Guest Column: Gamers getting out of the living room
Communities that play together stay together
Gamer Sundays at Dickens was born out of the need for a space where gamers could gather together to do what they do best.
Running an event like this means I get to bear witness to the community that’s growing in Calgary around gaming. Working with groups like Canada Cup Gaming and Project X, who run all sorts of gaming events, has shown me how social gaming has become.
According to the 2011 Entertainment Software Association demographic survey, the average age of a gamer today is 37 years old. Gaming has become a mainstream activity, and not just playing either, but watching.
Anyone at all familiar with massive multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs) knows how easily a community can form around a game. Bars are public houses after all, so why not meet with that community every now and then and socialize in person while you get your game on?
Three months ago my friend Miles and I were looking for a place to hold tournaments for a tabletop game called Heroscape. The bar we both work at, Dickens, closed its doors on Sundays, so we figured it couldn’t hurt to ask if we could use the space.
After our totally awesome boss gave us the OK, we thought, “Hey, why just Heroscape? Why don’t we open the doors to other gamers?”
Every Sunday we bring in a large selection of games for people to play; classics like Scrabble or Battleship, to more advanced games like Carcassonne and Settlers Of Catan.
It’s not just board games though, anyone is welcome to bring down their consoles and plug into a TV, or bring a laptop. Magic The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, Warhammer, it’s all welcome on Gamer Sundays.
Like a lot of people born in the mid-‘80s, Starcraft took up a lot of my free time in junior high and high school, so when Starcraft II (SC2) was finally released in 2010 it was a pretty big deal.
Did you know that professional SC2 players can earn over $200,000 per year from sponsorships? Or that a typical SC2 tournament can pay out over $100,000 in prize money?
This is why every Sunday in addition to all the games we play, we also stream SC2 matches on our TVs. This folks, is Barcarft.
If this sounds like something you’d like to check out, come down to Dickens on a Sunday sometime. We’re located at 1000 – 9th Ave. S.W. Park on the street — it’s free on the weekend.
You can also check us out on the web to stay informed on upcoming events at facebook.com/gamersundays or gplus.to/gamersundays.
Come get your game on!
Ryan McEathron is a dedicated Heroscape player and Dickens employee who knows gaming is best when you share it with friends.