Store aims to build gaming community

Eternal Gaming (left) owner Christopher Kelly of Bowling Green plays video games and watches videos with customers when help is not needed at the checkout counter on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010. Trey Cornelius (center) comes from Scottsville said he drives the 20 minute drive to Eternal Gaming about once or twice a week to play Halo or World of Warcarft. ****NOTE*** Chris Riggsbee of Bowling Green at far right comes to Eternal Gaming about once a month.

Cristen Friddell

Christopher Kelly said he doesn’t know when the idea for his new gaming shop and lounge Eternal Gaming came to him, but he has been gaming since he was a child.

“I just wanted to do something I like,” he said.

Eternal Gaming opened this August on 955 Fields Drive, beside the Shenanigans on Campbell Lane.

Bowling Green freshman Patrick Neil Jones said he couldn’t believe it when Kelly first told him he was opening Eternal Gaming and furnishing the place with 24 Xbox 360s.

It wasn’t until he saw a picture of all the Xboxes together that he got excited.

Eternal Gaming charges $2 an hour per person for game play and has a variety to choose from, Kelly said.

He said Eternal sells new and used games and trades them, too.

Jones said the lounge provides gamers with more than just a place to play; it’s a place to hang out with friends.

He said Eternal gives local gamers a place to do what they love with people who share their passion.

“It’s one thing to gloat over a microphone,” he said. “It’s another thing to gloat in person.”

Kelly said Eternal is unique because there’s no other place like it in town.

“Some people come in because they don’t have Xboxes,” he said. “But most people come in groups.”

Eternal Gaming also hosts gaming tournaments and events.

This weekend Eternal is hosting a Halo: Reach 4v4 tournament starting at 5:00 p.m. Friday and ending at 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Kelly said.

“People are coming in from Indiana, Louisville and even Tennessee,” he said.

The tournament is $25 per person, and the grand prize is $1,000, he said.

Barbourville resident Timothy Willis said he’s excited about this weekend’s tournament.

“This is actually going to be my first event,” he said. “But all the people seem to be really nice and professional about everything.”

Kelly said he offers a $5 rate for all-day play on Fridays.

Jones said he and his friends like to take advantage of this discount.

“I think the longest I’ve ever stayed there was from 1 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.,” he said. “That was quite a day.”

Jones said one of the best things about Eternal is that customers can test out games before they buy them, giving the store a community feel.

“If you are tired of being treated like a sales number like ‘other’ gaming stores, come to Eternal Gaming,” he said. “Eternal Gaming is the only place you can buy, trade and compete.”

Future events include a Super Street Fighter 4 Tournament on December 18 and a Super Smash Bros. Brawl tournament on Jan. 8.

Eternal Gaming is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.