Looney Labs Rabbits Mailing list Archive

Gamer bar -- was: Re: [Rabbits] no more hobby store.... I am sad

  • FromMarnen Laibow-Koser <marnen@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateTue, 07 Aug 2007 09:43:10 -0400
On Aug 6, 2007, at 3:23 PM, David Artman wrote:
But they games needn't be dropped as potential revenue channel.

I agree that a game store may need to find multiple revenue streams, and think creatively to do so. However...

I had
the idea years ago for a "Gamer Bar" that worked very similarly to a
golf clubhouse:
1) Pro Shop: Your basic store, but without the extra value-adds: just
shelves, product, and register. Everything in stock is on shelves (i.e.
it's also your warehousing space). Its hours would be typical for a
normal store in the area.


2) Bar: The playing space moves out to a full-service alcohol bar and
coffee shop.

The coffee shop I like, but why the bar? Strategy and roleplaying games (which is what we're talking about here) are all about mental challenges. To play them effectively, you generally need to have your brain *not* clouded by alcohol. This would be extremely counterproductive, I think.

3) Restaurant: Not only does this bring in additional (even non- gamer!)

People who are more knowledgeable than I am about the restaurant business tell me that it's extremely hard to make money with a restaurant. Why have one hard-to-run business subsidizing another?

but it's actually required in my area to serve alcohol without
being a private club.

That's unusual (I'm guessing you live in Utah?). Liquor laws are not like this everywhere, AFAIK.

also provides an area for younger customers who couldn't go into the bar
without their parents (but more on that below).

Why couldn't the game store be that area? And do you really want the restaurant overrun with unsupervised kids?

The key to the concept is being TOTALLY and OPENLY supportive of gaming
in your area. Some schmucks come in and start mocking "those geeks
playing in the corner": throw them out!

No! As long as they're not causing a disturbance, let them say their piece. Throwing them out would not be "supportive of gaming"; it would just be unsupportive of customers.

Seriously (the gamers who see
you do this will be forever loyal!).

I wonder. If I were in your store, and saw you throw out a group of customers who were making disparaging comments about gamers and doing nothing worse, I don't think I'd come back. After all, if I see that happen, I wonder how carefully *I* have to tread. And that's just not worth it.

The whole point is to provide a
place where gamers are welcome and encouraged; it's the non-gamers who
have to "prove themselves worthy" to remain (i.e. by being respectful of
the hobby and generally not being too distracting--drunken yee-hawing
gets the boot).

Ridiculous. You are proposing something that would end up as a closed society. I don't see why we need to shut non-gamers out -- at least, not until they prove themselves *unworthy*.

Finally, it offers a place for adult gamers to be comfortable, away from
kids if they so desire (*dons protective suit*).

How do you figure this? People will bring kids. They may not bring them into the bar, but most gamers I hang out with probably wouldn't go into the bar either.

It's a sad fact that
90% of the gamers in my area WON'T play at the FLGS because of the kids;
they meet at each other's homes instead.

Yes, a lot of kids who hang out at FLGSs are very annoying (the 13- year-old Magic geek stereotype?). Some, however, are exactly the sort of people who'd make good bunnies to raise into the next generation of rabbits. Why shut them out?

Another BIG reason we don't
frequent the FLGS is that we like a bit of draft with our games, and the
FLGS has none and couldn't have it because it would discourage parents
from letting their kids stick around.

Wow. Beer with your games is so much of an issue that it keeps you from the FLGS? I am extremely surprised. For me at least, the point of getting together for games is...well...getting together for games. I really couldn't care less about what drinks are available.

But the two-part division of play
space above solves that problem nicely: the bar becomes a bit of a
retreat (or even somewhere for mom and dad to hang out while junior is
playing a tournie in the restaurant!) but the restaurant is still there
to give youngsters space too.

And so the restaurant will become a nightmare with unsupervised children. No adult will go in there. It will lose money. The bar will not support itself either, because most gamers (at least in my crowd) don't drink much, and certainly not while they're playing games.

I say just have a decent FLGS with decent play space, and the world will beat a path to your door.

Man... I'm talking myself into doing it. Anyone got about $100k to

Marnen Laibow-Koser

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