Updated: Dec 7, 2021
It's a valid question for sure. Short answer, yes. Let's find out why!
When visiting Guitar Center or any other guitar store, all of the fancy guitars on display can be kind of overwhelming. It might feel awkward to pull one of the guitars off the hanger or ask for a cable to an amp. If it's busy, you might not want to play because you feel like you'll be judged by the pros. These concerns are completely normal, but the fact of the matter is, you don't have to worry at all.
Guitar stores are meant to provide what online shopping can not. This is the experience of picking up a guitar you want and playing it to see how it sounds and feels in person. This will help to convince anyone to buy or not buy a guitar. Guitar Center and other stores know this, so they prioritize the customer's experience by openly allowing their customers to play most of the guitars in the store. Guitar Center employees will happily allow anyone to pick (depending on the store) any guitar from the wall and start shredding away. Employees will likely offer to help you make the right decision based on price, experience level, and style of music. They might ask you politely beforehand to make sure to be careful when handling and not to scratch the finish. This is because they have to sell them, and if they look raggedy and scratched, they won't sell as well. That being said, as long as you're careful, you'll be just fine.
On the topic of judgment by other guitarists, you shouldn't have to worry one bit. The guitar community is generally very welcoming and wholesome. Everyone started somewhere, and we all know that. No guitarist is born a pro, so you can walk in with confidence no matter what skill level you're at. In fact, sometimes you'll get pointers or compliments on your guitar playing by other customers in the store!
Trying out equipment before you buy is by far the best way to find the best guitar for you whether you're a beginner or a seasoned professional. Guitar stores like Guitar Center are the best places to do so, as they offer a wide variety of brands and styles. It might be worth your while to do some research beforehand so that you know what you're looking for. Or, you can just waltz in and play until you find the perfect fit for you! Either way, Yes. You Can Play A Guitar At Guitar Center.