Sunday, March 3, 2013

Your Friendly Local Gaming Store

... Or:  So THAT'S where the A.V. Kids went! 

In my neck of the words there are a couple of regarded board gaming stores, one of them minutes away.

Board games, card games, war games, role-playing games; row upon row of games and miniature supplies crammed around 4 large gaming tables rented out to dice bags and their statistical probabilities.

And, someday, a place to host Dicks and Pricks® tournaments.   

Of the games I have snagged these past months, I've purchased somewhere around 15.73% of them from that particular location.  Give or take.  That number might be shockingly low to the brick and mortar purists, but when entertainment dollars are scarce in a world of rec center youth [fill in the blank] leagues, school plays, cello lessons, traveling softball teams and volleyball academies, you have to pick and choose your battles.

I drift in and out, so I am not a 'Valued Customer' - nor do I even know if the store in question has a program that rewards the schmuck off the street by discounting 10-15% off retail.  Frankly, there should be banners peppering the store with such reminders.

Because let me tell you, the typical board game these days runs you something between thirty-five and sixty-five smackeroos.

What's that?  You remember buying your runny nosed nephew Dog-Opoly a couple of Christmases ago and it ran you $12.99 at Walmart?

That is true.  But the lower level game publishers, those that make up the meat and potatoes of the latest (and some may say greatest) Golden Age of Board Games, took the lead of video game publishers and learned to price their content accordingly.  

While I do wish to support the gentleman that runs the neighborhood game store, the sticker shock can be a tad extreme.  Instant gratification and communal support is fine and dandy, but when you walk out of the store $98 lighter for Conquest of Planet Earth and Flash Point: Fire Rescue, your wife tends to question such logic in the most maddening of ways.

... Like weeks long bans of favorite intercourses.  Or threatening me with having to watch Mark Harmon's hair cut.

Even worse, I have to try to answer my ten year old when she asks, "Hey, dad? How come those guys that were playing that game all stopped and stared at me when we were shopping? Are kids not allowed here?"

All I could do is mutter something about her being a potential shoplifter, then try to disguise my shame by changing the subject to something she could better relate to.

 ... Like those socially inept kids in her class - and what those pint-sized freaks could potentially grow up to be.

1 comment:

  1. Oh yes, the trips to the FLGS. I remember the trips while I was a teenager with a very fond bit of nostalgia. Tulsa had a grand selection of stores from Cosmic Quest, Pegasus Games, Starbase 21, and Tulsa's Original Game Shop. Good times and fond memories of all these shops.

    Unfortunately, 3 of those shops are now out of business. Cosmic Quest and Pegasus petered out gradually. I heard the owners of Cosmic Quest got in tax trouble. The Original Game Shop is one that I spent a lot of time in growing up. It had a great selection and the owner was a great guy. He went through some personal stuff with health issues and closed down something like 2 years ago. The lone survivor is Starbase 21 but it is mainly a comic book shop now. It used to be games, comic books, movie memorabilia, magazines, etc. but they have moved to a new smaller location so must focus on only their core product.

    There are now some new shops in Tulsa. Wizard's Asylum seems to have the better rpg selection but Top Deck Games has the better board game/miniature selection. Out of the two, I seem to prefer Top Deck because it is closer to the house and the owner is awesome. I bought 4 of the small warhammer combat books (can't remember name but it's somewhat similar to the old Lost Worlds books in concept) and he gave me the final one just so I could have them all. They were only like $3.95 each but it is the thought and customer appreciation that I remember. Plus, he has some stella horse something or other cards he gives out free packs to the little girls that come in so my 5 year old doesn't mind going. He gives the boys Warlords cards. Wizard's Asylum has a decent sized gaming area but it's right in the middle of the store and there seems to always be one neckbeard in there learing at everybody that walks through the door with a "game with me" look comparable to the "feed me" look of a starving person. I am kinda uncomfortable about taking the kids around the weirdos that seem to gang up there at times.

    Where I seem to do most of my game shopping now is Gardner's Used Books; atleast for second hand stuff. I picked up a whole slew of RIFTS books there for an average of $2 each. I seem to go there more than the other places these days.

    I can understand your shame at the staring. I do not mind the ordinary lone gamer waiting in the game area for a pick up game. The one that bothers me is the guy staring down everybody as they enter like he is going to mentally force them to sit across from him and engage in Magic: the Gathering, RISK, D&D, or even something else. If there was one thing I would like to see change about this hobby it is the attraction to the non-bathers and the socially inept. The ones that seem to go out of their way to be socially repulsive in an activity that requires social interaction.