Saturday, April 3, 2010

Compelling thread at about Friendly Local Gaming Shops

4e / GSL WotC and brick and mortar retail stores - Greg Leeds weighs in - EN World D&D / RPG News

See the above thread. I pretty regularly DM at a Friendly Local Gaming Store, but am kind of ignorant of many of the pressures in the gaming industry. The Battle Creek store owner's explanation of the changes in the Retailer-Distributor-Publisher flow is - arguably accurate or not, see the rest of the thread - well explained and rational.

I posted the following in response to the point about Friendly Local Gaming shops.

Accurate or not, the posts that started this thread did get me thinking about something. I'm all for technology in gaming, and see DDI as a great tool for folks who want an online version of their materials (especially since PDFs are so verboten right now in WotC land). The issue I have though is as it relates to in-store gaming. Periodically, I run a game at a local shop. The owner is gracious enough to let us use tables, occupy his store for hours at a clip, provides a trash can that he ends up emptying full of our pizza detritus and soda cups, and is the best host you can ask for. He does not charge a dime for us to play at his shop, and the players' assumption is that he just hopes we'll do the right thing and buy our gaming supplies there - and many of us do. That said, when a player shows up with a character that was created with the online generator, and they hold forth about how print is dead and they don't need to buy books due to DDI, it brings to mind a phrase my Father-in-Law shared with me once. He referred to the act of stopping at a McDonald's or whatnot while on a road trip, using the rest room, and then being sure to buy a soda or snack from the store as a responsibility of thanks he referred to as "paying the rent." While it's great that players use DDI, the fact that for many it replaces the books - and in turn replaces their interest or need in purchasing books from the store that's hosting their game - has an edge of not "paying the rent" to me. I see no policy shift at the store coming, nor think one would be appropriate. It's about doing the right thing. My longwinded point being - if you play at a Friendly Local Gaming Shop, throw them your business.

Any thoughts on this?

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