I went by the biggest of the local gaming stores recently on a Friday evening. I was horrified to find not a single RPG being played on, of all days, a Friday evening. What’s the meaning of this? I used to recall a time when there was several small groups that would meet there on Friday evenings to play. Not to mention all the miniatures games that used to get played on Fridays there as well. Out go the Roleplayers and in their place was a room filled with Magic the Gathering players.
I am all for the continuation and the expansion of the hobby in all directions, but to the exclusivity of just one aspect? I totally get the MtG players pay money to play and Roleplayers are, at best, paying for the table space and maybe some snacks. The same can be said for all other forms of gaming. Now, I am not saying this was a conscious decision by the store staff, nor do I believe that is the case here, I am just reeling that nothing is played but MtG on Friday evenings at the store. I have friends that do play at the store on other days of the week and they say the RPG community is thriving on most days with the exception of Fridays. So, it would seem that MtG is so invasive and popular locally that it has choked out other forms of gaming. To be fair, there were two guys playing a boardgame; even they looked out of place among the throng of MtG players. Having been part of this industry for many years I fully understand that MtG sales are higher than any other product category in most stores. Therefore, MtG sale are paying the bills!
This is where I would like your help! I would want reignite the local RPG scene at this store on Friday evenings. The other RPG groups at this store seem to have many of the mainstream games covered on other nights of the week. I guess I really do need to take stock of what is actively being played and move forward from there. I would be remiss if didn’t mentioned that I do have my reservations about putting in the effort; I have been down this road in the past. I know the store owner would support any effort I put into this, but I am still leery at best!
Reestablish a thriving Friday night RPG community
Introduce the local community to indie & other non-mainstream RPGs
The store carries lots of indie & other non-mainstream RPGs
I own lots of indie & other non-mainstream RPGs
Limited space available
Local reluctance to non-mainstream games
Wrong atmosphere for RPGs
How would you approach this situation?
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