3/14/11 Support Your Local Game Store

March 14, 2011

Here’s the deal folks; I don’t care which store you support. I don’t care how you support it. I just want you to get off your butts, go to your friendly local purveyor or all things geeky and put some dollars in their cash register. See, times are tough. In case you haven’t noticed it the economy isn’t doing so great. And it’s the small businesses that live in the margins that wind up feeling the bite in these times.

Why am I going off about this? Because it needs to be said. Without gaming stores the geek community is pretty well doomed.  Sure there’s online resources for board and card games. There’s MMORPGs (Mr. Gyggax says you’re welcome since you can’t spell MMORPG without RPG) and PDF versions of  a lot of gaming supplements. So. Bloody. What. Those things are not a community. They aren’t a bunch of people getting together for the mutual love of a hobby and sharing commonly enjoyed experiences. And that’s a major part of the geek life; the social connection. Without our gaming stores we really are just what most people outside the hobby think of us as; a bunch of socially backward misfits lurking at home pretending to be elves while real life goes on without us.

With the gaming store we’re a community. We are a bunch of people coming together and enjoying one another’s company. We look out for one another. We fundraise. We find out about each other’s lives. Hell, some of us meet our spouses at gaming stores! And then we go on to make little baby geeks who continue the whole magical cycle of nerdosity long into the future.

Now, I realize that quite often online retailers offer stuff at a more economical rate than the brick and mortar shops can. And as one of life’s perpetually broke people I can certainly respect the urge to get what you want less expensively elsewhere. But in doing that we screw our fellows. We take money from the guys who provide us with a public venue for our hobby. And that can be the death knell for a shop if it happens too often.

Most of these places are running on a pretty close margin. A bad month can mean bankruptcy. A good month can mean a few more months serving the community and providing a fun place to get together with your friends and check out all the latest cool stuff. Game store owners may seem rich folks but for the most part, they ain’t. They are working class folk getting by day to day and sweating the rent and the light bills just like you and I. Difference is, we don’t make our light bill we get some candles. They don’t and they can lose their livelihood.

So please, the next time you see a cool game online, don’t click the “buy it now” button. Pick up the phone and call your local emporium. Ask if they have it. If they do, ask if they can hold it til you get there. If you have the money to “buy it now” online then you have the money to “buy it now” from a guy with a family to feed. If they don’t have it, ask if you can order it. Offer to pay some or all of the price in advance. After all, they just went out cash to get the item. It’s only fair that you at least make the attempt to put the money in their hand  while you have it so they don’t eat the cost.

In the end we all win when the stores prosper. Game publishers have more incentive to keep producing the stuff we love. Comic book companies are able to stay in business, providing us with thrilling adventures  of spandexed derring-do. We have places to hang out with our friends. Conventions have places to advertise that a hotel is getting invaded by a thousand or more geeks, nerds and other assorted oddballs. And the guys who work surprisingly hard to keep us in good times when I absolutely guarantee you most of them could be making a boatload more money at something else get to keep doing their thing to our mutual benefit.

That’s all for now.  Y’all have a good one. And, as always, Keep It Fun.

Mech out




2 Responses to “3/14/11 Support Your Local Game Store”

  1. Jasmine Says:

    Substitute “Comic” for “Game”, too. My workplace is also feeling the pinch of the crappy economy.

  2. Elsheyin Says:

    While you’re there, check out their upcoming events board AND their “local stuff” literature rack – Game stores usually need RELIABLE GM’s to run events, as well as people to show up to participate, and your local gaming / comic / geek convention(s) may drop fliers there in the hopes of connecting with geeks JUST LIKE YOU! See, with a little effort, you too can become involved in your gaming community! 😉

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