The GAMe PLACe
|“||I also hope that the Game and Hobby Place in Charlottesville... BURNS TO THE GROUND! ALONG WITH MICHAEL SNYDER!||”|
|Chris, being oddly prophetic in two ways|
The GAMe PLACe (Also known as simply The Place, and later known as Cville's Hobbies, Games, and Toys from August 2011 until closure) was a comic book, video game, card, toy and hobby shop in Charlottesville, Virginia that originally opened in 1995.
From at least 2002[note 1] up until the summer of 2008, Chris hung out there on a regular basis, going there every Friday without fail to play the Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! TCGs. The shop hosted the Pokémon TCG League, where Chris served as a self-proclaimed volunteer gym leader (though he was not endorsed in any way, and was largely simply tolerated by the store).
After a long period of increasingly disruptive behavior, and repeated warnings from staff, Chris was permanently kicked out of the store by one of the managers, Michael Snyder, on 6 June 2008. After his permanent ban, Chris attempted several times to regain access to the store, to no avail thanks to Michael's insistence.
Following the judgement after the 28 October 2011 incident (see below), Chris was forced to keep away from Michael Snyder at all times, which by extension meant that he was permanently banned from the store by law after the judgement, up until its closure, which was reported on in June 2014.
The former owner of the GAMe PLACe, Robert Lightburn, is a registered sex offender who was convicted for trying to arrange a liaison with a policeman posing as a fourteen-year-old girl. Chris would repeatedly invoke this fact in his tirades against the shop and even made the baseless accusation that Snyder was a pedophile as well and was perhaps molesting his own daughter.
As of 2015, the premises formerly occupied by the PLACe are now host to Gearharts, an artisan chocolate shop.
People of Note
Chris originally met Megan Schroeder at The GAMe PLACe in 2005, where they bonded over their shared interest in Yu-Gi-Oh!. Megan continued to hang out at the shop even after her friendship with Chris collapsed in the spring of 2008, although their relationship by that point was strained to say the least. Once she broke off all contact with Chris, she did her best to ignore him entirely when they were at the store at the same time.
The other two best-known patrons of the shop, aside from Chris himself, are Mimms and Lucas. The two friends are the primary source of most of what is known about Chris's behavior at The GAMe PLACe (and most of the information in this article), which they revealed during a detailed Q&A session on the PVCC forums. They're also famous for having taken and uploaded the first photograph of Chris to reach the Internet, which Mimms snapped and Lucas uploaded to 4chan in the fall of 2007.
Michael Snyder was one of the store's managers until he became the owner around October 2011. Chris often mistakenly referred to Snyder as the store's owner long before he actually purchased the store. Snyder would eventually become one of Chris's real-life enemies when he kicked Chris out of the store in the summer of 2008.
Chris's Attitude at the GAMe PLACe
|“||Chris would rarely ever shake anyone's hand after a game, and when he did, he quickly followed up with hand sanitizer.||”|
In his early days at The GAMe PLACe, Chris's behavior seems to have been more "childlike", for lack of a better word. According to Mimms, who was a regular at the store for the entire time Chris hung out there, Chris avoided using foul language when he first started gaming at the store. He also never failed to show up for Pokémon games in his old Ash Ketchum costume.
The costume was eventually retired, however (by the time of the 2007 photo, Chris was showing up in his usual clown shirts and Sonichu medallions), and Chris's behavior grew more aggressive and vulgar over the years. According to Mimms and Lucas, Chris often became angry at his card-game opponents, even small children. An October 2007 e-mail from Megan mentions an incident where Chris was extremely threatening and insulting to a guy whom he thought was putting the moves on his gal-pal.
Mimms recounted a few instances of Chris displaying his blatant racism with his dislike and distrust of black people. He was openly suspicious of the young black kids he played Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! with, apparently because he thought they were going to make off with his cards. Chris also nearly managed to earn himself a beating from an older black gamer by the name of TJ:
|“||Chris yells at him, "I'm going to smack your effing face down!" and TJ stands up like he's going to beat his ass. Chris shrinks back and and says "I mean your face-down monster..."||”|
|Mimms, Mimms and Lucas Q&A|
Likewise, Chris's homophobia occasionally surfaced while he was hanging out at the shop. A gay regular at the shop by the name of Eric was the target of mockery, insults, and threats from Chris (although Mimms noted that, for obvious reasons, Chris wasn't likely to ever do him any great physical harm). Chris also assumed that two of the shop's regulars were gay because they happened to exchange a few jokingly romantic remarks – his literal mind took that as proof that they were an actual couple.
Chris the Card Gamer
- Main article: Card games
|“||Chris was pretty awful at all the games he played.||”|
|Mimms, summing up Chris.|
Though he apparently spent plenty of money buying new cards at the store and built them into a sizable collection of themed decks, Chris didn't have any aptitude for deck-building or strategy in the Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card games. Even when playing against small children, he rarely won games or advanced in tournaments, although Mimms recounts one occasion where Chris managed to win a match on a day when most of the regular players were absent, and proudly hollered "I'M THE LEVEL-UP KING!"
Chris often declares that he was a gym leader in the store's Pokémon league (an older player who manages tournaments, keeps track of wins and losses, and so forth). It's mentioned on his résumé, for instance, and he talks about it in the Father Call. However, his memory has apparently inflated his role considerably. "He wasn't actually a gym leader," says Mimms, but rather a substitute who took the place of the regular gym leader on a few occasions. He also wasn't very good at the job, reportedly becoming angry and snapping at the players he was supposed to be taking care of. This earned him his first ban from the store, lasting two weeks, which, according to Lucas, began on 4 April 2008.
To Chris's very slight credit, Mimms says he did resist using his custom Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! cards in actual games. Mimms and Lucas also noted that he played the Universal Fighting System card game, often playing female characters such as Cassandra and Chun-Li.
The GAMe PLACe Photograph
In the fall of 2007, Chris discovered the Encyclopedia Dramatica page devoted to him. There, he also discovered a blurry photograph of himself, which had been taken and posted to 4chan by Mimms and Lucas respectively.
Though he'd already pretty thoroughly blown a gasket over the ED page, Chris went even crazier trying to discover the identity of the photographer. In an e-mail to Anna McLerran from November 2007, he mentions pestering the staff of The GAMe PLACe to go through their anti-theft camera footage to find out who had taken the photo. Unsurprisingly, they weren't very cooperative. According to Mimms, Chris complained about the photo and the ED page so loudly and frequently at the store that the management eventually threatened to kick him out if he didn't stop.
Chris also complained to his mother, who apparently became as angry or more so. At one point, early in November, Chris's parents visited the store and interrogated Mimms as to the origin of the photo. After Mimms admitted that he had snapped the picture (but feigned ignorance as to how it found its way onto the Internet), they threatened to take legal action, but never actually did so.
Chris's "investigations" continued on and off for months after he originally found the picture. In an e-mail to Megan (sent in March 2008 and oddly situated in-between desperate apologies for the porn he drew of her), he recounts an indirect confrontation with Lucas at GameStop on 8 March.
|“||So it brought up to mind my first word being "Monkey", so I told Mimms that. And with a turn around towards the accompanying Lucas, I said in his direction, "Well, that's something new you didn't know about 'be-4' about this 'Chan'." I noticed a look on his face like, "Wow, I can totally wail on that tidbit of information." He said nothing.||”|
|Chris's idea of subtlety, from the Megan e-mails.|
Later, Lucas gave his own interesting take on the story.
|“||The funniest part about that is that I have no recollection of him saying that to me whatsoever. I had no idea I was even a suspect until I saw that e-mail.||”|
|Lucas, Mimms and Lucas Q&A|
Chris Gets the Boot
Chris's behavior offended the store's management and customers in a number of ways. Aside from punting his gym leader duties, scaring the small children he played card games with, picking fights with other players, and generally being a racist and homophobic creep, he would truck his video game consoles into The GAMe PLACe and take over the shop's flatscreen TV for considerable amounts of time, loudly sing along to Britney Spears during games, pitch fits inspired by his hatred of the HEXBox in public, and so on.
Chris received his first ban from the store on April 4, 2008 (lasting two weeks) after he went into the store's back room unauthorized to grab a box of assorted items for Pokémon card game sessions. According to Mimms, Mike used this as a pretext when in fact, he was losing customers because Chris was constantly making an uncomfortable environment with his spoiled and obnoxious behavior. Unfortunately, Chris did nothing to change his ways and things would only get worse for him later on.
The straw that broke the camel's back was an incident in the summer of 2008, where Chris got into a shouting match with a young black kid. That particular incident triggered Chris's permanent ban from the store, though Mimms stated "Mike was looking for any reason to ban him at this point." While Mimms' recollection was that the permanent ban took place in August, Chris's correspondence indicates that it must have occurred on the first Saturday of June.[note 2]
Predictably, Chris did his best to resist getting kicked out of the store. He brought his parents in to argue his case with Michael Snyder, to which Michael responded by calling the Jerkops. Despite a fierce response from Barbara Chandler, Chris and his family failed to move either Michael or the cops, and from that point onward every indication was that Chris would never be allowed back into the store.
In the Jackie e-mails, Chris offers his own version of events. The so-called "Wii Incident", according to Chris, was when Michael Snyder forced Chris to stop bogarting the TV for his Wii. Doing this apparently caused a number of children to miss out on obtaining a few trade-only evolution Pokémon. Chris got angry and wrote a letter, sign, or simply scrawled a note on the side of a card box stating "Michael Snyder Loves the "F" out of Mary Lee Walsh." This, Chris claimed, was Mike's last straw and he booted him then.
According to the CWCipedia article for Megan Schroeder, Chris claims that Megan was there the day he was banned and claimed that she just stood there in shock, refusing to speak up for him. In reality, of course, she was simply disgusted by his behavior like any rational person would have been and relieved that his banning would be the last time Chris would ever be in her sight. Also, she refused to defend Chris not because of shock, but because of his sexual harassment, destruction of her dignity, anger issues, and overall immaturity, ultimately cementing the fact that nobody wanted Chris to ever return to the store.
In February 2011, Chris mentioned in Autism Tutorial Part 3 that he still feels bitter over his banning.
Chris repeatedly attempted to overcome his ban and gain readmission to the store. As mentioned in a July 2008 e-mail, Chris sent a letter to Michael Snyder shortly after his initial 1-month ban. According to Lucas, this apology letter was met with peals of laughter from himself and others at the store.
In March 2009, he attempted to apologize in the best way he knew how: posting a video to YouTube on the off-chance the individual addressed would see it. This was not the most sincere apology in the world, since Chris made it clear in a later video that he doesn't really understand why he was thrown out in the first place (not to mention he brought up that the store was the only local place where he could buy cards for a TCG he was interested in). A month later, in April 2009, Chris attempted to sneak into the store, but when a cashier recognized him and caught him, Chris ran as far away as he could.
Almost two years after his initial ban from The GAMe PLACe, Chris would try again to get the ban lifted. Chris's conversations with Jackie reveal that he attempted to go to The GAMe PLACe after church on 11 April 2010. When he was once again recognized by a cashier who threatened to call the cops, Chris got angry and bolted. The next day, Chris visited the store again to talk to Michael Snyder in an attempt to have the ban removed. However, the visit did not turn out in Chris's favor, as the audio from the incident shows. Michael refused to revoke the ban (later noting on YouTube, that Chris was actually reading the apology from a pre-written script) and Chris took this about as well as could be expected; he flipped Michael off, called him a JEW, and left the store in a huff. The police were called about the incident, according to Mimms, but Chris was already long gone by the time they arrived. No charges were pressed, likely because nobody was actually physically abused.
Chris has never fully understood why he was kicked out of the store. According to Mimms, Chris didn't see what was wrong with his behavior at the time, and he evidently hasn't reflected on the subject much in the intervening years. During the April 2010 visit to the store, the only possible grounds for his ban he could remember was the aforementioned "Wii Incident". Later, when he posted an ad on CWCipedia complaining about Snyder's refusal to lift the ban, Chris appeared to believe that the store manager refused to let him in because he hated him personally and people with autism in general.
In October 2010, Chris made yet another request to be readmitted. Wearing an ancient Pokémon League T-shirt, he apologized for his behavior and said that the ban was his fault, blaming the whole thing on his infamous "stress". He also claimed to have only "shouted a loud outburst" twice. Unsurprisingly, Mike wasn't moved.
With Chris's continued failure to overturn the ban, it was clear that his chances of winning entry to The GAMe PLACe were almost as remote as the chances of his duck winning entry to China (without the use of commercial services).
The Charlottesville Incident
On 4 June 2010, Chris visited The GAMe PLACe. He claimed that he wanted to take a photograph of Snyder so he could print it out and use it as a dartboard, but when Snyder saw him with his camera outside, he chased Chris. Chris claimed that he tried to drive away, but was accosted by Snyder, a woman he didn't recognize, and the police. Snyder's version was more succinct:
|“||Christian is in my parking lot right now being grilled by the police. He took pictures of my daughter and tried to run me over with his car. they witness this, and I bet they still do nothing about it.||”|
The police listened to Chris rant about the trolls for a while and eventually made him delete the pictures and sent him home with a warning. Chris did not tell his parents anything, and it would be two months before they would learn about it.
- Main article: 28 October 2011
On 28 October 2011, Chris and Barb got arrested and ended up facing multiple charges; hit-and-run (both), misdemeanor assault, trespassing (Chris), and attacking a law official (Barb). Going by the details of said charges, as well as photographs uploaded to this very wiki by Chris himself, it can be assumed that the two tried to enter the store, Chris got in a fight with Michael, the two tried and failed to escape the parking lot before the police arrived, damaging something in the process, and when the cops showed up Barb tried to stop them from arresting Chris.
After the incident, Chris used a 10% off coupon found in the local newspaper to produce an anti-GAMe PLACe flyer - stating that it was a "cyber-bullies hang-out" and encouraging people to "stay far away". He also stated that the PLACe will go down by "[his] will, or by someone elses fire-on-a-stick and bombs" suggesting he has learned absolutely nothing from his chastening court experience.
Google Maps Spamming
A scathing review of the place on Google Maps written by one "Robert" was discovered by trolls. What's notable about this is that the review was written right around the time of the incident.
|“||Owner is very rude and a liar. He banned my autistic friend Chris from the store a couple years ago. I tried to talk it over with the owner who's name is Michael Snyder to see if I can get him to let my friend back to be a customer there again, we wouldn't give me a reason behind the ban and hung up on me. But that's only the beginning. Just recently he actually had the gall to charge my friend and his WIDOWED MOTHER with some bogus "hit and run" charges. The employees however are pretty nice and try to help you, but if my money is going to the profit of this utterly contemptible owner I would much rather take my business somewhere else."||”|
|"Robert", on the GAMe PLACe.|
Several clues made quite a few trolls suspicious that "Robert" was actually Chris. The mere fact that his "friend" has to point out that he's autistic from the get-go raises a red flag, and the message is pretty much full of biased contempt towards Michael Snyder, and pretty much sets the tone for his anti-GAMe PLACe campaign above. Note also that the words "WIDOWED MOTHER" is in all caps, something Chris routinely does in his writing when angry.
A second review later showed up by someone who identified themselves as "Ben McMullan." The review read:
|“||Owner is a registered sex offender. He has also historically denied service to autistic patrons."||”|
|"Ben McMullan", on the GAMe PLACe.|
It is unknown if this review is by Chris or by a troll, but, judging Ben McMullan's other reviews, which include businesses in Georgia and North Carolina (places Chris has never been), it would appear to be the latter.
Another review from "Alexander Deck" also appeared, and looks very similar to "Robert's" review:
|“||"This HORRIBLE place kicked my friend Chris out, and for that I can NEVER FORGIVE THEM."||”|
|"Alexander Deck", on the GAMe PLACe.|
Another review from "Henry Bradston" is possibly by Chris:
|“||This store has a wonderful and expansive selection of Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, which is what attracted me to the store in the first place. Then my cousin mentioned he was banned from the store a few years ago, and that made me realize how nasty the employees are. Upon a visit I took to the "Cville's Hobbies, Games and Toys" last month, I had the pleasure of meeting who I think was the supervisor, or possibly the owner(...?) His name was Mike and he seemed like a very nice man. After only browsing booster packs for five minutes, I saw him start screaming at another patron. I don't recall what the argument was about, but it only lasted a couple minutes. The little kid (who couldn't have been older than ten) ran out of the store, crying. This incident alone coupled with the fact my cousin (who already has troubles of his own) was banned for what he says was "no good reason" has changed my perception of the store entirely. I would advise anyone who is interested in comics, TCGs, or toy collecting to NOT visit this store. And if I could say something to that fat sixty-something year old, I'd tell him to change his business tactics of scaring kids away cause it will only hurt business. ALSO, it turns out the OWNER is a registered sex offender.||”|
Barb and the GAMe PLACe
A phone conversation recorded in early August 2010 revealed many more details about the odd attitude that Bob and Barb Chandler held and continue to hold towards The GAMe PLACe. During the discussion, they show a total ignorance of how Chris behaved at the store and why he was banned. Barb shows signs of still holding a grudge over her visit to the store after Chris's final ban, while Bob suggests that he believed that the trolling of Chris somehow originates from a conspiracy at the store.
|“||Mike and Megan are the ones that conspired together with a couple of other people — kids there that I think were gay — to persecute and torment Christian for years.||”|
|Bob Chandler, on the GAMe PLACe conspiracy.|
Bob does not explain why Mike, Megan, and the "gay kids" (likely a reference to Eric and Tito) would create this grand conspiracy against Chris, but he goes as far as to accuse them of fraudulently obtaining access to Chris's credit cards and bank accounts. Data uncovered a month later shows that Chris wasted tons of money on PlayStation Network cards and games he'll never play, resulting in further debt and an excuse to blame Snyder and the trolls for stealing his credit cards.
Chris Accepts the GAMe PLACe?
On 4 April 2013, Chris posted on Facebook, "I, Christian Weston Chandler, fully never ever, forever, want to have anything to do with the Game and Hobby PLace." It never fell through, but it could've been a geinus plan to lull Mike into a false sense of security.
Nope, He Still Wants It Scalded
The 2013 Imgur Leak revealed a post that would elaborate more on this development. Amusingly, Chris believed that everyone at the PLace masterminded the trolling that continues to haunt him to this day, particularly Megan and Mike, who he deemed as the "Prime Trolls". He also called for the PLace itself to be destroyed, if only for the reason of ousting a manchild that acted like a jackass in the store.
Either way, given the consequences of his actions and his utter refusal to let go of childish things, it seems very unlikely that Chris will forgive or forget the GAMe PLACe. It does, however, raise a valid question concerning Chris: What will he do once his probation ends?
Proving once and for all that Chris absolutely refuses to let go of his ban from the GAMe PLACe, on 4 October 2013, Chris posted a very angry Facebook post where he shifts all of the blame onto Megan. In the post, he claims that Megan had been plotting with a GAMe PLACe employee to set up everything to get him banned, from the photo being taken by Mimms and Lucas to Megan "pretending" to kiss a "homosexual jerk", thus leading to him getting banned forever. He then goes on to say that he'll continue to curse the GAMe PLACe and Megan until she apologizes for what she's done.
The Saga Ends
In June 2014, information was leaked on the Kiwi Farms that seemed to indicate that the GAMe PLACe had shut down for good. The historical location of the store was empty, and a poster on the store's glass front indicated that the location was up for rent. It is unknown what time frame exactly when the PLACe closed, but judging from the store's website going offline in-between December 2013 and January 2014, it could have been from around that time. According to Rail Tales, a railroad-focused hobby shop that used to share space with the PLACe before splitting and moving to its own standalone venue, the reason for its closure was due to financial issues. Even after the shut down of the store, Chris continues to hold a grudge against Mike. It is also unknown if the business simply moved away and changed its name to avoid being detected by both Chris and weens alike.
In November 2015, Gearharts, a local fine chocolate business, moved to and opened in the former GAMe PLACe site, where it has remained operational to date. Chris mentioned the new store on the second CatKnight interview, saying that he does not feel it is as good as the PLACe and is not interested in entering; assuming, of course, that the new tenants allow him back in.
Also in 2015, Chris began frequenting a similar card and hobby store in Charlottesville, The End Games. However, proving he can't learn from his mistakes, Chris ended up being banned from that store too, for similar reasons to his GAMe PLACe ban no less.
In September 2019, two years shy of a decade after Chris's ban, rumors began circulating online that a new PLACe had opened in the suburbs of Washington D.C., once again led by Snyder. Chris has yet to comment on this potential revival of his old haunt, but one of his orbiters, the malicious Jacob Sockness, chose to harass Snyder in response to this, tracking down a guestbook for the funeral to the latter's recently-deceased father to torment him over banning Chris. Needless to say, nobody was impressed with this new low of weenery.
- In his resume, Chris says that in June 2002 he became a Gym Leader’s Assistant in The GAMe PLACe, so he must have been a patron of the store by that time. It is not known whether or not he started frequenting the store at an earlier date.
- This is arrived at by a comparison of Chris's emails to Katie Bay, Blanca, and his GAMe PLACe friends during this summer.
- Autism Tutorial Part 3
- The Hook article on Robert Lightburn's arrest.
- Calling Out "Alec Benson Leary" - Christopher
- Mimms' and Lucas' Q&A: Chris's ban from the store.
- Mimms and Lucas Q&A: Racism and Homophobia
- Mimms & Lucas Q&A: Initial Post
- Mimms and Lucas Q&A
- Mimms and Lucas Q&A: Chris as a Customer
- Chris E-mails: November 2007
- Mimms and Lucas Q&A
- Mimms and Lucas Q&A
- YouTube comment by Mike (TheRcholic).
- "Herny Bradston's" Review
- Mimms_and_Lucas_Q&A#Racism and homophobia
- GameStop - another game store Chris was banned from
- The End Games - another card and hobby store Chris was banned from
|GAMe PLACe Saga|
|The Players:||The Games:||The Prizes:|
|Coinciding Sagas: Megan, First Exile, Jackie, Second Exile|