I enjoyed listening to the debate about the merits of the local game store. Seems to be the merits are truly positive for having a GOOD local game store. While, the best reason to shop online is to save cash.
But, my local game store has saved me a ton of money! I've played and learned several new games at my local game store since I started going there 5 months ago. Here's a geek list of the games I've gotten to learn and play: Games I've played and Learned at RIW in Livonia, MI
Two main reason money has been saved: 1) I can play other people's games instead of needing to buy every game I want to play. 2) I can play a game before I purchase it, and avoid buying bad games.
I've been able to join a campaign for Pathfinder:ACG and play it with six people almost weekly. I've also learned and purchased some of favorite games there: Marvel Legendary and Lords of Waterdeep. Otherwise, I may never have bought or tried these games.
Now, RIW is a good store because they have a large wall full of demo games that includes actually good games: Mage Wars, Blood Bowl, Dungeon Twister, TI3. They also have a Facebook page to recruit people to play the games you want and set up meet ups. There Wednesday nights, 20+ people show up bringing board games to play.
Because of the gaming community that is there, I'll gladly pay an additional %10 to have a place to experience new games, meet new gamers, play demos, and borrow/trade games with others.
The division of the two sides was stark - the people who advocated the game stores had great experiences in them (similar to mine), and those against them seemed to have had HORRIBLE experiences.
I really like my local gaming store (although they could be a little bit cleaner). It's a great place to go, play games with friends and new people, and pick up a few things (Instantly!).
But I do wonder - as I've discovered meetups and facebook groups, whether these can be done without the dedicated store just as well.
It's definitely an interesting question. I don't think game stores have a right to exist - if internet sales + meetups replaces game stores, then so be it. But I do think that a game store can provide enough value to justify a higher cost than the internet - as the foundation for a board game community to spring up and flourish.
The Local Game Store debate was great. I was absolutely raging by the end of the debate... luckily I've calmed down a bit. I do have to say Victor's points were absolutely atrocious. I did like Robbie's closing. My local game store, Game Depot, does all of the things he listed. I actually hosted a game preview of Eldrich horror.
Yes there are bad stores and like any business if you manage it poorly and do not open yourself up to new customers you deserve to go out of business... no matter what you do.
Good FLGCs do two important things: One, they support the local economy. If I spend $50 dollars at the FLGS the owners then spend the money at the local grocery store, gas station, etc. If I buy from Amazon I've just spread my $50 across the country.
Two, they support the industry. Many of the game publishers are smaller companies and it does not make sense for Target or big chains to carry a ton of board games. Check Target's shelves and you'll find safe games like Settlers or Ticket to Ride. These are good games but the are a safe product to carry. You will never find TI3, ThunderStone and it's expansions, or Netrunner at these types of stores.
FLGS also supports the industry by providing a physical location for new players to meet other gamers. Yes there is Meetup.com but it does not provide a place to play. FLGS provides a physical location and a group of people to play with.
Gonna catch the debate later, but i do know this: if people dont support the local store it will close. I like having places to go... RIW, pandemonium, shenanigans, guild of blades, warriors 3... if i buy everything from a website then i wouldnt be able to go to these places.
I am lucky that the FLGS is a good place to play. It is part of a chain of stores which primarily sell Magic: The Gathering and other CCGs plus GW products, AND also sells boardgames. It also helps that I've made the staff boardgame afficionados. I have also demoed and included games to people who have just walked in and wanted to learn to play. You can't do that using the online store.
We also have an online store here which has cheaper prices and holds a monthly boardgaming event which is open and welcoming for everyone to join in. I also support the Gaming Library as well.
So in a nutshell I support both avenues. It is definitely worth it if the FLGS is managed well and has a friendly atmosphere, since it provides a hub for meeting people as well as a readily accessible place to play. The online store is good especially if you want to order something just for you where the FLGS does not get.
Last edited Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:14 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)