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  • Writer's pictureDawn Dalton

Gaming in a Game Store

We recently had to game at a local game store. Our group is in the middle of a huge side quest and our GM had a huge building he wanted to set up for us that wouldn't fit on our normal table. And yes, the side quest is in Hackmaster, a system most of us have never played in before.

It got me thinking. I've played just about everywhere in my time as a gamer: larping at conventions, game stores during regular hours, the basement of a dorm, conference rooms at college, private residences, and game stores after close (the perk of running the store myself). And each location lends itself to a different feel for the game. If I'm in a house where I don't feel comfortable, I'm much quieter because I don't feel like I'm allowed to be myself. But if I'm at my friend's house, I'm free to express myself.

The day brought a huge wave of nostalgia for me. I used to play in game stores all the time when I was a beginning gamer. I learned D&D while sitting at a table with a group of strangers who had become my friends. Characters I made back then still live in some form to this day.

It was interesting to be back in the public eye while gaming. Stopping to answer questions about what we were playing. Watching my GM burst with happiness when he got compliment after compliment on the building he had made for us. Remembering to tone down my language because I cuss like a sailor.

It also felt different, not just because our characters were in different bodies. The vibe at the table was a bit bigger, brighter, like we were breathing new life into the campaign we had been playing for over five years.

I don't know how much of it was the location and how much was literally because our characters had been ported over to a new world (and a new system because we normally play this game in Pathfinder), but it made me excited to continue the game.

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