Play time: Houma family-run shop is a haven for gamers
While gaming has traditionally been seen a solo sport, uGAM3 has been a haven for gamers in the Houma-Thibodaux area since 2011.
uGam3 is a hybrid gaming shop in Houma. Located on Enterprise Drive, the shop has a LAN gaming center, a room filled with computers that allow gamers to play on the same server together, as well as console gaming, tabletop and card gaming.
Co-owner Debra Diehl said she and her children considered opening the shop after they noticed Houma had limited activities for children, especially gamers.
“We wanted a place where anybody could go and it’d be economical to have a good time and to hang out with like minds,” Debra Diehl said.
It took two years to get the business plan together, and uGAM3 opened in 2011 as a LAN gaming center. After the shop was approached by local Magic: the Gathering players, a popular trading card game, the it started hosting their tournaments, too.
Debra Diehl said one tournament attracted so many players to the shop that they had to toss packs of cards to players, rather than hand them out. The owners decided to move the shop to its current location for more room.
The shop hosts Magic: the Gathering tournaments every Friday evening, Yu-Gi-Oh! Tournaments Saturday evenings and Dungeons & Dragons on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The shop also occasionally hosts lock-ins, where gamers stay in the shop all night.
“We’ve had gamers as young as 3 or 4 years old come in,” Diehl said. “We’ve had a gentleman who must have been in his 90s who fell asleep in his gaming chair.”
Debra Diehl’s son, Jeffrey, a co-owner, said the shop is unique because the LAN Center is fully customized for gaming. The computers have about 2,500 games, and the arcade machines in the back have been modified to carry about 1,000.
Debra Diehl said the shop is an opportunity for gamers to get out of their houses and hang out and joke about gaming.
“The best part is to hear them laughing, people that normally may not get out much,” Debra Diehl said. “A lot of (gamers) are introverts or eccentric in one way or another, but no one judges here.”
For information, call the shop at 262-1353 or check out its website at www.ugam3.com.