Video game

Nostalgia fills National Video Game Day

GLEN CARBON – Friday is National Video Game Day, not to be confused with National Video Game Day which falls in September.

While many video game enthusiasts won’t need a reason to play, what better way to celebrate than by spending a few hours on your favorite console, PC game, or app? In recognition of the holiday, we spoke to Justin Harper, director of marketing and promotions for Slackers and store manager Glen Carbon, about the trends he’s noticed in the store’s video game sales.

Harper said Slackers, which also has a location in the Alton Square mall, sells nearly everything on the video game spectrum, from original Nintendo games to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and beyond. In addition to games and consoles, they can also help fans locate some harder-to-find games.

“The trend I’ve noticed the most is a lot of people going back to older video games where they try to go through and collect all the ones they had when they were kids,” Harper said. “A lot of older game consoles – like the Nintendo and the Super Nintendo and the 64 and the Game Cube – everyone buys them pretty regularly. So they’re selling pretty well right now.”

Harper plays several different video games on several different consoles. He said he thought the draw of older games was nostalgia.

“You kind of want to relive your childhood a little bit where you used to play this with your friends,” he said. “A good example would be that I bought a Super Nintendo and a Super Mario for my sister one year for Christmas, specifically because we used to stay up all the time and play Mario and all those games when we were kids together, so it’s kind of like a fun bonding moment for us.

While the biggest sellers at Slackers recently have been classic games, the store is also selling some new fan favorites, like a game for Nintendo Switch called Mario Strikers.

“It’s kind of like mixing FIFA with Mario Kart,” Harper said. “It’s basically Mario soccer, but there’s full contact so all the characters can cross paths and you can do different moves and abilities to mess up the enemy team. It’s a lot of fun.”

Harper said the appeal of new video games is simple: people are looking for pretty good entertainment.

“Most of the new video games coming out now have such a huge budget that it’s like playing a really long, high-profile movie,” he said. “So you’re playing the Guardians of the Galaxy video game, but it’s actually almost like a Guardians of the Galaxy movie.”

Slackers has three locations in Illinois and six in Missouri.

“We get a lot of collectors, so we have a lot of people even from out of state looking for random items,” Harper said. “We generally try to put customers first, so often if a customer is trying to track down a particular item, we’ll try to find it for them at one of our other locations.” also offers a variety of hard-to-find collectible games on their online store to help people find their favorite video games.

In addition to its video game items, the store sells comics, movies, music, collectibles, and other items.

“We’re kind of like your one-stop-shop for nerds,” Harper said.