Knowing Your Neighbors: Games Then and Now

SUPERIOR, Wis. —

What does the name Mario mean to you?

What about Metroid? Princess Zelda? Scorpion and Sub-Zero?

For retro nostalgia, it doesn’t get any better than a store like ‘Games Then and Now.’

“It’s been my dream since I was a kid to have something like this,” says co-owner Jason Matic.

Matic’s store, which just opened a few weeks ago in Superior, will take you back – way back – to a simpler time, when guys like Super Mario and Pac-Man ruled the world.

“We really want to cater to the crowd that has the nostalgia for the old games like Sega or Nintendo 64,” Matic said.

Jason and his wife Diane are living the dream each day.

On their shelves, they do carry brand new games, but they’ll tell you that the real beauty is getting that does of nostalgia only a retro game can give you.

“You don’t have to understand the time period in which the game was created in order to have fun playing the game,” Diane said.

In just a few short weeks of being open, Jason and Diane have seen families bond over video games from way back when.

“The grandparents are all ‘Yeah yeah I played this game.’”

Jason and Diane talk over each other to tell these kinds of stories.

Some of these games are more than thirty years old, and it’s true that they don’t make ‘em like they used to.

But these store owners say they like it that way.

“You didn’t have to be great to keep going to the next level in the old games, and that’s really nice too,” Diane said.

And it seems that every day they meet people old and young that are ready to make new memories on these older games.

“The kids are coming in together and saying ‘Oh I go to my friend’s house and I need another controller for the GameCube, because five of us play one game, and we’re all huddled and crowded together and [we play it],’” Diane recalls.

“That legitly happened yesterday it was pretty cool,” Jason beams.  “Those kids came back four times yesterday.”

It’s stories like that bring out the passion in Jason and Diane, that remind them that their store truly is a link to the past.

Games Then and Now is located at 1308 Tower Avenue in Superior.

The store is open seven days a week, but closes a bit earlier on Sunday afternoons.