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Gaming like nobody’s business: GOES brings the play to Algonquin

For some, it’s the nostalgia that appeals to them as they see the tables of old consoles lined up alongside the new.

For others, during Game on Entertainment Services visits, it’s common they’ll have already tried their hand at video games with consoles, PC games and even apps.

A countless array of digital games are everywhere on this cold Jan. 22 day in the Student Commons and it’s in that market that Erin Miklos makes his business.

Miklos has a large collection of consoles that he upgrades with each new release. His company is Game on Entertainment Services, or GOES. He created the company and after several years in the business he now has the chance to share his consoles at various events around Ontario.

“We bring out video games to people’s parties and events or lots of colleges and universities this time of year,” Miklos said.

From consoles, to controllers or games, Miklos has almost anything in the gamer world you can think of, dating back to the original Nintendo Entertainment System. He included older versions of Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros to the options, but he has the updates and the other classics such as FIFA ready.

“Honestly if I don’t bring FIFA or Smash to a school I might as well not come,” Miklos said.

He’s added on PlayStation VR PSVR, allowing some students to immerse themselves in VR, while waving light-up controllers. Various different types of games from different eras, all flashing on the line-up of screens, were played while music fills the one side of the Student Commons in the main entry on Jan. 22.

The music, lights and laughter draw the attention of students walking by. Several of the screens already have single players or small groups crowded in together.

One of those students was Declan Egan who stopped in to pick up a controller. To him, the idea of bringing games into the school near the beginning of the semester is a good one.

“I think it’s a good stress reliever for a lot of kids because sometimes a (they) can find they’re in a different world when they play video games. I think it’s good to just help kids destress,” Egan said while navigating his game of choice.

“It’s good to have them the first couple weeks as well; kind of shows any new students that we have a lot of cool, fun stuff going on in our school.”

GOES has already been visiting Algonquin for three years and Egan agrees that they should come back again. Miklos’s wife, Erin Piwowarczyk, has heard that before from students.

Piwowarczyk is a nurse for a nursing home but she took time off to help her husband transport the games for their brief time at Algonquin. For the trip they brought only a small portion of Miklos’s collection. In total, they are able to set up 32 systems at a time.

Piwowarczyk isn’t sure how much the whole collection is worth.

When they aren’t loading up a car, or sometimes a trailer, to travel with the collection for Miklos’s year-round work at various events, they have a storage unit just to house it all.

Piwowarczyk mentioned how much Miklos enjoys the games and sharing them while he stood by playing with the PSVR. They’ve seen a fairly balanced, diverse mix of both male and female interest in their games.

They agree games like Duck Hunt bring in some nostalgia or students who’ve heard of the classic games but haven’t gotten the chance to play them, though there are still plenty who come to see what’s new.

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