Self-taught owner of GameGo Computers provides technology repairs to Mount Pleasant
Near the intersection of North Mission Street and Pickard Road, GameGo Computers hides away on a side street, providing the community with technology repairs, custom gaming PCs and entertainment products.
The store, located at 802 E. Palmer St., was opened in 2008 by owner Ian Walters, who said he is a self-taught computer expert. Along with being the owner, he’s the manager and main tech guy of his store. He said the store services anywhere from 10 to 300 people a week so he does employ two other people as well.
Walters said they can repair a variety of items.
“Anything that has a computer in it, we can fix it if it’s fixable,” Walters said.
The store provides repairs for laptops, PCs, phones, tablets, gaming consoles, gaming controllers and TVs.
Ionia junior Morgan Pierce said she went to GemeGo two times last semester to fix her computer. Pierce said she appreciated how straight forward Walters was with the price. The price was higher than she expected, but said she wasn’t taken advantage of the way other stores might.
Vestaburg resident Rose Patch said the pricing was lower compared to other places she had been to fix her phone screen. She has been to the store a few times and said she gets along with the owner. Overall, she is satisfied with the pricing and service. She also said Walters is helpful with explaining things.
“I don’t know a lot about electronics, but he doesn’t hesitate to explain,” Patch said. “If you have questions, he’s going to talk to about it.”
The store also sells items like used laptops, computer mouses and keyboards among other things. Racks and display cases full of video games for PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo game systems line the walls. There are also rows of DVDs and Blu-rays for sale.
The store also provides Xbox modifications, custom server builds and custom gaming PC builds.
Walters said custom built computers are based on how much money a customer wants to spend. He also said it’s important to determine what games a customer wants to play, since different games require different amounts of power.
He said the three main components to focus on when first designing a PC are the motherboard, processor and RAM.
He said the motherboard is like the foundation of a house – everything the customer wants incorporated must be planned out in the foundation. Similarly, the features wanted on a gaming PC should be planned out before building, such as number of RAM slots, number of USB ports and case size.
He said the processor is like a brain – it gives orders to the rest of the computer.
The third most important thing to Walters is the amount of RAM space. The amount of RAM memory will effect the computer's performance he said.
These three components are the most important, because everything else in the build can be upgraded later he said.
He said he gained all this knowledge from teaching himself about computers. He tries to learn everything on his own.
“I have never gone onto the internet to look up what the problem was and how to fix it,” Walters said. “I’ve always tried to learn myself.”
He said his interest in computers began around 1998 when he was living in California doing high-security transportation for a watch company. He knew nothing about computers until he acquired a Dell Dimension desktop computer.
Some people might dread calling technical support, however, Walters used it to his advantage. Every time he had a problem with his computer, he would call the Dell help line with a notepad in front of him and would write down the solutions they gave him.
He kept learning about computers from there until he decided that he could build his own PC.
He continued to teach himself about computers and tech repair when he first opened his business, due to an experience with an employee that worked there when it first opened. This employee was his main tech guy, but Walters started to have bad feelings about him.
Walters said he decided to put his suspicions to the test. He told his tech guy that he was leaving the store and would be right back. Walters got into his car, drove around the corner and watched for the employee.
His skepticism was proven true, he said, when he saw the employee putting motherboards from the shop into his car. He also caught him pocketing money made from the gaming area that was in the store during that time.
Walters fired the employee and knew he would have to do things on his own. That’s how he has operated GameGo since, expanding his knowledge on computers.
“By opening the store, it opened my eyes more because I got to deal so many different computers and problems,” Walters said. “I had to figure it out on my own.”
Walters said he enjoys meeting new people and bringing his two dogs into work.