I’ve been thinking about this for some time. On a recent episode of the Manaverse Podcast with Gary Ray, we talked about the fact that running a successful LGS is a difficult and costly endeavour. It takes a lot of time, effort, and especially money. In fact, the question became why would someone open a game store at all?
If they had enough money to open one in the first place, they could get a much better return on their cash by opening a completely different business, or even just investing it. A game business seems like a pretty bad idea when you put it that way.
So why would anyone want to open a game store? I believe it depends on what you value most.
If you just want a good return on your investment, sure, try something else. An LGS isn’t for you. Feel free to stop reading.
If you want to be involved in one of the most excited and passionate communities in the world, than an LGS might work for you.
If you want to sell a product that makes people happy, something that’s fun and adds joy to people’s lives, a game store might be right for you.
If you want to create an experience that people love, you may be on the right track.
A business is an extension of you and how you interact with the world and you essentially have two options. You can create a business that puts out something positive or something negative. A negative sells. Think about how much money cigarette corporations make selling a product that literally kills you and those around you.
Games on the other hand are a positive contribution to your community. An LGS sells more than just games though. A local game store is a place where your customers can make new friends, some of these friends can last a lifetime. It’s a place to discover new ideas, new systems, and new ways of thinking. Games have more value than just as a distraction or entertainment you know.
Games teach strategic thinking, cooperation, planning, resource management, negotiation skills, relationship building, history, philosophy, and more.
An LGS is a place to play.
In our world, as we mature and age, we get jobs, have kids, commute, take vacations, and worry about our finances. As we get older, simply playing disappears from our lives.
Something I’ve noticed is that adults are focused on efficiency and straight lines. The shortest route from home to work for example.
Take a look at a child the next time you get a chance. They rarely ever travel in straight lines, they wander back and forth as their fancy takes them. They still have the basic capacity for play.
As adults, we need to rediscover our ability to explore and play, and games are the perfect avenue for that.
And on top of all that, you can create a profitable business that can support you and your employees.
I think deep down, that’s what the idea of an LGS represents. That’s why we spend our money and time building them. That’s why they are worthwhile and why we desperately need more people with the courage to be entrepreneurs.
Sounds like some good reasons to me.
Until next time.