By JIMMY LAWTON
OGDENSBURG -- An Ogdensburg video game store owner is receiving help from an industry legend after a Tuesday night burglary cost him more than $3,000 in merchandise and cash.
Christopher Pray said he and his brother recently achieved the dream of opening a local game store “I Got Game” June 8, but just three weeks later his inventory was nearly wiped out.
“Yesterday morning I came in and I was greeted by a broken window and all of my games were gone,” he said.
That same day Pray said he received a visit from id Software co-founder and Doom designer John Romero and his wife Brenda Romero of Ogdensburg, who also works in the industry.
Pray said the couple stopped into visit the fledgling business, unaware of the burglary, immediately offered to help.
“Brenda posted about it on Facebook and about 20 minutes later Epic Games said they were going to donate some stuff to help.” Pray said.
John Romero provided Pray with a signed copy of Gauntlet, a game he helped design.
“It really turned my frown upside down,” he said. “It’s great that they wanted to help, but I was happy just to have met them.”
Pray said he was a fan of Romero’s work as well as his Wizardry series which was created at Sir-Tech, an Ogdensburg-based computer development company, where Brenda used to be employed, prior to its closing.
Pray said the Romeros weren’t the only people to come to his aid, as many of his regulars have begun donating some of their private collection to the store.
“We’ve had a lot of support,” Pray said.
Pray said he does not plan to let the break-ins stop his dream. He said he will rebuild slowly and continue to offer Magic: The Gathering Tournaments, which have been popular among his customers.
“The good news it we will soon be DIC certified to host ranked Magic tournaments,” he said.
All in all Pray said things could have been worse.
“It was such an honor of ours to be graced with Brenda and John Romero’s presence at our store today. Despite the break-in and everything it really made our day. John even signed one of his games for us today. (Thank you) guys so much. This day will no longer be remembered as the day we got broke into but the day we met Brenda and John Romero,” Pray posted on his store’s Facebook page.
Pray said he opened the business with help from his brother and sister-in-law James and Danielle Pray, as well as own fiancé Shannon Burley.
“I Got Game” is located at 205 Ford Street.