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Subject: Barnes & Noble starting game demos rss

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Phil Hendrickson
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See this news from ICv2: http://icv2.com/articles/news/view/33777/barnes-noble-plans-...

I think this is great news; it shows B&N's increasing commitment to the hobby games market. They picked a strong lineup of casual games that hook players quickly.
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Matt Simpson
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Wow, interesting. Good to see a store that has a "dying" product try to market towards something else. I say dying as books go more digital and people just buy on Amazon. But, they'll have to lower prices and increase selection. Otherwise people will demo at b&n, then order off Amazon
 
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Alex Wendling
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Not only is this a pretty great selection (King of Tokyo, Lanterns, Splendor, Codenames, and Sheriff of Nottingham), but it says they're giving out freebies and promos, like new cards and playmats. I'd definitely be interested in a splendor playmat, or the KoT promo cards.
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fightcitymayor
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This part is kinda scary:
B&N wrote:
Demos will be conducted by Barnes & Noble store employees.
So some poor minimum-wage employee is going to be tasked with doing their typical job & oh by the way teach this random group of customers how to play this game.
This would work with an FLGS because they are basically representing their own livelihood, but I can't see your average B&N employee being particularly dedicated to shepherding a random gang of (possibly very obtuse) customers through any game: "Excuse me, miss? What do I do with the yellow piece? I don't know what to do with the yellow piece? Do I play a card now? What about now? I don't understand this game at all! Miss? Excuse me! Miss?"

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Phil Hendrickson
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coldkorn wrote:
Wow, interesting. Good to see a store that has a "dying" product try to market towards something else. I say dying as books go more digital and people just buy on Amazon. But, they'll have to lower prices and increase selection. Otherwise people will demo at b&n, then order off Amazon


It's interesting that the market for e-books seems to be reaching a plateau. It has not proven to be the book killer that so many people initially predicted. And this year Amazon is experimenting with opening some brick & mortar bookstores.

This could be a parallel to the phenomenon of board gaming in our highly digital world. We love the efficiency of new technology, but still crave physical interaction with others in the real world. There is a balance between physical and virtual, and only a small minority of people can live comfortably at either extreme.
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Alex Wendling
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fightcitymayor wrote:
This part is kinda scary...


Yeah, I've seen posts about how B&N will offer events like "meet the characters from Frozen" and have their employees dress up with little to no advance notice instead of hiring actors with proper costumes. I think explaining a few games, especially this selection, is easier to do. It'll also likely vary from location, but yeah, they don't have the greatest track record.

Fun reddit thread about the Frozen thing, https://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/2cqtld/my_friends_ki...
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Matt Simpson
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DrumPhil wrote:
coldkorn wrote:
Wow, interesting. Good to see a store that has a "dying" product try to market towards something else. I say dying as books go more digital and people just buy on Amazon. But, they'll have to lower prices and increase selection. Otherwise people will demo at b&n, then order off Amazon


It's interesting that the market for e-books seems to be reaching a plateau. It has not proven to be the book killer that so many people initially predicted. And this year Amazon is experimenting with opening some brick & mortar bookstores.

This could be a parallel to the phenomenon of board gaming in our highly digital world. We love the efficiency of new technology, but still crave physical interaction with others in the real world. There is a balance between physical and virtual, and only a small minority of people can live comfortably at either extreme.


Yeah, the other part was really Amazon's lower prices and bigger selection, which is one of two things to kill borders (poor investment being the other.) I hate digital books, I prefer the real thing and audiobooks. Same with boardgames. So, I'd like B&N to stay viable... And maybe start price matching their own website...
I see a lot of kids drifting to the digital extreme as parents let tablets take care of their kids.

Anyways, the people that I've known with previous B&N employment were paid reasonably for retail. Of course this could vary by area
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Andy Matthews
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I'd say that if the demos are regularly scheduled then the selected employee can have some time to prepare. It'll also help if they pick someone who is already a gamer. Surely with dozens of employees at least 1 or 2 people are gamers?
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DrumPhil wrote:

Barnes & Noble will host weekly Casual Game Gatherings, offering demos and space for play, in March, distributor Publisher Services Inc. announced. The events will be held on five Thursday evenings at 57 stores, about 9% of the chain’s 640 stores. Demos will be conducted by Barnes & Noble store employees.

Five light strategy games will be featured, with special free promotional items for players participating in demos for four of them.

The games are:
* King of Tokyo (Iello). Demo participants received a promo pack of 11 Power cards.
* Sheriff of Nottingham (Arcane Wonders). Participants receive a promo pack of six Contraband cards.
* Splendor (Asmodee). Participants receive a Splendor play-mat.
* Codenames (Czech Games Edition). No freebie.
* Lanterns: The Harvest Festival (Renegade). Participants receive a pack of four Lanterns promo tiles.
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Nice, looks like the McKinley Mall one in WNY is having one March 24th. Would be cool to get some promos and meet some geeks.
 
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Andy Matthews
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Where'd you see the list of event locations?
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Leon Z.
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how do you check which stores are participating?
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Phil Hendrickson
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On the Stores & Events page of the B&N website (http://stores.barnesandnoble.com/) you can filter by event type. Select "game night" to see a list of upcoming game events at various locations. Use location or date options to further filter your results.

It looks like each game night is dedicated to demoing a specific game.

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David
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I saw an advertisement for a Ticket to Ride one at a Barnes and Noble in Murray, Utah, last month.
 
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Jack Fleming
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fightcitymayor wrote:
This part is kinda scary:
B&N wrote:
Demos will be conducted by Barnes & Noble store employees.
So some poor minimum-wage employee is going to be tasked with doing their typical job & oh by the way teach this random group of customers how to play this game.
This would work with an FLGS because they are basically representing their own livelihood, but I can't see your average B&N employee being particularly dedicated to shepherding a random gang of (possibly very obtuse) customers through any game: "Excuse me, miss? What do I do with the yellow piece? I don't know what to do with the yellow piece? Do I play a card now? What about now? I don't understand this game at all! Miss? Excuse me! Miss?"



I think at this point every B&N has at least one gamer employee who works there solely to get first dibs on the Clearance games.
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Zack Stockdale
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DrumPhil wrote:
On the Stores & Events page of the B&N website (http://stores.barnesandnoble.com/) you can filter by event type. Select "game night" to see a list of upcoming game events at various locations. Use location or date options to further filter your results.

It looks like each game night is dedicated to demoing a specific game.


Bummer, not happening at the one close to me
 
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DrumPhil wrote:
coldkorn wrote:
Wow, interesting. Good to see a store that has a "dying" product try to market towards something else. I say dying as books go more digital and people just buy on Amazon. But, they'll have to lower prices and increase selection. Otherwise people will demo at b&n, then order off Amazon


It's interesting that the market for e-books seems to be reaching a plateau. It has not proven to be the book killer that so many people initially predicted. And this year Amazon is experimenting with opening some brick & mortar bookstores.

This could be a parallel to the phenomenon of board gaming in our highly digital world. We love the efficiency of new technology, but still crave physical interaction with others in the real world. There is a balance between physical and virtual, and only a small minority of people can live comfortably at either extreme.


http://fortune.com/2015/09/24/ebook-sales/

Digital publishers will eclipse traditional publishing. The problem is publishers are keeping traditional print alive through artificially inflating the price of e-books. What's funny is that they are actually hurting themselves in the long run since overall book sales are not increasing.

Traditional print will become a niche market once publishers let people buy e-books for more reasonable prices and I'm willing to bet when that happens overall book sales will increase drastically.

I don't see a correlation between the two entertainment mediums. I would wager board games are currently in a bubble. You only need to walk around any Canadian city and you'll see 2-3 board game cafes populated with young college kids. Some will stay but most will move on. This B&N thing is a reflection of that bubble. BUT, I'm happy we're at this point anyway and I'll ride the bubble for as long as possible.
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Andy Matthews
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zackdale wrote:

Bummer, not happening at the one close to me


Same here. Nashville, TN. BUt I'll bet they don't have all of them listed. As they see successes they'll likely add more.
 
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Phil Hendrickson
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broken clock wrote:
DrumPhil wrote:
coldkorn wrote:
Wow, interesting. Good to see a store that has a "dying" product try to market towards something else. I say dying as books go more digital and people just buy on Amazon. But, they'll have to lower prices and increase selection. Otherwise people will demo at b&n, then order off Amazon


It's interesting that the market for e-books seems to be reaching a plateau. It has not proven to be the book killer that so many people initially predicted. And this year Amazon is experimenting with opening some brick & mortar bookstores.

This could be a parallel to the phenomenon of board gaming in our highly digital world. We love the efficiency of new technology, but still crave physical interaction with others in the real world. There is a balance between physical and virtual, and only a small minority of people can live comfortably at either extreme.


http://fortune.com/2015/09/24/ebook-sales/

Digital publishers will eclipse traditional publishing. The problem is publishers are keeping traditional print alive through artificially inflating the price of e-books. What's funny is that they are actually hurting themselves in the long run since overall book sales are not increasing.

Traditional print will become a niche market once publishers let people buy e-books for more reasonable prices and I'm willing to bet when that happens overall book sales will increase drastically.

I don't see a correlation between the two entertainment mediums. I would wager board games are currently in a bubble. You only need to walk around any Canadian city and you'll see 2-3 board game cafes populated with young college kids. Some will stay but most will move on. This B&N thing is a reflection of that bubble. BUT, I'm happy we're at this point anyway and I'll ride the bubble for as long as possible.


Not intending to get into a flame war about publishing, but 2015 media was awash with articles and studies, such as from Digital Book World (http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2015/why-authors-and-readers...) and Geekwire (http://www.geekwire.com/2015/paper-back-real-books-rebound/), that show that both print and digital formats are here to stay. Quite a majority of readers still report that they prefer reading book-length material in print (especially nonfiction), and that includes the younger generations. Shorter and more time-sensitive information (such as in newspapers) has made a dramatic shift to digital, and online discussion forums are quite active (cf. BGG). But the printed book shows every sign of remaining a strong and viable technology for quite some time.

I agree, let's enjoy the current, wonderful state of board gaming.
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Mindy Basi
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Hope the employees know how to play the games, and can actually teach them. Whee!

Still nice freebies.
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coldkorn wrote:
Wow, interesting. Good to see a store that has a "dying" product try to market towards something else. I say dying as books go more digital and people just buy on Amazon. But, they'll have to lower prices and increase selection. Otherwise people will demo at b&n, then order off Amazon

The numbers do not bear this out. Ebooks are plateauing just under 25% of market share. Audio is on the rise, but physical print books are as strong or stronger than ever.

B&N stock had been still rising slow and steady until last July. Since then it's taken a dive, but I don't think ebook is the cause. Maybe with Twilight, Divergent, 50 Shades of Grey, and Girl With the Dragon Tattoo all done, there's nothing out there that everyone is reading. 50 Shades drove the ebook market for a while, but there's just nothing big happening (not since Go Set a Watchman turned out to be pretty bad).
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Isaac Finkelstein
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Strangely, I can't find this in the NY/NJ area.
 
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I heard about the B&N thing this morning from Indie Game Allies. One suggestion by one of our "minions" was to possibly volunteer at one of these game nights to help educate people on various games--perhaps better than the poor, unsuspecting employees. Might be a nice opportunity for networking as well.

B5N
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Joe Geerkin
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NostraDouglas wrote:
Nice, looks like the McKinley Mall one in WNY is having one March 24th. Would be cool to get some promos and meet some geeks.


They had a Ticket to Ride demo at the McKinley Mall location about a month ago.

Somebody who works at the store knows the hobby. He (or she) tapes hand written "staff's picks" next to certain games that they stock. They mention things that are clear geek speak (like "Spiel des Jarhe" winner) in their write ups.

I was standing in the check out line at that B&N recently. The woman in front of me was buying a copy of Settlers. When she went to pay for it, the girl behind the counter said, "I just played this last Sunday. Everyone got mad at me for hoarding all the sheep." The woman buying the game replied, "Well, then you could have traded the sheep." I couldn't stop laughing, hearing a casual conversation about Settlers in a check out line.
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Closest to me is Chess Club night.
 
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