A few months back, I started going to, and in that same time period, stopped going to a friendly local game store in Tampa, FL. Armada Games. Which, by the way has an amazing and friendly staff, with an incredibly welcoming atmosphere, and a very nice location. And the reason I stopped going, aside from being slightly out of the way, had nothing to do with the store or its staff. In fact, if that were the only deciding factor, I would’ve been back all the time.
The problem was with the people standing around. Armada games hosts board game nights every Monday around 6pm, and from the handful of times I went, I saw that they had a pretty decent-sized crowd every time, with plenty of regulars, and even free pizza and discounts if you say you’re going on Meetup. And I’ve honestly not seen many FLGS’ with such dedication to making sure their attendees have a great time.
The problem is, week after week, I found myself actually playing very few games. It wasn’t for lack of demo games (they had a great selection on the shelf), or lack of people bringing in their own games, it was a lack of people wanting to play games. Which sounds downright ridiculous, because it’s a board game meetup, but on more than one ocassion, I found myself trying to find a game, with little or no success.
And the problem wasn’t that everyone was already in a game, or there weren’t enough players. No, the problem was that there were people standing around. People saying “I want to play a game,” or “I’m looking for a game to play,” and so on. But when I asked them “hey, want to play this?” or “Did you have a game in mind?” their answer was “no.”
And I could understand if it was the same person every time, or if the game I was suggesting wasn’t for them, or if they were just indecisive, but this happened week after week. Plenty of players, plenty of options, but no one wants to play anything. And I don’t want to go to a board game meetup to stand around and do nothing, and pretend like I want to play something, I want to actually play something.
Anyway, just thought I’d share this odd experience. And I want to say if you’re in the Tampa area, check out Armada Games. It’s a great store with a great staff (no, they didn’t pay me to dote on them). I just wish I had a better experience with the players there.