A startling expose by game store owner Eric Logan.
Tabletop gaming encompasses a surprisingly wide range of genres including (but certainly not limited to) European style boardgames, American style boardgames, party games, mystery games, cooperative semi-cooperative and one versus many games, classic games and ancient games, abstract games, train games, war games of numerous complexity levels each with their own devoted fanbase, simulations of various kinds from historical to fantasy, custom dice games, collectible miniature and collectible card games, roleplaying and story games. Each of these genres can be further divided into multiple sub-genres and some of these sub-genres, like Dungeons & Dragons and Magic the Gathering, are so large and popular that they’ve become full genres in their own rights with even further sub-genres unto themselves. Dungeons & Dragons alone, for example, has at least 6 different editions and multiple retro knock offs, all of which have their own unique audiences and Magic the Gathering has a number of different formats and rule sets each drawing a different type of player.
Every tabletop gamer, even the most well rounded (like all of our employees), has a bias towards a particular game or type of game; usually something from their past, some initial gateway game or genre that they will inevitably tend to compare other games to and gravitate back to even as they expand their gaming interests.
My personal bias is toward roleplaying games (commonly abbreviated as RPGs). I got started on Advanced Dungeons & Dragons with my dad when I was 8 years old
and have enjoyed exploring new roleplaying systems ever since. Though I’m familiar with and enjoy playing every type of game that we carry at Gamma Ray Games, my inclination is always toward the new small press RPGs.
And so it was that 2 weeks ago while I was rapidly putting together our Kickstarter page for a space that I knew was going to freely support all of the myriad types of tabletop gaming as well as some non tabletop activities like trivia nights, Barcraft and possibly a even a recently proposed rockband karaoke event, I reached out to the indie RPG community for pledge reward commitments first because I knew from our history of collaborating together for events like PAX, Emerald City Comic Con & GoPlayNW that they would respond quickly and be great to work with. And indeed they were.
But bias has consequences and while monitoring our kickstarter progress for the past couple of weeks I’ve discovered two. First, I’ve received a couple of emails from people who saw our kickstarter page and we’re worried that we intend to exclude/ignore their aspect of the hobby, to which I always respond with a clear and sincere “woops! my bad! we’re totally into your thing too,” because I know that the store and the lounge have been and will continue to be about the greater tabletop gaming community of which I and my personal biases are only one small part.
Second, and possibly more importantly from a Huttese perspective, it’s occurred to me that not having more non-rpg gaming options may have limited some peoples willingness to pledge and that, of course, is a barrier that we simply cannot have. In response I’ve just added the new completely-non-roleplaying-related “boardgame night with Jake Waltier” pledge level for you and your friends. And a… (cough) uh, couple of, uh, new RPG levels as well (cough).
Look, the new RPG rewards weren’t my fault, alright? The Gamer Viceroy came by demanding to know why he’d been snubbed out of the reward levels and, seriously now, you don’t want me to snub the viceroy do you? No, I didn’t think so. The man’s a legend in this town.
So there you have it. I love me some RPGs but you can love you some of whatever you want, and if that something happens to be some kind of tabletop gaming, it will always have a home at The Raygun Lounge.
I can’t wait to see you all there,