Saturday, July 19, 2014

Playing To Strengths

Gaming get-togethers come in all sizes, from an intimate home game with long-time friends to a massive convention-center takeover by thousands of strangers drawn together by their love of games.  When we hear "gaming convention", we tend to think of the latter - something big, involving a hotel perhaps - but that need not be so.

When we first started talking about doing something "con-like" at CardBoard Gaming, we knew that throwing money at a hotel was not an approach we wanted to take (certainly not the first year, anyway).  Starting small seemed to make more sense.  When we look at other game stores in our area - all of which are quite nice, we're definitely blessed when it comes to game-stores in central Maryland - the sizes vary pretty wildly.  Some of the stores have a heavy miniatures focus with large play-spaces adapted to wargaming; CardBoard Gaming does not have huge play-spaces.  So how to complement what's already out there?  That was the challenge.  It wasn't a new thought - as you can imagine, a new game store needs to think about what role it can play in the region, how it can best serve its potential customers.  Cardboard Gaming, being new and small, has elected to focus on strong customer service - which has included good support for rpgs, which are traditionally not a huge money-maker for gaming shops relative to Magic.

So we have a smallish store looking to distinguish itself by throwing an event, and doing it differently than a larger store might do.  That was the concept; other stores in the area have the play-space to do a one-day blitz featuring twenty sessions of Pathfinder Society with eight or ten games at a time, for example; so we tried to go the other direction with a multiple-day event where participants can perhaps take a more casual attitude to the whole thing.  Time doesn't feel so limited, and unlike a big hotel con, you're not justifying your exhaustion based on all that money you spent on a plane ticket and hotel room.  Trident will hopefully feel like a casual convention, as much "three-day hangout with friends" as anything else.  You can only make it to one session?  Awesome.  You can hang out the entire weekend?  Also awesome.  Come and meet new people - an important part of any con!

Plus we're going crazy with the theme - the play-space in and around the store will be decorated, and everyone is invited to dress up and be a little silly.  On top of that, there's the ever-growing prize pile (can't have pirates without treasure), and the fact that the whole event is for charity.  This is not your average con.  This is a weekend-long gaming party for a good cause.

Registration details will be up soon - save the date!

Sometimes "smaller" is exactly what you need.

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