When opened up in March of this year, it entered a territory very rarely seen by the storefronts of Babylon Village – the digital realm. For Jason & Felicia Di Nunzio, owning an independent gaming store comes with a lot of perks – such as the ability to keep selling classic games and consoles long after they go out of production – and a lot of fun – including weekly tournaments.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves.
Felicia: "I've lived in North Babylon my entire life. Born and went to our schools, so Babylon Village has always been the place that I came to."
Jason: "We were in the same schools, but I ended up in Dix Hills."
Felicia: "We used to know each other when we were younger – he'd always pull on my pigtails, but we found each other again when we were 16... He was working at Adventureland then."
What got you both into video games?
F: "The whole family grew up with video games and I started working at video game stores. I decided one day I wanted to make one up and do it myself. We could have always used one in Babylon."
What separates Gamehut from other stores like Gamestop, Target or Best Buy?
J: "We have better stuff. [laughs]"
F: "We go way back to Atari and ColecoVision, and we try to go above and beyond for our customers. We try to help the best way we can, even if they're looking for certain games. We can always find them.
What's one of the most unique items to come through the store?
F: "We have a Panasonic 3DO. They are very rare. The minute you bought one, it was done. Panasonic tried to outdo all the systems back in the day and [Sega's] Dreamcast."
J: "It comes with five games and $200."
F: "Five of their best games."
How popular are the tournaments and birthday parties?
J: "The tournaments we have got really popular around here. Birthday parties are slowed down until the winter when you can't be outside."
F: "Tournaments depend on what the kids want to play – we'll do that game. Pick what you want to play."
J: "We're going to be hosting a Call of Duty: Black Ops tournament in August. We're going to give away two copies to two winners. It'll be on August 5th and 12th."
Why did you choose Babylon Village?
F: "I like Babylon because it's so friendly. Everyone here is so nice. You just see a friendly face everywhere you go. People came in the day we opened and noticed the store."