Albert Hartfeld never found a job he liked.
The 28-year-old has worked a variety of jobs ranging from waiting
tables to dealing cards in a casino to selling cellular phones -- and
he hated every one of them. After 11 years of working a slew of jobs,
the only position he said he even remotely enjoyed was as a host at
Bob’s Big Boy.
But everything changed when Hartfeld, an avid video gamer, opened
his own store, the Game Fixx, last month.
“I’ve always loved video games and, for the first time in my life,
I’m happy,” he said.
With his business, Hartfeld’s goal was to marry a variety of games
with a sense of community among his customer base. He recently
installed a big-screen TV to host game tournaments where players can
pick any game they want and the winners receive prizes. He also has
two arcade games in the store, “Tekken Tag Tournament” and “Raden.”
“I totally want this to be a kick-back kind of place for kids to
hang out at after school,” he said.
Hartfeld also wants parents to feel they have control over what
their children play. For games rated “MA” for mature audiences,
children younger than 17 must have a parent’s consent before he will
To better rival big-box chain stores, he reduces the retail price
of games by at least $2. He also sells video-game consoles, used
games, anime cards and soundtracks.
Coincidentally, Hartfeld, an aspiring actor, was featured in a
PlayStation commercial for the game “NFL Blitz 2000.” He played a
store cashier tackled by football players.