Wow, it has been over a year since my last installment of The Analog Gamer. Lots of changes in my personal life, a new career, a new location, and a new addition to the family on the way. Lots of changes to the tabletop gaming hobby as well. Signs of the hobby entering popular culture are everywhere; frequent episodes of The Big Bang Theory feature the gang playing games well known to hobbyists, TableTop, a slickly produced reality-based videocast with host Wil Wheaton and other game playing celebrities, is entering its second season, and games like Pandemic, Ticket to Ride, and Settlers of Catan, once strictly the domain of specialty stores can now be found featured in your local Target.
Local game stores are changing too, some of them anyway. Specialty stores with in-store gaming have an unfortunate, but perhaps deserved reputation somewhat reminiscent of seedy medieval taverns; dark, crowded, loud, messy, and with an odor that’s not all together pleasant. That image is slowly changing with an increasing number of brightly lit, spacious, and welcoming stores that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to bring a date to. Stores like Snakes and Lattes feature gourmet coffee, well-stocked game libraries, and game sommeliers available to suggest and teach games when necessary.
To expand the hobby and introduce or reintroduce the general public to their local game store, TableTop, game publishers, and local store owners are sponsoring the first annual International TableTop Game Day. Saturday, March 30th 2013, stores worldwide will have sales, demo copies, and gaming enthusiasts on hand to teach new and experienced players alike. If you have ever been curious about the hobby, this is the perfect opportunity to see what it is all about. Just click on the link and find an event near you.
Bob Gallo is a computer programmer specializing in Flash and interactive application design living in the Charlotte, NC area. Bob got his gaming start in the mid 1970s with traditional hex-and-counter war games and has played nearly all types of games including role playing games, miniatures, collectible card games, video/PC games as well as traditional board and card games.