Gaming, what’s it good for anyway?

Back in November a new game store opened in town. For years now, almost since my wife and I moved to this small, mostly rural county in central Virginia, I’ve joked about a gaming store opening up down the street from where we lived. The town had a bookstore when we first moved here, but then it closed. We have the usual assortment of retail stores, but nothing like a B&N and certainly nothing like a FLGS.

Until November. Since the store opened I have spent almost as much time there as I spend at work. I’ve started two regular weekly RPG campaigns, play X-Wing once a week, other miniature games when I can find a willing opponent, a card game my wife enjoys, and a variety of board games in between. Up until November I spent most of my hobby time thinking about gaming, writing and reading about games, maybe even painting some miniatures, but I rarely actually played a game more than once a month, and I was lucky if I managed to play a miniatures wargame even that often, mostly because the closest FLGS was almost an hour away, and making that sort of trip on a weekday after work just wasn’t practical. Fortunately, this new place in town is so close that my engine isn’t even warmed to operating temperature by the time I drive down there, and looking at a map of the town I realize that if I cut across the high school sports field and hopped a creek I could walk to the store in under ten minutes.

So, all this means my gaming tempo has increased exponentially. Instead of posting blog reports or pictures, I’ve just been simply playing one game after another, taking regular breaks to do mundane things like got to work and get a bit of sleep. Part of the reason I’ve spent so much time at the store in the past two months has been to run demo games and draw new players into the space, getting others excited about playing some awesome games. In a phrase, I have been trying to help build a gaming community. And it’s starting to pay off in real terms.

In the second part of this post I’ll go into more detail about what has been happening in my FLGS and why I think gaming has been good for something in my life and community.

To be continued….