I wanted to give a shout out to our favorite Friendly Local Game Store, DiceHouse Games in Fullerton.
We have not devoted much space to our gaming hobby here on OKOS, but once a month I run a White Wolf game under the banner of the local Dead Gamers Society of Orange County. At least that’s what I do now. Honestly, I’ve been gaming since junior high, when I received one of the infamous “red box” sets of D&D from my equally geeky older brother.
But being a female gamer has it’s challenges – one of the biggest being to find a game store where one can review books, talk shop with the owners, and sling dice with what is still a vastly male clientele, without feeling marginalized or like she’s digging around a garage sale in her dorky little brothers basement. I’ve been to way too many shops that cover both.
As a college project, I imagined a game store with comfortable furniture, tastefully decorated and neatly stocked. A store with decent lighting. A store with clerks that didn’t think that possessing a pair of breasts automatically made you unworthy of learning the finer points of putting together a killer Magic the Gathering deck, or who didn’t just assume you must be shopping for your boyfriend.
Apparently someone else also had this vision, because not long after Dice House opened and it’s been everything I’ve wanted in a game store since. Yes, I can get many books cheaper or sometimes even faster on the internet, but I like buying my gaming gear from people who know what good customer service means. I like store owners who take the time to get to know their regulars and will take it upon themselves to not only let us know when something we’d be interested in is available, but will set it aside for us. I like store owners that offer a safe, comfortable environment to play the games they sell, give you space to play games with other hobbyists without having to give out your home address (or making them deal with your cat/dog/crazy roommate), and who might even take the time to show you the ropes of a game your interested in learning.
There’s something both very forward thinking and old fashioned about Dice House that should be encouraged, and I happily recommend them to any fellow gamers I run into that haven’t already given their shop a go. Even if they don’t have exactly what you’re looking for, they are usually great about ordering it for you, or helping you find something else to tide you over until the next book release. Because that’s how they roll.