Play: A Gamer’s Blog

27 Jun

VR: Taking Gaming to the Next Level

Is it finally time to take the plunge and invest in a virtual reality gear? If you’re interested in technology, are a serious gamer who needs the latest and greatest, or are just looking for a new and exciting experience, it’s time to take a virtual reality video game offerings. Follow me down the rabbit hole of video game VR and discover some pretty awesome game recommendations that were literally made to be experienced in virtual reality.

14 Apr

Mesa’s ZapCon 6 Arcade and Pinball Convention

What is ZapCon?

Zapcon is a weekend-long party where gamers devote their love and attention to the classic arcade and pinball machines. No need for quarters as all of the games are set to free play! It’s a wonderful throwback to all the games you love and remember. Celebrating it’s SIXTH year anniversary, the list of arcade and pinball machines that are going to be in attendance and available to be played is sure to make even the most die hard gamer want to Power Up. But where did Zapcon originate from?

10 Apr

Nintendo Switch Review

The Nintendo Switch has been out for a little over a year now, and I must say it is one of the most clever consoles Nintendo has come out with. Like, ever. IMHO, the Wii and Wii U were a bit of a flop. Although owning a Wii myself, it is frustrating sometimes using the motion sensor in the controller to aim directly at the sensor bar. You’re pointing the controller directly at the Wii yet nothing is happening. I JUST WANT TO PLAY THE GAME. Enter the Nintendo Switch and my new endless gaming smile. Nintendo Switch console with controller in red and blue

12 Mar

Upgrade Your Game Night with These Tabletop Gems

We’ve all played board games before, and yeah, Monopoly is good I guess. Sure, Scrabble is great if you’re my grandma. If you’re bored just reading that, it’s time for a board game revolution in your home! Let Bookmans shed the skin of boring board games and boring game nights past and shout to the world board games are awesome!

27 Feb

A Gamer’s Field Guide to Couch Co-Op

Don’t go in alone! Always have a buddy who’s got your back!

If you spend a lot of your free time gaming, you’re a lot like me. I mean, how can you not – they’re awesome! My wife and I are always on the hunt for our next great gaming adventure. For us, that next great hidden gem of a co-op experience is harder than trying to find Will in Stranger Things. It’s frustrating that a key feature that shaped many childhoods, mine included, is being forgotten. I miss the good old days where all you needed was a few good snacks, a great game, and a second controller. Here’s a walk down memory lane with my list of awesome co-op games you need to play with a buddy.

Couple playing video games together on a couch

07 Feb

Everyone Loves Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeons & Dragons isn’t geek culture, it’s pop culture. For the uninitiated, Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game. Of course, for those who play, it’s so much more than that. At its core, D&D is about storytelling; it’s about you and your friends telling a story together. This includes guiding your heroes through quests for treasure, battles with deadly foes, daring rescues, courtly intrigue, and much more. Each player creates a character with different attributes and abilities that they can level up through playing multiple sessions, otherwise known as the campaign.

Dungeons and Diners and Dragons, and Dive-ins, and Dives book cover

08 Dec

Bookmans Recommends: Nintendo Classics

Bookmans is obsessed with all things Nintendo. Classic games like Super Mario Bros., Legend of Zelda, and the ever loved Pokemon franchise… we could talk about those for hours! Since the release of the Nintendo Switch, we are all buzzing with excitement – and a bit of nostalgia too. Every time a new console is released, our minds go straight to the memories we made playing the Nintendo games that were such a big part of our childhoods. For most of us, Nintendo games were a comfort and a friend; an escape from the long days at school or how we made and grew friendships. With that in mind, let’s take a moment to geek out and reminisce about the best of Nintendo franchises.

Nintendo Switch console with Pokemon, Yoshi, and Mario Amiibo figures. A Zelda game is shown on the Switch screen.

08 Nov

Farewell, Vox Machina: Critical Role Season Finale

After 3 years on the air (and 2 years off-air), the Critical Role campaign of Vox Machina has finally come to a dramatic close as the intrepid adventurers face off against Vecna, a powerful lich who became a god. For fans of Critical Role that have followed Vox Machina’s journey, this ending is bittersweet. Over the months and years, we have come to love the characters of Vox Machina and share in their highs and lows, loves and loses, and look forward every week to be enthralled in how a completely improvised story can truly capture our hearts.

11 Aug

Bookmans Recommends | The Guild 10th Anniversary

By C’loni Bailey, Assistant Manager at Bookmans Mesa

Summer of 2017 marks the ten-year anniversary of the The Guild web series. It’s hard to believe that a decade has passed since I was first introduced to the adorable awkwardness of Codex and her wonderful gang of unruly weirdos. For the uninitiated, The Guild is a comedy web series created by geek goddess Felicia Day. The series follows a group of MMO gamers in an online guild called “The Knights of Good” as they try to awkwardly navigate real life with little understanding about how to manage relationships outside of the virtual world of The Game. The series stars Felicia Day as “Codex”, aka Cyd Sherman, an unemployed violinist who spends 8-9 hours a day playing The Game with her guildmates, whom she has never actually met in real life. The other members of the guild include Zaboo the love interest of Codex (sort of), Vork the neurotic guild leader, Clara the alarmingly neglectful mother of three, Tinkerballa the ascerbic ranger, and Bladezz the vulgar teenager. The Guild aired for six seasons and featured a slew of geeky guest stars like Wil Wheaton, Nathan Fillion, Erin Gray, Zachary Levi, Doug Jones, Neil Gaiman and even features a cameo by Stan Lee.

18 Jul

Bookmans Recommends | Our Favorite Video Game Movies

By C’loni Bailey, Assistant Manager at Bookmans Mesa

Video games are extremely difficult to translate into film. After all, how do you transfer something that is designed to be played by an active audience into something that is purely meant to be viewed? How do you handle a story that is designed to be shaped by the decisions of the player? As a result, video game movies are notoriously bad. But just because a movie isn’t great doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyable. If you’re anything like us, you can get plenty of enjoyment out of some pretty terrible video game movies. The following is a list of some of our favorites.

16 May

Geeking Out | Mass Effect: Andromeda

Five years after the release of the final climatic installment of the original Mass Effect trilogy, Bioware is back with the much anticipated Mass Effect: Andromeda. The story of Andromeda begins around the same time as the first Mass Effect game, as tens of thousands of the diverse Milky Way races (human, asari, turians, salarians, and krogan) depart their home galaxy for a 600 year journey to the Andromeda galaxy.


06 May

Sony PlayStation Does Virtual Reality

It was the year of 2016 and virtual reality was becoming the next big thing. Once Sony PlayStation stepped into the VR (Virtual Reality) world, I became a pushover for it. I mean let’s be real, if you have a PS4, then you are pretty much halfway there.  The PSVR operates off of the PS4 console itself, then all you need is the VR component/headset and a PlayStation 4 Camera. The PSVR easily plugs right into the back of the PS4, while you slip on the lightweight headset. Now that I’ve been explained a little bit on how it gear up let’s expand more on the actual VR experience. 


27 Apr

Bookmans Recommends | Art Academy (Nintendo 3DS)

If you were born in the past 40 years, you’ve probably played video games at some point in your life.  You know how easy it is to get sucked into a long story driven game on your console at home and how rewarding using your phone to slingshot little birds at green pigs can be.  These days, video games come in all shapes and sizes.  Titles have become so diverse in both content and method of interaction. Video games have even been used in schools to teach children since the 80’s, The Oregon Trail likely being the most notable example. Since then, a plethora of titles attempting to teach basic cognitive skills like math, grammar, and reading through play have found their way into homes and schools. But what about art? For those looking to master the brush,  Art Academy is a pleasant surprise.  


05 Jan

Bookmans Recommends: Critical Role by C’loni Bailey

The creeping crud has been going around and I spent the last week bedridden with little to do but watch videos on my phone. Fortunately for me, a week in bed is the perfect amount of time to catch up on my current geeky addiction, “Critical Role”.

critical role

For the uninitiated, Critical Role is a show on Geek and Sundry that features famous voice actors playing Dungeons & Dragons. Dungeon Mastered by Matthew Mercer, the voice of McCree in Overwatch and huge D&D enthusiast, he and a group of his voice actor friends play through his original campaign every Thursday. The main cast features Liam O’Brien (Illidan Stormrage in World of Warcraft), Laura Bailey (Jaina Proudmoore in World of Warcraft), Travis Willingham (Thor in Avengers Assemble animated series), Sam Reigel (Donatello in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series), Taliesin Jaffe (Blanka in Street Fighter IV), Ashley Johnson (Patterson in Blindspot), and Marisha Ray (Batgirl in Batgirl: Spoiled). In addition to the regular cast, the show also often features many famous guest players such as The Name of the Wind author Patrick Rothfuss, Wil Wheaton, Chris Hardwick, and many more.

13 Dec

Bookmans Recommends: Elder Scrolls Online: One Tamriel

If you’re anything like me you’ve had an ongoing obsession with The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim for the past five years and with good reason. Skyrim was a fantastic open world game with plenty of lore to engulf even the most staunch lore hound and a world massive enough to capture your attention for years to come. I played a bit of Oblivion before getting sucked into Skyrim, so I had great expectations when Bethesda and Zenimax teamed up to make The Elder Scrolls universe into an MMORPG. I have a weakness for online RPGs and the idea that one of my favorite game worlds was going multiplayer got me really excited!

elder scrolls

Unfortunately, upon participating in the beta just before the game’s launch in April 2014, I found myself feeling anything but thrilled. The world of Tamriel felt strangely small and restrictive, with favorite zones out of reach until much higher levels. The questing felt too linear for an Elder Scrolls game and the crafting was confusing. All in all, it felt like much of what made Skyrim and the other Elder Scrolls games feel so special, that go-anywhere-do-anything style of gameplay, was sorely missing from The Elder Scrolls Online. Upon release, I decided not the purchase the game after all and promptly forgot about it.

09 Dec

Geek Out Christmas

You want to buy your person an awesome gift, but you would prefer to get them something really really cool for not a lot of cash money. No mugs (unless it’s a Doctor Who mug), no ties (OK, maybe a Darth Vader tie), no ‘As Seen on TV’ gadget (they never work anyway). What is a proper Geek with properly Geeky friends supposed to do?? Go to Bookmans of course!! Not only can you purchase your gifts with Trade Credit (so put away that credit card – the interest rate is waaay too high). You can find the most unique gifts in our Geek Zone. You might want to cry “but they are used!!”. Well, yes they are but this isn’t Manhattan my friend and we do things different in these parts and we only purchase items that are in the best quality. Also, you might be surprised to discover that the items you find in our Geek Zone (and all over our vast spectacular Showrooms of Quirkiness) LOOK NEW. Most of the time we have to tell folks that our merchandise is used, and they are amazed. Your friends and family will be so shocked with awe and gratitude for the truly cool gift you gave them that it will never occur to think past their amazement that they actually received a gift that they wanted. Yeah, that could be YOU giving those gifts. So lets have a quick look at some of the fabulous fabulousness you can achieve by giving your peeps gifts from Bookmans!


12 Oct

DragonCon 2016 (My First Experience) – Bookmans

DragonCon review, from our one and only C’Loni Bailey.

With the ever increasing popularity of geek culture, conventions are popping up all over the place but only a few well established conventions have gained “bucket list” status, including but not limited to the famous San Diego Comic Con International, New York Comic Con, and my personal bucket list convention, DragonCon. After four years of trying and failing to make the trip, I finally was able to cross it off my bucket list earlier this month when I hopped aboard a plane to Atlanta, Georgia to attend the 30th year anniversary of Dragon Con.

Taking place annually over Labor Day weekend in downtown Atlanta, DragonCon is one of the biggest science fiction and fantasy conventions in the U.S. My DragonCon adventure began a year ago when I booked my hotel room at the Hilton Downtown Atlanta, one of five host hotels where the convention takes place. A year later, I found myself in landing in downtown Atlanta and randomly sharing a Super Shuttle with two other DragonCon attendees, one from Manchester, England, the other from Helsinki, Finland. Over the course of six days in Atlanta I met other attendees from England, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand, as well as all over the United States. This attests to the international appeal of DragonCon as a destination for geeks worldwide.

24 Aug

World of Warcraft Demon Hunter Preview

World of Warcraft is about to release their latest expansion, Legion, that officially drops August 30. However the new Demon Hunter class went live on August 9th allowing any players who pre-ordered the World of Warcraft Legion expansion through to play the new class. I had the opportunity to give Demon Hunter a test run and here’s what Legion players can expect.

World of Warcraft

26 Jul

Bookmans Summer Video Game News Wrap-Up

By C’loni Bailey (Asst Manager Bookmans Mesa)

This summer saw the release of many new games that took the gamer population by storm, including Overwatch and Pokémon Go. Taking the competition by storm, sweeping through schools, parking lots and locking people into their screens, games from Blizzard Entertainment and the world-loved Pokemon Go have people buzzing about. Here are some of the latest updates:


Released in May, the Blizzard Entertainment team-based shooter game was an immediate best seller, drawing in a ton of new players and devastating their competition (sorry Battleborn!). Shortly after launch, Blizzard introduced Competitive Play mode to Overwatch, allowing skilled players to fight in ranked matches throughout a competitive season (approximately 2 1/2 months long) and test their skills against their peers.


In most recent news, Overwatch has revealed their newest character: Ana. Ana Amari is a support sniper with the ability to heal her allies by shooting them with Biotic Darts and throwing Biotic Grenades. She can also put enemies to sleep with Sleep Darts and boost her allies’ speed and damage with a Nano Boost.

15 Jul


Pokemon GO Giveaway 7-16-2

Geeking out is half the fun at Bookmans Entertainment Exchange! Which is why we are celebrating the pure geeky awesomeness that is POKEMON GO with a giveaway like no other. If you are not currently hunting pocket monsters in your neighborhood then we behoove you to officially jump on this band wagon and download this fun game on your iOS and android devices.

Each of our six Bookmans locations  will be giving away a geektastic prize pack to one lucky individual. To enter simply follow the rules below.

  1. Take a screenshot catching Pokemon at your fave Bookmans store.
  2. Share that pic on the social media platform of your choosing and tag yours truly.
  3. Tag the Bookmans local where said pocket monster was caught. #BookmansFlag  #BookmansMesa  #BookmansPhoenix  #BookmansSpeedway #BookmansGrant #BookmansIna
  4. Follow Bookmans to see if you are one of six winners taking home some sweet swag.

@Bookmansaz  @Bookmans Bookmans facebook

@BookmansFlag  @BookmansMesa  @BookmansPhoenix  @BookmansSpeedway @BookmansGrant @BookmansIna

Trainers can only enter once. Winners will be selected using and will be notified via Social Media direct message on Monday by 5pm. Prizes can be picked up any time after 5pm on Monday at the Bookmans location where the Pokemon was caught. Contest closes on Sunday, July 17th at 10pm. 

Happy Hunting!

Bookmans Entertainment Exchange buys, sells and trades used books, music, movies, video games & musical instruments.
Our 6 stores in Tucson, Phoenix, Mesa & Flagstaff are open 7 days a week from 9am-10pm.

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