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Subject: Games Paradise in Indianapolis - Experiences? rss

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Chris
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As someone in the area that is interested in both Arsenal and Games Paradise, you have swayed me towards Arsenal. I thank you for that.
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Bryan McNeely
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I'm from Indiana, but have never gone to this store during a visit to Indy. Just knowing that there's a ferret running around has turned me off. They're biting animals and love to get into tiny crawlspaces, such as spots behind games on shelves, etc. I can only imagine the kind of damage it could do to the games, new or otherwise.

Did you happen to notice where the ferret was 'allowed' to go in the store? It's one thing to have one of those cool pet cage setups so that at least the ferret is contained, but to have it running around loose is not only a risk to the merchandise, but perhaps a safety issue as well.
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Mike DiLisio
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Ok, I'm not saying that your experience isn't a valid one, but I feel like I should share my experience since I also just went for the first time this past weekend.

First, the pets. Honestly, in a particular area of the store (namely, near the front counter where the ferret and puppy hang out) there is a stronger than I'd like pet odor. That being said, it was really only in that particular area that I noticed it at all.

As to the friendliness factor, I had the complete opposite experience. My girlfriend and I came in around 1:00 Saturday afternoon. Almost immediately upon entering, a gentleman approached us with a welcome. He asked if we had been there before, and when I told him that I hadn't, and explained that the ad on this site was the impetus for our visit, he expressed a genuine gratitude that I mentioned it. He stated that they weren't sure how effective the ad would be, and were glad to hear that it was working correctly in targeting Indianapolis area users. He then took some time in explaining the general concept of the place, and encouraged us to take a look around and ask any questions if we had them. My girlfriend and I took a look at the library of games, and while I agree that they certainly could use better organization, there was definitely a nice selection and variance of titles. I also looked at their smallish retail section and immediately latched upon Ra: The Dice Game, which is currently OOP, but was NIS for $26. I also noted that they had a copy open to try.

At this point, concerned that my gf might not be as interested in hanging out as I was, I suggested that we go around the corner to get a frozen yogurt (it's a really good all organic place called The Cultured Swirl...highly recommended. The Salted Caramel flavor makes me want to weep, but I digress). While there, my gf suggested that we head back, check out the Ra Dice game, and see if it's something I'd like to buy. Now, I already knew I wanted to buy it, but the fact that she wanted to do this was very cool to me, so we went back. They took my information, I took the game off of the shelf, and off we were. We had a large table to ourselves, and while there were other people in there and gaming, the atmosphere was never less than welcoming. We had a really good time, both of the people working there, including the gentleman who greeted us initially, and the woman who checked us out were extremely friendly and helpful. It's a shame that you had a poor experience, and I don't doubt that you did, but I felt it important to share my experience, since it was significantly different.

As to the only game library in Indy, I don't see it as disingenuous. Game Preserve doesn't have a game library, although you can obviously game in the back. Same situation with Gamerz. (Both perfectly fine places as well, IMO). Arsenal (or whatever they're called now) is a place I've only visited once, but the number of games they had there to play was quite small. If you call that a gaming library, I'd argue that you have to call Barnes and Noble a gaming library too, since they always seem to have a few games in the cafe area. I got the impression from the owner of Arsenal that their business was primarily in renting gaming areas and snacks. That's perfectly cool, but Game Paradise seems to be going for a different model. Personally, I think the prices they're charging are perfectly reasonable, and I like to support local businesses who are providing a service I think is cool, so I'll definitely be back. YMMV of course.
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Mike DiLisio
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I completely understand the pet issue. It might be a good idea for them to post something about it for those customers who have allergy concerns.

As to Blue Moon, I'll definitely check it out. It sounds like they've made quite a few changes.
 
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Game Paradise
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I'm certainly sorry that you have had a negative experience, but allow me to set a few things properly in perspective.

We have two ferrets that are our store mascots: Meeple and Fiyero. They do not get free run of the store. They are caged at the front. The pictures you have seen are at patrons requests, and you'll notice they are being held in those photos. Once the photo op is over, they are re-caged. Our ferrets do not bite, scratch, and are beloved by the hundreds of gamers that frequent us. Stating that they get free run is extremely untrue.

As for the odor, this has been a bit of slander that has come directly from the Arsenal time and time again. "Smelly little pit" is the wording that was written by your crew when we first opened. Other worse slander has been taken down by many different organizations including Facebook and Fox59 news. It seems that everywhere we choose to advertise the Arsenal (now Blue Moon Gaming) is right there spreading hate, and you guys are really the only ones. At first I let this personally eat at me, but not any more. It's more than clear that this is merely a smear campaign against what you perceive to be your competition. Shame on you.

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Game Paradise
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Mr DiLisio,

I'm sorry I didn't get more of a chance to chat with you while you were in. I am the green haired gal who checked you out. Walking into the library I can certainly understand how it feels that "they certainly could use better organization". It's daunting. The games are actually split into ten different categories. That's why they are in chunks around the room, and I'm sure in knowing that you probably would have had a little easier time. We are currently working on some signage to help make those distinctions easier. However, next time you are in, allow me to give you a proper tour through.

-Victoria Bourne-Nisson
Owner of Game Paradise
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Mike DiLisio
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I will certainly be back. I think it's great that gamers in Indianapolis have a resource such as yours. I'm sure signage will help, but by saying that there could be better organization it shouldn't be read as, "I couldn't find games that I wanted". It was certainly navigable. I would hope that the gaming community in Indy would be supportive of ALL businesses trying to promote the hobby we love. It's distressing to hear of petty sniping and rivalries that might be going on. Hopefully we can all agree that there's a place for all of these businesses.
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Lil G
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I've only had good experiences a Games Paradise. I think its fair to say it is the only gaming library in Indy. I have not been to Blue Moon since it was renamed but had been to the Arsenal on a few occasions before then and I did not find their games extensive. And found most of what we played were items that we brought in. Maybe that has since changed since its been about a year. But either way to me what makes Games Paradise a library is that I feel the primary purpose going in is to give you an opportunity to play games and try games. They have a great deal of titles and often get the newer games. Its great to have that opportunity. I never got that impression at any of the other game stores in the city. I'll admit I'm an animal lover so never questioned the pets in the store, But I'll say I've never seen the ferrets run around the store and only seen them removed from their cage to be held by people who asked (myself included in that) I completely understand that being a negative if you have an allergy but I do have to agree that the pets don't get free range or interfere with any gaming going on.

My experiences with both the staff and the selection have been very positive. I've gotten to try new games such as King of Tokyo and Small World which my boyfriend or I have since bought and other less memorable games that I chose not to buy because they didn't strike me.
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Mindy Basi
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It's wonderful that you responded here, Game Paradise, but in a cage or not I wouldn't want to smell ferrets in a game store. They have an offensive odor to me, and you can't possibly say they don't smell, ever.

I think pets in a business is just a no-no. I love pets, but not everyone does, and not everyone likes all kinds of pets. So that's a few customers that will never come to your store. But, if you want to attract people who like pets, more power to you. Obviously it's part of your branding, since the ferrets are mascots, as you said.

Quote:
First, the pets. Honestly, in a particular area of the store (namely, near the front counter where the ferret and puppy hang out) there is a stronger than I'd like pet odor. That being said, it was really only in that particular area that I noticed it at all.


And a puppy too? Hmm. Is he caged?
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Becca G
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I have only had good experiences at Game Paradise. I go about once a month since they opened and I have yet to have a bad experience. The owner knows so much about her inventory. She has been able to recommend games for me every time I walk in and I always really appreciate and enjoy the help. Three times now I have played her suggestions and fell in love with them to the point that my husband and I made purchases from the shelves. I live in Noblesville but the drive is always worth it. The other patrons are always helpful when I wander over after a particularly vocal win, and I always like to see players compete with such gusto.

I have played at Games Paradise since before the ferrets were adopted. I had never really seen one but the first time I picked one up I fell in love. Fiyero was sweet, polite, and seemed like a perfect mascot for the store. I know there is a musk but in my experiences there it has always been confined to the cage's immediate area. The playing area smells like board games to me. I suspect that people who are not familiar with ferrets (as I once was) will find the odor more noticeable than those of us who have already categorized that smell as "fluffy playful ferret."

I like the fact that this store lets me bring my food in to eat while I play. I like that this store has awesome art on the walls and sells geeky onesies. I even like the floor of the bathroom which has cards decoupaged on the floor. This place is neat! It's really fun! It's where I want to go each month to game, eat, play with the ferrets and feel like I have a family of gamers in Indy. Like I said, only positive experiences from me!
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S P
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Game Paradise wrote:
I'm certainly sorry that you have had a negative experience, but allow me to set a few things properly in perspective.

We have two ferrets that are our store mascots: Meeple and Fiyero. They do not get free run of the store. They are caged at the front. The pictures you have seen are at patrons requests, and you'll notice they are being held in those photos. Once the photo op is over, they are re-caged. Our ferrets do not bite, scratch, and are beloved by the hundreds of gamers that frequent us. Stating that they get free run is extremely untrue.

As for the odor, this has been a bit of slander that has come directly from the Arsenal time and time again. "Smelly little pit" is the wording that was written by your crew when we first opened. Other worse slander has been taken down by many different organizations including Facebook and Fox59 news. It seems that everywhere we choose to advertise the Arsenal (now Blue Moon Gaming) is right there spreading hate, and you guys are really the only ones. At first I let this personally eat at me, but not any more. It's more than clear that this is merely a smear campaign against what you perceive to be your competition. Shame on you.



I'm confused. It goes from being sorry that the OP did not have a better experience to suggesting that he works for their competition and should be shamed.
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Matt Quiett
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Marc,

I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. I am in no way a member of staff at Game Paradise, but I am a regular.

I find it exceptionally odd that you didn't get greeted at the door. I've never seen anyone enter the store without one (or more) of the workers springing to their feet and greeting you. If that was your experience, I can assure you, it was unique.

The ferrets, that's definitely a thing. I get it. I notice the smell too when I come in, but I don't think it's that bad, and I have a very sensitive nose. I've never seen the ferrets out of their cages just running around. Ever. It's just not something that happens.

The shelves being empty is a strange statement. I really don't know how you could have seen that, since for the last month, they've had a larger than normal selection of games for sale.

As for being shoo'd away from a game, that's not the store's fault. It could have just been a rude customer. I'm surprised at it, because it's never happened to me, but some people are just rude.

I'm in Game Paradise every week, often two or three times a week. I've never found the place anything but friendly and I've never had any trouble with other players or their selection.

Your statement that Game Preserve and Gamerz have game libraries is a joke. 5-10 games does not make a library. Blue Moon is somewhere I haven't been since the name changed, but when I did go there, it wasn't much of a library either. Maybe that's change. What probably hasn't changed is the store's no outside food policy. It's fair, their a cafe, but when it was Arsenal, the food wasn't great and sometimes it took 45 minutes to an hour to get what I ordered. Game Paradise doesn't have that issue. The encourage outside food and drink, and have a full binder of menus just for customers.

Maybe Blue Moon is your place because you like the atmosphere. That's fair. Maybe you don't like Game Paradise for the same reason. It's not your atmosphere. The minimal costs for access to nearly 1400 games is well worth it. The staff is always willing to teach a game, and they have people in on a regular basis to teach games they don't know.

It sucks you had a bad experience, but I also think you exaggerated a little about what exactly you went through. The ferrets I can understand not being a fan of. That's cool. The lack of greeting, "empty shelves" and being shoo'd away are surprising and I'm really not sure how you got that sort of impression.
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That Quirky Nerdy Girl
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My boyfriend and I went here on our first date and it was absolutely fantastic. They hadn't been open very long yet and the ferrets weren't yet living there but the owner was great. She was able to help us find a few fantastic 2 player games to play (which as most of you know, isn't always an easy feat). My boyfriend ended up loving it so much he bought a pass right then and there and we have gone almost every weekend since then. Sometimes we take our own games, sometimes we get recommendations from the owner/staff, play games we already know, and other times we just hang out. I feel like it's a great/relaxed atmosphere and has actually broadened my gaming horizons. I've tried so many games there that I would have never otherwise tried. My boyfriend and I have since gotten yearly passes and we are constantly recommending it to friends and other people. I've even taken my family there when they came to visit. My dad claims to not like games but the owner ended up recommending a game he liked so much that they had to buy it. Needless to say, my dad is excited to go back one day.

And yes, I too am sensitive to animals however, we now use the back door and unless you go all the way to the front of the shop you don't smell the ferrets. In fact, my allergies never really bother me there.
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Lisa Meece
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To me, it's like having a cat in a bookstore...friendly and homey. And yes, it won't work for everybody...but few things will.

I love Game Paradise, personally. They seem to have more games in their library than any other place I've been has for sale. It's a different model than your typical game store, but different can be good, too.
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Michael Young
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I travel quite a bit between Indy and Jacksonville for work. When I'm back home again in Indiana, Gamer's Paradise is my store of choice. I've found staff to be friendly and eager to assist. Location isn't ideal for me, but worth the trip out.

I'll agree that I'm not a huge fan of pet odor, but I find it very down to Earth to have a cute pet. If my allergies act up, I always stock the appropriate meds in my car to help.

Sounds like you had a lukewarm experience. It's unfortunate that you aren't able to enjoy the luxury of the store.

Happy Gaming!
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Mr O
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I am not a huge gamer, and my girlfriend is even less of one, so I apologize if I am out of my element here, dude (and yes, that rug really tied the room together). I am, however, someone who has disposable income, and who frequents Fountain Square quite often. I enjoy the delicious food at Santorini, stop by New Day for a nice Johnny Tapman, and finally settle for a nice game at Game Paradise about once a month; it's kinda my ritual, anymore. I've tried re-creating this routine several times in other areas around Indy (I live further north), with many other stores, including the Arsenal, and nothing ever vibed right until I found GP. The people at the Arsenal seemed very disinterested in customer service when I visited the first time, and by the third time of the same act, I happily moved on to the happy store nestled between New Day and the White Rabbit, two of my favorite places in FS!

The atmosphere in GP is phenomenal. As soon as people enter the store, they are greeted by "Welcome to Game Paradise!", followed by interested inquiries about what games we're in the mood to play, if we've been there before, etc. It's quite welcoming and warming, and it happens every time, with every costumer; at least whenever I am in there. And those welcoming feelings seem to transfer into their customers as well. I've never been turned down for a game, and I've even had patrons take time to explain how a game I am not familiar with is played. This happened as recently as last month with Tsuro Of The Seas.

I've never had a problem with the ferrets, and I don't even like them! But, they are kept in their cage, and whenever anyone wants to pet them or play with them, they are taken out of their cage, and confined to the table the people who want to handle them are playing on, as long as no one else at the table objects. After a few minutes, they get put in their cages and on to gaming we go, again! Not a problem at all.

Oh, and if I ever want to take some mead to go, they do not mind at all if I bring it to the store, and will, in fact, offer you a cup to drink it in (or you can buy one of the cool themed glasses they have for sale). People also order in all the time, from any place that is willing to deliver to FS. Love that place, and would definitely recommend it.
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Lil G
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Oooo now there is a thought for a good night Mead from New Day Drank Game Paradise I can really get into that, I'll have to suggest that to my boyfriend.
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afira ratliff
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my husband and i love this place. being in college and working full time we don't have a lot of money or time to go anywhere else....this is where we always end up.

and its not just because of all the awesome games we can play (we can always get some stray people to join in if we need more than the 2 of us) and bringing in our own food or drinks helps the budget. but its also so nice to be able to get a cold pop and snack, which we always do anyway. TONS OF MENUS FOR FOOD DELIVERY ARE MADE AVAILABLE AS WELL! so we usually splurge on pizza or Chinese because we just have such a nice relaxing time there, we always stay late! i love that!

this is a new store and i always give my money to locals before big chain stores, always. i have seen this place add more things in the months it has been open, better shelves, better bathroom, more art, as they increase customers, they put it right back into the store, that shows a love of job to me. and the owner loves making this store the best it can be, shes tried for 10 years to get this off the ground evidently and as more customers come in, it only gets better.

these folks are genuinely kind and knowledgeable....a great place to just relax, make new friends and hang out. i love it.

also, the new puppy is so cute...as an animal lover i am so happy there is a place that pets are welcomed, its kept clean and with the cement floor it means people who might be allergic are not bothered, the original poster is honestly never been in the store, thats the only thing i can come up with for the outright lies about this place...game paradise is awesome!!!!
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S P
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I had never heard of any of these places except Game Preserve before this thread was created and I'm not quite sure what to make of what's going on here. There clearly seems to be some bad blood between two nearby places with posturing by possibly both sides and it's unfortunate.

I originally came to this thread in hopes of learning about new game store in the Indianapolis area but am leaving with the impression that there are rival game store gangs in the area!

All kidding aside, I hope this animosity subsides and both places can enjoy success. More quality gaming establishments in the area is a good thing for gamers.
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J S
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Wow that was entirely negative and harsh, even hateful!
My experience was delightful. The owner was beyond welcoming and very friendly, and more importantly she was informative. They do have a 'cage' of ferrets that are sweet and friendly, they DO NOT BITE, I have seen children ask to hold and pet them which is charming and always refreshing to see PET FRIENDLY environments. It is unfortunate you are allergic to pet dander, but for the rest of us animal lovers it is delightful. To walk in and see a puppy walk around or a cat only adds more charm to any establishment in my opinion. It is a CLEAN and SANITARY establishment. The business is trying to grow and support its local community, and that alone should be given support as well. ANY INDEPENDENTLY OWNED BUSINESS SHOULD BE SUPPORTED.
The handful of times I have ventured in this store I have found it interesting, playful, and all around a delight. Let us not be so harsh and show better constructive criticism than destructive comments.
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Sean Aikins
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My experience with Games Paradise has continuously been overwhelmingly positive, since I first stepped into the store this past December. I'm literally a regular there now and have made lots of great, new friends throughout my visits. So rather than repeat what everyone else has already so eloquently stated, I just want to throw my love for GP into the ring.

That being said, I personally haven't been back to The Arsenal since my first visit. The first time I went, there was an overpowering sewage smell coming up from the basement so I mentioned it to the owner and he explained the issue. My reasons for not going back were more about the lukewarm vibe I received from everyone that was there. Obviously, the store has gone through some changes since then, and I'd love to stop in and check it out again. It won't detract from my attending GP, but I'd be willing to stop in from to time for some gaming.

As I was writing this, I broke off to check if there's a Facebook page for Blue Moon, I asked originally on the Arsenal page on November 17, 2013 with no reply since, and it appears as though Blue Moon is going through some business changes as well. Food is no longer being served and TableTopIndy is running the store now.

I truly invite and welcome as many game stores and libraries as Indy can financially support, it only benefits US the gamers, but seeing the store on it's third set of owners now goes to show that running a game store on donations and food sales alone is too financially volatile. Here's to hoping they work something out though.
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David Mott
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Lots of people have already articulated my personal experiences at Game Paradise:
• Friendly and engaging staff
• Clean, spacious and well-lit gaming space
• No stairways! (There are three steps at the back door, but everything is one one floor/level)
• Large tables that can easily accommodate 8-10 player games
• Video gaming area
• Gaming events organized and posted on Facebook multiple times per week!
• Child-friendly and family-friendly space
• Child-friendly (and adorable!) pets
• Hundreds (thousands?) of games, some out of print, some zero-day new, some childhood favorites, some waiting to be discovered by YOU.
• Some beverages and snacks available for purchase in-store
• Outside food is welcomed in the store - there is a wealth of eateries and breweries in and around Fountain Square, including New Day Meadery.

The only negative that I've experienced at this establishment are the glum faces of the staff the morning after their store has been vandalized, which has happened often enough that they've resorted to installing video surveillance of the entryways to help the police identify and apprehend the perpetrator. It's no fun to walk in to see smashed glass or profanities scrawled across an entrance.

This venue is well-suited to host a work-outing, a get-together with 2 or 20 of your closest gaming friends, and just about any kind of gaming/social event that you'd like to have. If you haven't made plans to visit this establishment yet, then you haven't been paying attention to this (and many other) posts in this thread. What are you waiting for?!?
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Darryl with one "R"
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Anyone else find it odd that 6 new users -- all 6 of whom registered on BGG yesterday or today -- have posted comments on this thread that are positive toward Games Paradise?

whistle
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Game Paradise
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nbread wrote:
Anyone else find it odd that 6 new users -- all 6 of whom registered on BGG yesterday or today -- have posted comments on this thread that are positive toward Games Paradise?

whistle


That would be because we posted out a link to this thread on our Facebook group page so our members could chime in on the conversation. If you are interested in our group you can find us at:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1383162465251449/
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George Henion
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Wisconsin
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I have been on here for 7 years, but just don't post a whole lot.

I wish we had a place like this up here in Milwaukee, I have only been there a few time when I visit Indy, but will be back. They are nothing but Friendly, offer a great service, easy to find and have ample parking.

And walkable from downtown ( a hike, but doable) which came in handy last Gen Con.
 
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