What is Solid Board Gamers about?

Over the past few days, weeks…  months, I’ve been thinking about Identity.  If I had a board game business, what would i want people to associate that company with?  I can tell you it wasn’t a big screen of orange, or a small selection of games and Kijiji ads.

To explain what Solid Board Gamers is really about, would mean I need to open up about my past; take a look into my board game history.

As a kid and into my teen years, I loved puzzles, and games like chess, checkers, Scrabble, and Mancala.  I hated Monopoly; I was given a copy of Monopoly Junior on my 8th birthday, and I played with my Mom.  She consistently beat me, which made me really upset, and I lost all desire to play.  This trend of monopoly hating continued to Pokemon Monopoly and Star Wars Monopoly…  I can never win, I don’t understand how people do win….  (many years later, I read some articles about winning in Monopoly, and I finally understood, but I won’t go into that now).  I moved on to greater things.  Pokémon trading cards, and then Magic the Gathering, and the Star Wars CCG, and Tomb Raider CCG

Collectible card games are social by nature, and you learn much more playing against people than playing on your own.  I wasn’t an only child, I had two sisters, but my sisters were not into my nerdy games.  I played on my own.  I spend so much of my youth, completely isolated, and found that I would dive into my cave (my room) to spend countless hours, thinking, dreaming, and playing.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that some of that time could have been better spent with friends.  In high school, I finally found people to play with.  Today, I don’t usually play or do anything without someone else.  There is a longing, a drive that comes from my human nature, to socialize, and do things with others.  I want to be on a team.  On that note, here is a list of some of the things I value most as a mature modern offline responsible practicing gamer…

These are the things Solid Board Gamers are interested in championing.

  • Family and Friend Time
  • Face to Face interaction.
  • Fun and Learning
  • Thrift
  • Creativity, Simplicity
  • Community, and Atmosphere

Family Time, and Friend time. Quality Time.

Family first, then friends.  It’s all about Time, the alternative way to spell Love.  When we give others time, they will feel more loved, more cared about.  How does it feel when someone you care about spends time with you?  Board games, and games in general are one of the many ways to spend time together.  I got for walks with my family, I watch movies, I go and play soccer, go biking, and once and while I sit down and try out a new game, or pick up one of the classics, and I have a great time, socializing, and enjoying the game.  There is a lot of time investment needed to run a successful business, but regardless of whether I have success in business, it’s really not going to make up for my lack of success in relationships, and so it’s always important to take time for family and friends.

We want to support those families and friends that choose to spend their time together playing games!  We want everyone to remember to spend real quality time with the ones they love!

Face to Face interaction

I have spent many long hours sitting in front of a computer screen playing Dota, and Dota 2.  I finished Baldurs Gate 2 at least 3 or 4 times on my own, and Planescape Torment almost a dozen times.  Something I wanted when I played Baldur’s gate was for my sister to play on our lan with me.  When I played Planescape, I wanted someone else with me to enjoy the experience.  I had more fun playing Torment with my friend Tim, sitting side by side at the computer screen than I ever had sitting alone.   I was playing a one player game, with a friend.

Another story.  When I played Resident Evil 4 for the first time, there were 3 of us in the room, and we turned the lights out.  We were terrified, jittery, but enjoyed ourselves immensely.  I will never forget that.

Games can, and I feel should, be social.  They should be a fun time and create a great unforgettable experience, or at least bonding experience for you and your family and friends.  My friend Tim, with whom i have lost contact with, used to play games every single time we would hang out.  We played Magic, we played Ninja turtles, we played Warhammer, we played War, we played Final Fantasy 7, we played Diablo;  I remember all of it.  Sometimes we’d watch a movie: Princess Mononoke, or Gundam Wing, that only fueled the desire to play more games.

Today I sit in front of a screen at work.  When I get home. I don’t want to be in front of the screen anymore.  Inevitably I am, because I’m trying to run a business, but if i can avoid it, I will.  It’s important to disconnect sometimes.  Being electronically connected at all times feels like it’s becoming an addiction that affects all who use the internet (on a computer, or phone, or whatever the device).  I really believe it’s good to just disconnect the devices, and spend some quality time Face to Face with our friends.  If we can’t do that, then use the device as a tool to really connect via video.

We don’t want to be faceless.  Our efforts will be to always give priority to getting people together in person.  Face to face is just better!

Fun and Learning

Learning is fun!  Fun doesn’t always have to have an explicit goal  of learning, but I think I learn something every time I sit down and play a challenging game with a friend.  I love games that involve geography, words, and co-operation between players.  I’ve learned personality types, negotiating strategies, the locations and capitals of countries, and all kinds of new words playing board games.  I want others to experience this.  Learning to have patience during a game is one that I’ve struggled with sometimes (is it my turn yet?).  I think board games have helped me see and understand the way I react, and think about things, and if I miss something, my wife is right there ready to point it out (thanks Honey).
Maybe your flavor of games involves conflict, crushing your opponent through your superior strategies.  That’s fun too!  That involves learning too!  I think there is a board game out there that can fit every personality and style.  Get out there and find it!  Solid Board Gamers is here to help, and there are plenty of great resources online, like Board Game Geek.
We’re here to help you have fun, and help you learn!

Thrift

I love looking for good deals.  I love thrift store shopping.  I grew up wearing clothes from Goodwill, clothes from my older cousins.  We had a multiple televisions that we found on the street.  We had used furniture that my Mom refinished.  I have a dining room set in my hour that I found on Freecycle.  I frequently look for sales, occasionally ask for discounts, and love bargaining on Kijiji.  I want this to apply to games.  Used game swaps are great, borrowing games can be great (unless they never come back..).
We’re here to help you get the best deals on games!  This means we’ll be trying to focus on what’s local, despite being an online store.   As we grow, we’ll make sure we can get better shipping rates for whose who wish to buy from us while far away.

Creativity and Simplicity

I love it when I open up a box and find a work of art inside.  Attention to detail, beautiful board, cards, dice, and game-play that is just as creative.  I think along with this comes work.  There are lots of good ideas, but how many of those see the light of day?  It takes, work, time and effort to get them done.  The creativity will emerge during the process of creating something, when we take a leap of faith and try something new.  I have also found that although i love the huge games with lots of pieces, and depth, that the simple games, the ones that are simple to teach, simple to learn, simple play can also have great amounts of depth.  I very much appreciate simplicity.
We’ll try to be creative with the way we approach our customer service, events, and supporting the Board Gaming hobby.

Last but not least,

Communication and Community

… and he need for locations.  The Location with first and foremost be your own home!  It’s the most comfortable place to play (I hope).  There can be plenty of other inviting, safe environments conducive to a great board gaming experience.  Cafes, lounges, some place where you have some privacy with a small group of friends, but also a place with the thrilling buzz of social activity, the face to face social activity I spoke of above.  I always am looking for places that I can sit, and a surface that I can use for a game.   I love having a couch, or a cushion to sit on, and the whole group close, and involved in the game.  The community aspect of board gaming is important to me.  I don’t want to play alone!  I want to meet others who enjoy the same games as me.  People that I can communicate with, without using an electronic device.

Solid Board Gamers is committed to organizing events where people can meet others and have an enjoyable time playing games, and conversing with each other.
All of these thoughts are things that I want Solid Board Gamers to be about, and be involved with. We are about uniting people together through board games, we are about having a self-sustaining organization that can provide board games to families and friends, and by doing that, creating opportunities to have a great time together.
This year, in the month of September, we’ll be continuing our schedule of semi-monthly events by having back to back weeks of board gaming and socializing.  The BriSkit (a Sandwich shop in Brampton) will be hosting a board gaming night for us on September 21st, from 5pm to 11pm.  We’ll also be at the International Student Festival in Toronto on September 28th, from 1pm to 5pm.  I’m excited about both of these events, and hope we can bring the joy of board gaming, and give people the opportunity to have a really nice time with their friends.  if you aren’t with us, we hope you’ll be with your families and friends somewhere, making great memories.
As Solid Board Gamers, we’re here to support board gamers everywhere, whether you are casual or hardcore, we want you to have good quality time, and a good quality community experience while getting you good deals, and lots of opportunities to play. As our identity continues to form, we’ll keep these ideas in mind, and hopefully create something the board game community, and the local communities we live in, considers valuable.

Happy Gaming!

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