Saturday March 30th was the International Tabletop Gaming Day and all over the country and around the world people were playing tabletop games of all kinds. At White Cap Comics in Grand Rapids, Michigan from noon to 6 p.m. folks came to the store to shop and to play games and many stayed and played games all day.
The staff at White Cap Comics made sure that everyone had a good time at the store but certain aspects of the day did turn out to be a bit of a fiasco too with folks leaving a bit disappointed with the expected outcome of the day.
White Cap Comics was one of the stores that had paid months in advance to be able to provide their customers with the great prizes that Alliance Game Distributors had promised to the stores for a $500 buy in and that the folks at Alliance and Geek and Sundry Tabletop Day had been touting for months with comments like, “collect all the exclusive promotional items made specifically to commemorate this.”
With International Tabletop Game Day being pushed by Alliance Game Distributors, being touted by Geek and Sundry, and the major players in the tabletop gaming industry Mayfair, Wizards of the Coast, Steve Jackson Games, and others supposedly behind it encouraging attendees to “collect all the exclusive promotional items” and paying $500 for the premium kit, folks might expect that the store would have been provided enough promotional items for more than one person to “Collect all” the promotional items.
Unfortunately that was not the case. For an additional $50 the store could have purchased another box of promotional items to cover a second person. So for $5450 the store could have had enough for the hundred or so customers that passed through the store to collect all the promotional items that Alliance Gaming Distributors, Geek and Sundry, and the gaming industry been promoting.
Brick and mortar stores like White Cap Comics work hard to promote positive hobbies like board, card, roleplaying and other games and provide space and a home after school to lots of kids that might otherwise be home alone or out getting into trouble after school, on weekends, and during the summer as well as for adults to gather for a game.
Retail stores like White Cap Comics understand that the economy has been bad and Michigan has seen its worst economy over the past decade so folks around here understand economic hardship and disappointment, but when the gaming industry has posted its fourth year of consecutive growth, companies like Hasbro/Wizards of the Coast, Mayfair, and others are looking like scrooges or bailout bank CEOs who are walking away with overflowing pockets at the expense of taxpayers.
While the folks at White Cap Comics made certain that everyone that came had a great time and were apologetic to those that had bought into the “Collect them all” hype, the gaming industry has major egg on its face but is happily sitting on a load of cash to ease their conscience.
A final note on the Tabletop Game Day, the $500 the store paid was to also include 30 to 60 seconds on Geek and Sundry’s live Tabletop Day broadcast. The White Cap Comics AV staff spent hours of preparations for the broadcast, purchased new equipment including an HD camera and studio headphones, installed a cable connection, and had 3 laptops and an extra webcam as backups to ensure that the store would be ready for its appearance on Geek and Sundry’s Tabletop broadcast.
After waiting for hours the Geek and Sundry announce they were going life to the store and then they crashed. For about half an hour there was no response and then:
“TABLETOPDAY .:hey guys, again, sorry for the crash
TABLETOPDAY .: kernal panics are no fun
TABLETOPDAY .: we’re done with the first half of the broadcast though – see you soon!”
They then went offline and didn’t respond when asked how long was “soon!”
They finally responded at 7:04 Eastern with, “hi priscilla! sorry about all the confusion – once the computer crashed it killed the skype feed. we were offline until 3! if you’re around later, though, there’s a chance we could call you back!”
At that point the store was closed and folks were going home.
So to the folks at Geek and Sundry, “‘redundancy’ is a popular term among geeks in the tech industry, you might want to look it up.” To the folks at Alliance Game Distributors and in the gaming industry, “Did you intentionally mislead your customers or are you just out of touch?” Finally, to all the gamers worldwide – “Game on and see you at Gen Con!”
More about John Collins: