Filling a void in the Wausau gaming community

A new game and card store in Wausau is bringing back a buzz that was missed by many in the gaming community.
Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 10:04 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - A new game and card store in Wausau is bringing back a buzz that was missed by many in the gaming community.

For the three friends that own Iso games in Wausau, calling their jobs “work” would be an exaggeration.

“The biggest part of this for us is really the community and then the gaming experience as a whole,” Iso Games Vice President Brad Emon said.

It’s been said if you do what you love for a living, you’ll never work a day in your life.

“We’re kind of a nerd bar,” Iso Games Treasurer and Secretary Matthew Wruck said.

Wruck, Emon and President of Iso Games Matthew Check went into the gaming business after ‘Johnny Cee Cards’ in Schofield closed two years ago. For these young entrepreneurs, opening Iso Games in October was a way to bring something they love back to Wausau. “I wanted to make sure that there was a place that existed that I went to when I was a kid, right, so like when I was 11, I don’t know what my life would have been like had I not found the store,” Emon said.

Emon worked at Johnny Cee cards for about a decade, but his friends, Check and Wruck were just customers. They all longed to have a new space for gaming, so they figured, why not make money and open their own storefront?

“The first day that we were open I had three different friends ask me so what’s it like living the dream? And it sometimes kind of feels that way,” Check said.

They said a majority of gaming has gone digital, but these guys are kickin’ it old school for those who just can’t let go and look forward to the social aspect.

“I think that there’s always going to be that social aspect of people wanting to hang out with their friends in person and I think that’s a lot of what drives this industry,” Wruck said.

Wruck, Check and Emon are living encyclopedias of Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokémon, among many others. They’re filled with knowledge you won’t get from buying on amazon. Something that customers can’t get enough of.

“It’s a home away from home. I’m here a little too much, a lot of the times hanging playing in events and a lot of different stuff,” customer Eric Czerniak said.

Iso Games is open seven days a week and moving forward the guys also hope to advance their business by including vintage video games.

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