Once you’ve grown up and got your own place it can seem like a boon for your ability to get to gaming. Yet you still need a few things to be able to game freely namely space and time. Whether you need seating for a simplified pen and paper game, a large table for your plans of open warfare, a card table for your favorite collectible card game (CCG), or screens and controllers for a video game rumble your going to need space. Couple this with sharing space with possible room mate(s) or simply a limited about of space in general your plans of carefree gaming may just evaporate before they even get started. Of course if you’ve moved on from the room mates or your first small place to a home of your own this may not be an issue. Unless of course you’ve also started a family in said home which might just put you back where you started. Not to mention if you have any wee ones crawling, running, or terrorizing around the house this can present its own challenges as well. So let’s talk about where can find the space to go game, cause time will have to wait for another day.
Your first thought should be where do you go to buy your gaming resources from? No, I’m not talking about Amazon. For most this would probably be your local comic shop that stocks the various types of gaming materials. Though not all local comic shops stock games nor do they all set aside an area to play them. In some cases they may even have a limited play area or an area for showing demos. If in doubt call your local comic shop and see what they offer or even recommend. Typically if your local comic shop owner is worth their salt they will know of places that offer what they do not, a good business owner knows that helping a customer is more important than just selling them a product.
Another option you may already know about are game halls. We discussed these a bit in our post on traditions and most likely you already visit these to get your gaming gear. These are much more comfortable places to meet new players, gather your friends, and play any number of games. They typically have card tables, table top space, and booths or rooms for pen & paper games. Sometimes not always they may have drink and snack options should you wish to stay for the duration. If not they are usually located near plenty of food options.
They hold events and competitions as well for some of your favorite games but most of the time a CCG is a fixture for regular tournaments. Be warned with such places of gathering come all manner of gamers some more competitive or friendly than others. Generally though everyone is just there to have a good time playing their games.
These are perfect places to get your games and be able to play your games when you need the space or just want to get out. However there are two places I have come across that are like game halls but also a bit more than that really.
First we have the Rook and Pawn. They are a “board game cafe” that presents a comfy and friendly environment themed as a London shop. A small fee gives you access to the wall of games and their bar keeps eight local brews on tap, rotating regularly. You can bring your own group, join a table, or simply enjoy a meal. This is a family friendly place and a great way to try out different games before you might add them to your own collection. The atmosphere is very relaxed and cozy so board gamers of all types should feel welcomed. If you like it a lot you can even purchase memberships, including a lifetime one that gets you a personalized mug kept behind the bar! How cool is that?!
Next is a legend in these parts for video gaming, food, and fun. I speak of none other than the Battle and Brew. Once in a smaller location they have moved a few years ago to a move accessible and larger venue. With pretty much every gaming option you can imagine at your finger tips from board games, video games, LAN services, and more. While pricier than other game halls the atmosphere is definitely upscale as well as offering some of the tastiest drinks and food options that could easily compete with full restaurants. I will say that the night life might get a bit more rowdy than your casual gamer is use to too, more party atmosphere if you will but it is worth stepping out and trying something different once in a while. There is no shortage of events, happenings, and more at the B&B.
No matter where you go to play your favorite games there is a place for almost every type of game or gamer out there. Just remember to be fun, fair, and friendly so everyone can enjoy their favorite game!
So we’d like to know . . .
What are some of your favorite places to gather and game?
What does a gaming hall do that makes you keep coming back?
How do you locate places to play your favorite games?