WINFIELD — Lawrence native Jacob McGuire has created a family-friendly center of gaming for families and individuals in Cowley County.
Main Street Games, located at 705 Main St. in Winfield, opened in July and quickly has become a hot destination for those who love games.
Arkansas City resident Dustin Ward and his family members are just a few of the store’s regular customers.
“It is family-friendly, clean (and) the owner bends over backwards to help everyone that comes through the door,” Ward said.
“My wife and I feel safe bringing our kids there. Jacob (McGuire) tries to keep a lid on language and mature-content games while we are there playing games with our kids.”
McGuire’s goal of making Winfield a better place culminated in the creation of a gamer-focused store, designed to give people things to do for free.
McGuire came to Cowley County to attend Southwestern College, also in Winfield.
“(I) graduated with a degree in philosophy and religious studies, with a minor in leadership studies,” he said. “Since I graduated, I have been a resident director for Broadhurst Hall at Southwestern College.”
He has played games “for as long as (he) can remember.”
“I am purely focused on supporting the community, and providing a safe and inclusive space for the gamers and non-gamers of Cowley County to come together,” McGuire said.
There generally are 10 to 15 people of all backgrounds taking advantage of the gaming space at Main Street Games during business hours.
“My family and I play mostly modern board games,” Ward said. “Occasionally, the kids play some of the console games the shop has set up for (demonstrations).”
The Wards had been searching for some time for a place to play games with friends, a search that ended when the new game store opened.
“While some restaurants don’t mind you sitting for a little extra time, they don’t want you using a table for a couple hours. They are not set up for that,” said Dustin Ward. “Main Street is designed around that, and even while remodeling the space Jacob (McGuire) was vocal that it would be.”
“I think our largest, (most) consistent community is our Magic: The Gathering community,” McGuire said, “although we grow each day.”
Thursdays are family game night, Fridays are Magic tournament nights and there are other nights that see other small gaming groups gathering.
“I am there almost every Thursday night to play and teach board games,” Ward said.
There also are regular events on Saturdays and the store is trying to get miniatures games going on Sundays.
Some of the regulars are trying to start a weekly Sunday group that would be dedicated to Star Wars X-Wing miniatures.
“(What) I personally love is the drive Jacob has to serve all parts of the community,” Ward said. “When people asked about disc golf, he brought in disc golf gear. The same with slot car racing.”
“(We) are getting ready to start our slot car races, which I anticipate will bring many people to the shop,” McGuire said.
“I would love for it to continue to grow the community, and be the safe and inclusive environment I strive for each day. Eventually, I would love to create similar community hot spots around our smaller communities, but baby steps for now.”