*Editors’ note: This story previously stated that Gamelandia would open on a date not represented in the story currently. Following a message from store owner Lisa Joyce on Sept. 28, the story was corrected to state that Gamelandia will open on Nov. 6. All corrected stories can be found under the ‘Corrected stories’ tab. 


Gamelandia, a tactile game store and play space, will hold a grand opening with food and open play rooms on Oct. 29. at 290 California Ave.

The space, which was previously family planning store Blossom Birth, will now have a retail section from family-friendly to adult games, a game rental library and game rooms that can be used for group events. 

Co-owners Lisa Joyce and Berry Hatfield created their vision after moving to the Bay Area from Brooklyn, New York and realizing that there weren’t many spaces where people could meet friends and play the games they loved. 

“We’re a real mom-and-pop operation,” Joyce said. “We have a lot of people on Cal Ave. say that it’s exciting to have something like this here.”


“We want people to feel like they can come here no matter what level of gamer they are and no matter what age they are.” 

— Lisa Joyce, Gamelandia co-owner


The store will offer instructional classes for anyone interested in learning how to play select games. The owners said they are focusing on building a space of inclusivity and lowering the barrier to entry for many games.

“We want it to be fun,” Joyce said. “We want people to feel like they can come here no matter what level of gamer they are and no matter what age they are.” 

Gamelandia employee and Palo Alto High School class of 2020 alumnus Juno Wolfe will be working as a Dungeons and Dragons master and guide for new learners.

“We’ll teach you how to DM [be a dungeon master], teach you how to play any of these games we have,” Wolfe said.

Wolfe began learning Dungeons and Dragons as well as board games during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, she lacked access to nearby game stores that she could visit with her friends.

 “The closest game store that me and my friends could go to was in Redwood City,” Wolfe said. “I definitely would have been here [Gamelandia]. You can literally walk from Paly.”


“We’ll teach you how to DM [be a dungeon master], teach you how to play any of these games we have.”

— Juno Wolfe, Gamelandia employee


Joyce said she also hopes that Gamelandia will become a place where not only young people can feel welcome, but also all others in the community.

“We’re excited to have people feel like this is their spot, have regular events here and really make a claim and have ownership,” Joyce said. 

Joyce said that Gamelandia differs from other game stores because it tries to highlight the often-overlooked artistic element of games. 

“There is so much imagery and care put into the different visuals of so many of these games,” Joyce said. “We wanted the space to feel very artistic and balance the more strategy and rational games with a really beautiful, creative vibe.” 

To create this ambiance, the couple commissioned two muralists to paint the game rooms that people can rent or play games in. With more spaces to play and appreciate the games, Joyce said she hopes more people can be social with others and have fun. 

“Play is really important for us,” Joyce said. “It really helps with stress and helps us connect with people.”