Pegasus Games, oldest game store in Madison, closes

Madison’s gaming community said goodbye to the first and oldest game store in the area Sunday.

A group of friends opened Pegasus Games in Downtown Madison in 1980. Since then, the store traveled to various locations and ended up in West Madison.

“I was up here visiting with my friends, and we had gone to a convention at the university, a gaming convention at the university and I said ‘Well, let’s go to the game store here,’ and they said, ‘The closest one is in Lake Geneva,'” said Michael Lingner, a founder.

Those friends created a legacy for the gaming community in Madison.

“We always wanted to be the store where people wanted to come and geek out and play and not feel like they were looked down on because they were beginners,” said Lory Aitken, an owner.

Pegasus Games has loyal customers who have been shopping there for the past 39 years, including their first customer, Peter Hamon.

“It was always a warm atmosphere that welcomed everybody and I think that’s what as you can see, it has attracted a vast cord of Madison gamers,” Hamon said.

When Hamon found out Pegasus Games would close, he planned to be the last customer.

“This game store has added a lot to Madison over the years and it seems from the crowd here, there’s a lot of people who are thankful for that,” Hamon said.

The staff members at Pegasus Games are also a part of the community it’s helped build.

“I am very happy to be a part of that legacy,” said James Nettum, a staff member.

As a teenager, Nettum was a customer at Pegasus Games. Aitken gave him a job 13 years ago.

“We are selling games that are helping kids with their math, with their reading. We are helping adults develop better social interactive skills,” Nettum said.

It’s not the games that Aitken and her customers are going to miss most about the store, it’s the community of gamers the store built in Madison.

“The people are the ones I’m going to miss, for sure,” Aitken said.

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