Fanatics all across the globe! Unite! Today I am paying tribute to my local gaming club. This place has been a part of my life for the past 17 years, and today I am a proud co-founder and member of a well functioning lair for fanatics. We are also to explore the importance of a local waterhole, preferably one that is customized to your liking and with your friends.
Local gaming store vs. local gaming club
We all have our preferred waterhole when it comes to sate our fanatic needs. Traveling across the land I have come to the conclusion that most people play at the local gaming store, at certain hours, certain evenings. I love stores that promote the hobby and invite their clients to use their store for games and gatherings. The only restriction a store has are opening hours one might say. But I would argue it also lacks another very essential feeling, to be called a place of your own.
A local gaming club can mean many different things. The local club I belong to is most likely one of a kind, or at least one of very few in the world, where the members have a contract that they can use the place 24/7, for gaming, storage and hobbying. And it works!
Sense of community
The greatest bonus of having a gaming club other than that it becomes more or less a communal man-cave (people-cave for the politically correct), is that you create sort of a local community that creates its own meta. I am talking about house rules become a thing for real, and not only in the actual game but also everything related to it, list building, proxy models etc.
The community also provides a far more natural way into other elements of the hobby. As I am writing this article I am sitting at the hobby table where another member is meticulously pinning and rebasing his models. Daylight bulbs lighten our work area and we share hobby thoughts and critique now and then while doing our own thing. We learn from each other.
Behind me there is a game of War Machine going, and across the room, an army of Mechanicus is trampling poor Astra Militarum. Poor guardsmen…
At a local gaming store, or a non-frequent gaming area, games and people playing them become divided and basically create their own small communities. When you have a common gaming club, it is far more natural to be invited into a game you have never played before, or even considered playing. Pick up games are commonplace and everyone is a backseat gamer at one point or another. There is really nothing that could make the feeling down here any more mellow. Even my dog, Gideon, the club pet is sleeping soundly on the floor, despite the fact there are people everywhere, rolling dice, laughing and threatening each others armies. This is truly like home.
We have been very lucky. We found a basement area of almost 60 square meters, in the shape of two rooms, a kitchen and bathroom. We pay rent that is payed out of the membership fee, thus everyone has equal right to everything we acquire together from our collected funds.
Fanatics, don’t hesitate to open your own gaming clubs. You will create something that not only connects likeminded, but also becomes a legacy. Members come and go, but if you have built a solid foundation with rules and income. The club will remain, the hobby will remain.