Why I do what I do...
The title says it all, and it's time to lay it out.
This stems from a post on someone's blog that totally ticked me off. It was directed at my store, and in conjunction, directed at me. Ya see I left a very high paying job in tech a couple years back to take co-ownership in a game store. (I think the pay cut was a factor of 6 if my math is close.)
Well, clearly it wasn't for the money. Anyone thinking we do this for a fat pay-out is seriously, and sadly mistaken. I did it for one reason only. I want gaming to survive and grow.
It sure seems fashionable now a days to bag on your local game store. Maybe it's because they don't carry "your" games. Maybe it's because they charge full price. Maybe it's because you simply don't think there needs to be game stores anymore. I couldn't care less about points one and two. Let's shoot straight at number three.
Regarding number three: You are wrong. I believe that so vehemently that I gave up one career that paid damn good money to help support a community I believe in. Many of you who cavalierly say game stores are relics of the past sure have it thought through. Anyone of you ever sell (or give for that matter) a kid his first set of dice? Maybe teach him how to paint his first miniature? Doubtful...cause then you might understand the choice I made in pursuing this new career. We aren't interested in just supporting gaming as it is...why would we be? We want it to _grow_. Growth = health. Health = we all have more fun in the long run. Is that so wrong? Or perhaps it's really important to be cool and different just to spite that growth? Who knows...
There is sure a strong schism in this hobby we all share, and it's that belief that we aren't sharing the same hobby.
Whether it be a copy of Rifts, Dogs in the Vineyard, D&D 3.5, Warhammer 40,000, Puerto Rico, Chess...we are all sharing the common hobby of social gaming. This hobby/lifestyle/pursuit/ call it what you will has a VERY common thread: It's about people getting together and sharing something. Why do we have to challenge that assumption constantly?
And like it or not, game stores are a part of this hobby. We are the recruiting centers, and the public faces to bring more people in. I couldn't care less if you wanna stamp your feet all day long and scream about the fact that the internet alone is enough to keep gaming strong and healthy.
Every single god damn day, I work my ass off to make sure the SF Bay Area gaming crowd has a clean well lit place to come and share something they enjoy with other people. I pay a third of my rent on space to allow people to congregate and share something they enjoy. I order small indie titles (in all aspects of the hobby including Miniatures, RPGS, Boardgames, ect), often times at a margin I can barely afford to keep the doors open on, just so that my local gaming community will get exposure to things they _may not know to search out on the internet._ Yes, I make some money in the process. But I give back. I make sure that the kids are exposed to a valuable hobby. I help people who have left the hobby re-enter it in a very comfortable way. I even deal with the jaded, bitter gamers who think I am ripping them off by selling things at full price with my best fake smile. Why? Cause like it or not, they are part of the hobby I am working _my ass off_ to keep alive and strong.
I am perfectly comfortable with you all calling "bullshit" on me as much as you want. I have put my blood, sweat, and tears behind my beliefs. I am not going to hide behind the internet with these opinions. You are more than welcome to come talk to me about them. You know where to find me. I'm on the front lines, trying to help the community grow and flourish. That's really all I am trying to do. Be nice to see some of you come down off your ivory towers, and do the same.