Whilst in Los Angeles I decided to take a break from E3 and do a bit of games shopping.
I eventually ended up in branch of GameStop and although the staff were very helpful, it was pretty much devoid of any games from outside the top 20, apart from those sitting in the obligatory trade-in bins. The store was mostly full of big, cardboard point-of-sale displays aimed at encouraging pre-orders. It was very similar to the UK high street chain, Game. Not quite as obnoxious, perhaps, but just as lacking in soul.
Wanting to find somewhere a little more interesting, I did a bit of research. An hour later and I found myself wandering – in very sweaty weather – down Sth. Vermont Avenue, eventually arriving at independent video game shop, World-8.
Why am I writing about it? Because it’s such fantastic little store, that’s why.
World-8 – in contrast to the big chains – is brimming with enthusiasm for video games. All the new releases are there, naturally, but it also stocks games from a multitude of past systems – with one staffer lovingly showing off some pristine, boxed TurboGrafix titles.
At one end of the store there is a cabinet of gaming plushies, at the other there’s a range of refurbished retro gamepads protected by a human-size Mario figure. The store is full of quirky, imported ephemera such as clocks, statues and board games, and there’s a couch so customers can sit back and play at one of the World-8’s regular game nights.
And it has a fantastic No Man’s Sky painting on the store’s exterior.
World-8’s staff obviously love games as much as their customers and were happy to chat with me about everything from who won E3, to the merits, or otherwise, of Shenmue.
I left with a copy of Chrono Trigger on DS and a rather natty Donkey Kong cartridge holder. So, consider this a Public Service Announcement. If you ever find yourself in Los Angeles, give GameStop and Target a miss and do try and find the time to visit World-8.
You can find out more the store and its events at the World-8 website.
Let us know about your favourite independent games store in the comments below. Where do you buy your games? Where is it and why is it so great? Drop us a line and we’ll do a feature highlighting the best stores soon.
How did we do?
We hope you found this article useful, or informative, or thought provoking, or maybe even a little entertaining. Perhaps it was a guide that helped you through a tricky bit, or we even saved you some money? Lovely stuff! If you'd like to say "thanks" you could always buy the team a cup of coffee.
Recommended for you
Latest from Thumbsticks
Save up to 75% in the PlayStation Store Halloween Sale
Grab some spooky savings on scary PS4 and PS5 video games in this year's PlayStation Store Halloween sale.
Save on scary games in the Xbox Shocktober sale
Save on some spooky video games in the new Xbox Shocktober sale.
New PlayStation Store releases: October 25-29, 2021
This week's lineup of PlayStation Store releases includes Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy and a remake of a classic GBA game.
New Nintendo Switch releases: October 25-29, 2021
Mario Party Superstars and Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water headline this week's lineup of new Nintendo Switch eShop releases.
New Xbox releases: October 25-29, 2021
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy and Age of Empires IV headline this week's lineup of new Xbox Series X|S and Xbox...
Play three top Xbox games for free this weekend
Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members can play three more games for free for a limited time.
Graveyard Keeper gets new DLC in time for Halloween
The world's best resting place management sim, Graveyard Keeper, is getting new DLC just in time for the spooky season.
Xbox deals update: Save on Assassin’s Creed and DC games
This week's Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S deals include the Batman and Assassin's Creed franchises, plus savings on games...