January 30, 2008

In The Toilet

My local non-video gaming scene took a turn for the worse over the past few weeks and is essentially in the toilet.

It started in early January when the organizer behind our local Dungeons and Dragons Meetup.com group stepped down due to health concerns. No one has stepped up in his place and the group is quickly fading into the sunset. The Meetup.com group was a great monthly get together for D&D nerds of all flavors and offered an easy way to find a steady group. Sadly, it does not look like there will be a big party when D&D 4.0 hits later this year.

If the death of the Meetup.com group wasn't enough, my favorite local game store is closing it's doors and this time there is no one around to save it. A few months ago, the original owners announced they were moving, and we all feared the worst at that time. However, a family stepped up and bought the store. Unfortunately, it does not look like they will be able to keep it going.

Sadly, a couple major downers were not enough. The cornerstone of our local gaming scene, the game store in the mall that has been around for 20 years, has also announced it will be closing. This one honestly came out of left field and shocked most of us. This store was always busy, partly due to location, and while it had no actual space to play games, it was the place to go and buy supplies and harder to find board games.

Now we're left with an upstart game store that everyone thought wouldn't make it past a couple months in the face of the other two, more popular, stores. But now those two stores are closing and that leaves the upstart as the sole king of the mountain. I just worry that the upstart is struggling due to an expensive store location and massive prize support to bring in local gaming groups.

Also on the plus side, our local board gaming group is still going strong and the decision about which store to host events at has been made really simple now. Hopefully, the store closings will end the "this store vs that store" mentality and we can all get back to gaming! Speaking of that, I should go check when the next Board Gaming Day is.

Update: 1 Feb, 2008 - The gaming store located in the local mall may have just made a successful saving throw and looks to remain open for the time being.