Thursday, August 05, 2010

Your local game shops: Stereotype City or AwesomeTown

I recently found a really great tabletop gaming store here in Columbus called the Guardtower. Weirdly, I felt really powerful in this discovery, like I’d finally found the Ark and it was time to melt some Nazi faces off. Perhaps the reason I felt this way was because the only other store I’d known about was, well, super creepy.

There are a lot of stereotypes out there and I’m sure we’ve all ran up against them at some point in our lives. Some people are a fan of saying ‘well stereotypes are based in some truth.’ I always thought that was lazy. That was until the day I went into that other store. The store that attracted the clientele that didn’t bathe and generally treated you like a moron if you couldn’t name that Star Trek reference. One thing I can’t stand is when people do an over exaggerated examination of you. You know, the looking up and down, I’m sizing you up but ridiculously like we’re in a cartoon...a cartoon bar, even. That drives me nuts! When I went into that other store, five guys turned around and did that to me. I might be sensitive or crazy but I got the impression that with a sniff they had pretty much written me off.

This new place though has really made me excited about what tabletop gaming has to offer. Video games are sweet and will always have a top spot in my heart, for sure. However lately something about tabletop gaming is really alluring to me. I especially like the face to face interaction.

This new store also sells games; board, card, whatever you can imagine. My life has been filled with board games and I was so excited to see ones for adults that were different and thought outside the box. Most people have known about this their whole life and are kind of hard on the newblets out there like me. I wish I had known about this rich and entertaining world before now but sadly I was super mainstream, living in the pop culture bubble growing up. Now, if you’ll let me, through the next couple of posts I’ll tell you about how I’ve gotten into different parts of gaming that I’d never thought I’d go to.

It all started with a nice dude working the counter at my local gaming shop though. What about you guys? Have you found a wonderful shop that has changed how you look at games? Have you found shops you can’t believe are still open?


  1. Many years ago when we used to get our Magic Cards on, I once walked into a place that nearly brought a tear to my eye. Big comfy chairs cozy fire, kids trading and joking. Basically it was the Gryffindor common room. Sadly that place has since closed and I sold off my magic the gathering cards for a car. Can't wait to hear the rest of your journey.

  2. In Austin there are a couple of wonderful game shops. I always feel at home at Dragon's Lair and Austin Books, while primarily a comics shop, has Magic cards and is a weekly haunt for me. Both are open and inviting and staffed with helpful, cheerful employees. I've never felt out of place at either of them.

    However, my old comics and games shop in my hometown is a different story. I used to go there when I was a kid and teenager and never got any of the stereotypical problems of "What's that girl doing here?" Unfortunately, I went back a few years ago and it was populated entirely of 15 year old boys who seemed afraid that a member of the female species had entered their sanctuary. It was really sad. I haven't been there in three years, so maybe it's changed.

    Welcome to the awesome world of board games!

  3. We are lucky enough to have The Battle Den in Burlington that is really friendly. You can often times go in and see the owners younger kids playing games while surrounded by adults and teenagers. It is a great atmospehere to have, especially when raising your own little gamer.

    Can't wait to here the rest of your story!

  4. Thanks guys!
    It's amazing how much can be said for a place that instantly makes you feel welcome. :)