There is one gaming fallacy I hear repeated every once in awhile and it drives me crazy every time I hear it
I am talking about the people who post on role playing game forums that we need Friendly Local Game Stores in order to bring people into the hobby and help the hobby grow. This is a fallacy that is repeated time after time and despite being untrue and providing these people facts to back the fact that this is untrue, it doesn’t stop people from repeating it anyway.
New Gamer’s are brought into the Role Playing Hobby by being introduced into already established game groups. That’s how I learned how to game, that’s how all of the people I have taught the hobby were introduced and that is how ever gamer I have ever talked to has been introduced into this hobby.
I understand where many of these people probably get this idea, the go into their local friendly game store and the FLGS owner tells them that people need to support them in order to give people a place to learn how to game and pick up supplies. Sadly, this is just a lie the game store owner tells to justify their existence and allow them to keep their business based on an outdated business model going.
While I am not going to say that no gamers have learned how to game at a game store, I am going to dispute that many if not the majority of gamers in the hobby stumbled into a game store, saw all the games and say to themselves “Wow! I want to learn this hobby!” Again, some people may have learned to game this way, but the number of people who learned this way are a handful or two and best, not the majority of the hobby.
What really happens is that an already established gamer (an active gamer) has a group and they have a friend/classmate/colleague that they think is a cool person and they ask them to join. If the person is interested they join the group, learn the rules and the rest is history. Some will stay with the group, small numbers won’t but that’s how it works for this and any other hobby. The role playing game hobby is not built on tons of people randomly stumbling into a game store and learning how to game.
Game stores do have their purposes, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying they all should go out of business tomorrow, I am just saying that attracting new gamers is not their strong point. They are great if you want to pick up a game today and also want to socialize with other gamers, or you don’t have enough room where you are living to run a game at your place. If you run a game at your local FLGS you should be sure to support them and buy their products as well as drinks and snacks, since tables are generally free to use. If they are giving you the space and you are using it, then you should support them.
Game stores have their purposes and are useful for the hobby, but what they don’t do is bring in gamers in droves. This is a fallacy I wish people would
What are your feelings on game stores? Post a comment and let us know