 16, purchase the video game “Ghost Recon”w on Monday afternoon at the new Play N Trade location at First Avenue and Oracle Road in Oro Valley.

For two decades, Juliette Haggh has purchased video games for her children, then watched their intense participation.

“I figured if you can’t beat them, join them, so I started listening to my kids,” Haggh said. Listening, and playing.

“In some respects, video games get a bad reputation,” Haggh said. Sure, when gaming is an obsession, homework can suffer. But “they’re actually very physical. It’s not just sitting around on the couch all day. There’s a lot of hand-eye coordination. And it has a social aspect to it, too, which is very nice. It’s kind of fun.”

In late August, Haggh and her family opened a franchise of Play N Trade Video Games in Oro Valley’s Rooney Ranch development. The store is one of four in greater Tucson.

Play N Trade Video Games is bringing “the ultimate video gaming experience to Oro Valley,” Haggh said in a release. It is “a retail establishment capitalizing on the growing video game industry.”

At Play N Trade, people can buy, sell and trade new and used video games, consoles and accessories. The business has “old systems,” including Nintendo games dating back 20 years. A repair technician can fix old and new systems, Haggh said.

“We’re trying to satisfy hard-core gamers,” Haggh said. “There are a lot in Oro Valley. But also families, and even retirees.”

Play N Trade is “run by gamers,” Haggh said. “Everybody who works there is a hard-core gamer. They’re really knowledgeable.”

The company prides itself “on having knowledge of old systems, new systems, picking out games” for the unfamiliar and knowing what’s new. Parents who are buying gifts can learn about age-appropriate games.

In a “safe, clean, healthy environment,” Play N Trade allows people to “come in, pick out any game and play it,” Haggh said. “If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.”

Plans are to conduct at least one tournament a month, “for all different types of people.” There’ll be three tournaments in October, including a Guitar Hero tourney on Saturday, Oct. 11. Proceeds from a Madden ’09 football tournament are going to be donated to local football teams. Tournaments “are a great way for gamers to meet each other, show off their skills and compete for great prizes,” a release said. “They’re also just as much fun for family and friends to watch.”

Play N Trade is located in 1,200 square feet of space in the Rooney Ranch development, near Home Depot and Starbucks off Oracle Road.

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