1057 S Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90006
World 8 is an independent video game store located in Korea town. You may have passed it while driving though the city. As soon as you see it's sign, with it's big eyes, looking at you, it makes you feel like the gaming world can delve a little bit into LA's reality. Sure you have GameStops and Game Dude, but do you have a hybrid store where you can play any current system? World 8 is also a modern arcade.
A few weeks ago in March, I headed to Korea Town before going to Cai Guo-Qiang's Sky Ladder at MOCA, it was literally a blast as over 40,000 rockets lit up the night sky. It wasn't the only blast I had that day, earlier I was on the hardest level of an old-school Mario game and a video game store with a piranha plant coming down from it's ceiling, green pipe included. I was at World 8, which is run by Israel Garcia Roldan and his family, they've been up and running for nine months. They're local and have lived nearby all their lives, so they know the area.
As you can see in the above interview with Israel, co-owner with his brother Edgar, he is a gamer and a nice guy who runs an awfully nice video game store. Some of it's features include: some very old games you might not find at other stores, video game merch, Duff Beer (non-alcoholic) in the soda machine and oh yeah, five separate TV's devoted to video games. You can pay and play any one of them you want at a fair rate. Even play on the NES, get your Duck Hunt on, as Israel told me it only works on older TV's, be prepared to not be on the big screen if playing it. This five faced threat means trying out any used game or even new ones.
As I was taking pictures and going over the place I saw Israel and his family help customers and fiddle with systems, taking the time to talk of old school titles. A few signs had pointed to a Call of Duty: Zombie Tournament I had just missed, they throw tournaments quite often, check here. If nothing is scheduled, why not get loose at the weekly Friday Night Fight? They do have a tournament winner page, that's just too awesome for a gamer, immortalized with a picture on a page with other devoted players.
You get a sense of community and regulars, a few regulars were in playing some shooter in the background almost the whole time I was there. Next to them, was someone kicking butt in Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3, sadly the Wii was left alone. Israel likes being part of the community, he even has a deal with parents of the local school, if kids bring in a final report card for the semester and if they had straight A’s they'll take 10% off something in the store or 2 hours of free play.
World 8 feels like stepping into a shop in a video game, it looks like the world has somehow folded and a portal in subspace has let you enter a store you'd only find in a game, with much better customer service.
They do have their own parking lot and I hope one day they do use it for a RC Mario Kart event they that Israel mentioned, there's also plenty of street parking and your near so many places to grab good food your in Korea town.
So head to World 8 it's much easier to get to then the one in Super Mario.