Support your Local Game Store or Not?
Yes I can proudly say that I do. My son now also plays in a weekly game at our local store now. We both play different games in our time there and with different groups. If it was not for my local store I don’t know how long it might have taken my son to find a group. Because like many parents my son enjoys the games that I love so much. But he would rather play those games with other groups more his age. I get it and I am just proud that he is a gamer by his own choice.
So what do I play ?
Wargames are my game of choice on Tuesdays, And My son plays RPG’s. I also occasionally hang out and chat as I work on the games for my upcoming campaign for my home based group. It’s also a nice place to go hang out with like-minded people and just relax away from the TV the PC and the rest of the stresses of the world. Every other Sunday I also play or run games at the same store.
BUT Should YOU support your local store?
Well that gets a bit more tricky when you look at it on the surface. Game stores can be useful in a number of ways. In the walls of your local game store are often fonts of information on nearly all topics of gaming. All you have to do is ask. And in most stores they are more than willing to share their knowledge with you or direct you to someone who knows the information better. Some may act gruff, but when you get past the gruff exterior. They will be more than happy to share. Because most people like to share what they know. After all we nearly all play games to be social. And your FLGS is a hub of social activity for all things gaming.
Generally your game store provide more than the product for the games you play. They often also supply a variety of snacks and drinks for in store gaming. Granted for a cost, but also for your convince. Game stores also have to provide tables, chairs and restrooms and substantial floor space. Often with most game stores this is for free or a modest fee. Some stores do charge a table fee. I myself have never encountered a room fee higher than 5 dollars. Most of these stores will also pass on a room fee if you make a purchase. Believe it or not, many game stores stop charging their players that become regulars who constantly make purchases. Why ? Because they know you may go several days without paying room fees. But your going to buy that 60 dollar book next week when it comes out.. or the new set of Warjacks that is due in next week. Maybe you run events for the store. Thus bringing in bodies to the store that are paying room fees and buying products, in turn helping the store. In many regards it is a symbiotic relationship.
Is there a Middle Ground ?
One thing to consider when it comes to supporting your local game store is in store purchase vs the internet purchases. As well internet vs in-store special orders. One benefit of in store purchase is the instant gratification. money spent and your product in hand. Where it gets a bit tougher of a topic to tackle when you touch on special orders. In store shipping is roughly as fast as ordering it yourself short of Amazon Prime. But some game stores only put orders in on certain days. This can delay your order by a few days. For many people this is just too long of a wait. That aside thankfully these days many FLGS also have an internet presence. Check and see if your FLGS has a website. This could go a long way in filling your needs and still be supportive of your local store.
But I never use my game store ?
So why would you support your local game store if you never game there and you have an Amazon Prime account. After all you get free shipping and your group games at your home. You find all your material via E-book, E-Bay or trades, The list goes on. What need do you have for a FLGS ? Well there still are a few reasons that you might consider supporting your local store. First it’s just about the best place to meet new blood. And it is a far nicer environment to meet new gamer’s then a bar or restaurant..or your home. After all were gamer’s, you’re not going on a date. Plus if first impressions don’t pan out. At the game store your not stuck with them while you wait for the check.
Just because your gaming situation is the way it is now. Does not mean that it might not change down the road. Life happens. Maybe you will not always have the stability, comfort or room to play in your own home in the future. The luxury of in store gaming might become more appealing down the road.
But my FLGS is not Friendly.. Now what ?
By all means if your local game store is not friendly. If they do not carry or support the things that you want to give them money for. Or they are just plain rude. DO NOT support your local game store. This is a service based business.If you are getting poor service, being treated rude or abusively. NO do not stay and support your local store. Let the store pass on to the abyss and hope that someone comes along and establishes a good location for you and your hobby.
A good game store is a thriving location with many activity’s and games that take place nearly every day of the week. Good stores will shine. Bad stores will go extinct. Game stores are a thrive or die establishments.