With International Tabletop Day around the corner, we’re counting down the days to the big celebration by highlighting friendly local gaming stores, their owners, and their awesome stories. Be sure to find an ITTD event near you so you can enjoy the festivities in your community.
I got to speak with Gary Sproul of the Haunted Game Cafe in Fort Collins, CO about his gaming background, his preferred D&D class and his store. Like many of us, Gary got started in board games with a seminal game. “I started with tabletop games probably in high school with Dungeons & Dragons. It was a game that was introduced to me, and I fell in love with it right away…I’ve been playing role-playing games on and off for almost my whole life now.”
When we asked him about his favorite character class and race, his fun-loving nature and gaming passion really came through. “When I played regular role-playing games, probably Paladin would be my first choice of character. I was always the super annoying, self-righteous guy that was preventing the players from looting the tomb the way they wanted to. It was just more fun to role-play that then it was just a regular Fighter.” While he laments not being able to play in a regular group these days with family and work commitments, he does hope to one day go join a regular roleplaying group.
While his roots are in D&D, like many of us, Gary also has broad interests in tabletop. “I play all kinds of games. My favorite is probably board games, but I do play collectible games, and I play miniatures games as well, but board games are my first love.” When pressed, he had a hard time picking a particular favorite. “I play a lot of board games. I like American style games and Euro style games. I like war games. I hate to say it but it depends on the group that I’m playing with. I generally, if I have my choice, I prefer heavier Euro games.”
His store is as interesting as his tastes. Haunted Game Cafe is no ordinary FLGS – it’s a game café, based on the style of game cafes in Asia. As Gary describes, “When I was planning on opening my store back in 2008, there was very few or no game cafes that were open at that time, and they were getting very popular in Asia, so I decided that there was a market to open one in the United States. I made plans to do that, and we did it in 2009.”
He prides himself in the good things his space and store has been able to do for the community. “The favorite event that we do is probably Extra Life. We do an event to support our local children’s hospital every year, through Extra Life through Colorado Gamers, and it’s an incredible event where we get together and we play a very long game marathon in order to raise money for their local children’s hospital.”
What makes your FLGS special in your mind (and heart)? Tell us in the comments!
Image Credits: Haunted Cafe