Hidden in downtown Santa Cruz is magic.
Mythic Games sells magic and provides game-playing space for the Santa Cruz community.
Owner Reuben Timineri said, “The most important thing to me is the people that come down to the store.”
Providing a community where people of all ages can collect to play and trade is Timineri’s core goal. By bringing people together with a common passion, naturally the space has been where many long-lasting gaming friendships have formed.
“If they come down for an event, they get paired up with others,” said Timineri. “It’s sort of a by-product.”
Of the many players who frequent Mythic Games one or two of the players go to the world tour every year. Timineri said he often hears the highly respected pros giving advice to others.
Cards and magic playing merchandise cover the black walls and fill the product displays. Black tables line the inside of the store for comfortable convenient playing space. Boys of various ages wander into the store and converse with the store owner and other customers.
Alec Morin, a 21-year-old who visits Mythic Games once a week, said he started doing magic when he was 8 years old because it’s similar to chess in that it requires a series of moves and mental activity.
“It’s one of those things that I picked up because it’s strategy,” said Morin. “Based on your knowledge and anticipation, you can change the game. My favorite thing is figuring out how to move and adapt.”
Mythic Games hosts events five or six days of the week, with the turnout ranging from three to 45 people. Events cost between $6 and $25, depending on if it’s constructed where players bring their own cards or limited where packs are purchased for play at the moment.
The highest attended events are pre-releases when a new set of magic cards comes out. For the past pre-release, 30 gamers played from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.
Morin said he values magic because of the lifelong skills it teaches. Trading is about getting something of equal or better value, he said. His most memorable trade was converting $50 worth of cards into $600.
“It can teach you about economics and investment,” he said.
From event entry and magic card purchases to beverage sales, Timineri keeps the money flowing into his business.
“There’s a very simple equation: in store play equals sales,” said Timineri.
The “war room,” which was recently added one month ago, is designated for game-playing and events with many tables and couches filling the room. Other magic venues in Santa Cruz have one-third or less of the game space that Mythic Games provides, said Timineri.
Timineri said, “People come in and say, ‘Wow, there’s so much space to play.’”
Timineri took over Mythic Games in March when the previous owner Zach Von Huber decided to leave. When coming to Santa Cruz two years ago, Timineri said his original intent was to open a gaming store.
Visit Mythic Games at 149 South River St., Downtown Santa Cruz. Open Monday 3 to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Friday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call the store at 831-600-7451.