I think we can all agree that we love gaming, but finding a place to get together can often be a hassle, so where can you play other than your own home or a mate’s place? Below are a few suggestions for alternative gaming venues.
Some game stores offer spaces for groups to use for board games, war games and RPGs. Not only can this be convenient if you’re having trouble finding a venue, but it can be a great place to meet other like-minded people who may wish to join in. Game stores tend not to worry too much about the occasional boisterous group making a bit of noise now and then, but it still pays to remain mindful of your host and remember they are a business serving customers, so don’t be too disruptive.
Libraries often have a selection of board games available and some are open to having quiet groups play in a dedicated space. Libraries are free, open to all and numerous enough that you shouldn’t have trouble tracking one down even if you live in a more remote location. As more and more aspects of life make the transition to the digital world, Libraries still hold the line for physical content, so providing a place for people to sit and enjoy one another’s company makes sense. Besides, supporting your local library any way you can is always welcome!
Bars and restaurants can sometimes be amiable to have groups of people play at their tables, and a few even plan specific events around board gaming. This is normally offered with the understanding your players will be eating and drinking while doing so. One downside is that these venues can often be noisy and distracting, so bear that in mind and check out the venue beforehand to see if it fits your group.
Board Game Clubs/Events
Board game events such as WellyCon and Board Games by the Bay in New Zealand are tailor made for gamers to get together and share their love of gaming. These events can often run over a couple of days so there’s ample time to spend exploring new games, playing with new players and forming new connections. Noise isn’t an issue and you’re often welcome to bring your own food, though this can depend on the conditions of the individual event, and there are usually food trucks or nearby food options available, from local dairies to group pizza orders. Many of these events have pop up shops supported by local retailers and spot prizes from regional sponsors. Math trades are often a good way to move on your old games while picking up something new, and large board game events often run these, allowing gamers to pick up their selections on the day. Ahh, good times!
Board Game Cafes
Having a dedicated place to play can prove convenient and, while still not big in New Zealand, Board Game Cafes are beginning to pop up here and there around the country. These can be ideal venues for gamers as their entire business model is designed with board games at their heart. Sitting down for an afternoon of gaming with your closest friends, while having food and drinks on hand in cosy surroundings sounds like the ideal way to spend a wet and wild winter.
Where do you like to play? Do you have any suggestions for ideal gaming venues? If so, feel free to share them in the comments below, I’m always excited to hear from you. Until next week, take care!