Monday, October 18, 2010

I said the 20th of September....

...not the 20th of October. I'm a bastard it's true. But then I am still new to this whole blogging world and being able to focus on this task. Don't take my absence as a lack of interest, because I love talking about D&D. The move just took a lot longer than I thought to get me settled in.

So without further ado, I give you...a chat about D&D stereotypes.

Recently I've been looking into opening my own game store. You know the kind, because many of you (myself included) spent years inside one. These are the kind of stores that have Magic The Gathering cards, various board games, D&D books, as well as dice, Mountain Dew, candy, fold out tables and an odd smell that usually belonged to the guy in the sweatpants.

Many of us felt at home in these places. Not just because they reminding us of our basement hide-a-way (or the one we wish we had for those like myself who never had a basement), but because this was a place where we didn't have to care about anything else that everyone else cared about. We could just disappear into our fantasy worlds.

Unfortunately some of us ended up looking like this guy....

As a result the rest of us got branded with this horrible stereotype that we're all total losers. We're not all this way. Ya I don't look like Vin Diesel (who's on the other end of the spectrum from your typical gamer) but I'm certainly not that guy. Take a look at this picture:

Two out of the three people here are D&D gamers (hint, its not the lady). The bearded guy is me, and the other guy is one of my players. See how cool we look? Am I bragging a bit? Ya, maybe a touch. But I'm trying to get the point across that we're not all the kids in the first picture. Maybe we once were (God knows I was), but we aren't anymore.

I was thinking about this because if I'm going to open my own store I want it to be a place where the unwashed guy in the sweatpants can go, but I also want it to be a place where the girl in the picture above wouldn't be afraid to walk past without garlic and a crucifix. I was thinking that to do this I would need to make sure the place was painted nicely, and used real wood book shelves with a dark stain to make the place feel inviting. I wouldn't put those window decals everywhere and posters would be in frames. I have thought about offering more than Mountain Dew and Snickers for snacks(maybe a panini).

What would you like to see in a gaming store that would make you feel comfortable to sit and play in? What would bring your girlfriend or wife into the store as well? What would make them stay and have a drink and chat with friends while you game? If you're a girl gamer, what do you want? I would love to know.

Until next time...


  1. As a chick gamer who's felt ostracized in comic stores, video game stores, and tabletop stores, I can emphatically say that the best thing you can do to get girls in there is to have female employees. In a realm dominated by dudes, we like to see another woman's face - it's something we can relate to and fall back on if we start to feel overwhelmed by the sweatpants guys.

    The other ideas you've already had are perfect. They'll make a much wider range of people feel welcome in the store, period. It sounds like you've got a solid start. Can't wait to see where it goes!

  2. I would love to hire women. Of course when I open the store I won't be able to afford employees for awhile, but as soon as I can I will keep an open mind to it. I've never really cared about gender when it comes to employment. As far as I'm concerned, if a person is going to do a good job then who cares what their gender is...of course having a woman will probably make the guys who fall into the stereotype really uncomfortable, which could be hilarious to see. I do enjoy making people squirm.

  3. If you want females to enter into a place like this than you need to hide "that guy". It's not the place that is creepy, but he is. The way to hide him is private rooms and a back snack stand.

    2nd - What is your marketing plan for that Gender? If its just gamer hang than you'll have issues like all other just gamer stores. What are you going to have that they want and how are you going to tell you you have it at a good price. Think about a few things like:

    Girls Video Game Night/competition(no men allowed)
    Have the front of the store a book store/coffee shop
    Book clubs

  4. As a girl gamer...

    I'd like to be acknowledged.

    It's really awful when I enter a store and start fawning over dice, or talking about the book that inspired that game, or admiring the way a world has been thought out...

    While the salesman (I haven't seen a woman yet) talks to my boyfriend, who is pretty much like "Dragons, eh?", about the merch.

    Or tries to explain that "it's made after a popular book!" when I'm already deep in the game's mechanics, not just glancing casually at a title.