Lay Down Your Arms!

What’s that? Tom Vasel didn’t actually go to war with anyone? He also said there are many excellent game stores (like Chimaera and Fanboy 3), as well as some rubbish ones? Just like there are some fantastic online sellers *waves at The Board Game Hut & Chaos Cards*, and there are some rubbish ones too? So why has the internet been in meltdown? 

I’ve seen a lot of passion from a lot of people online in the last couple of days, especially in various Facebbok groups. I can understand why some, especially store owners, feel that a man sponsored by an online seller went to war with them. Perhaps it would have seemed less of an attack from someone without a sponsor. But I didn’t feel even once that Tom wants us to grab our pitchforks and +2 strength swords and burn down the nearest games store. Rather, it seemed like a call for the less friendly stores to up their game. And I wonder if the same outrage would have occurred had he called out online sellers for some reason. So let’s calm down and try and channel this into something positive.
I’m fortunate that I have a really good local game store (Chimaera). They often don’t have the games I want in, but they’ll get them for me. And I spend a lot of money on other things in there (like collectible figures). I’ve literally spent thousands in there over the years, even though i may have saved a few pounds elsewhere, just because I really like being in the store, and can easily spend a couple of hours there without even playing a game.
I have however gone into others, and left in short order. For various reasons. Just like there are online sellers that I’ll never use again, for various reasons.
I also have online sellers that I love to buy from, partly because of price, and partly because of excellent service, but also because I’ve struggled with my health over the years (former wheelchair user) and don’t always have the time and energy to get to a store. So I want and need both the FLGS and FOGS in my life. Plus, while a few pounds extra in a store doesn’t bother me (due to other value) I can’t always spend the £20 – £50 extra compared to online. (£50 is extreme but yes, I’ve seen the difference). But on the other hand, purely online stores can’t really create a community, so we really do need both.
I just wish sometimes that I wasn’t made to feel like a kid caught between 2 warring parents. Stop fighting, I love you both!
Let’s start turning the conversation from one of war, to one about the stores and sellers we love, and why. Let’s talk about how we’ve benefited from their work to expand the hobby, and how we can all contribute to that. Let’s talk about the stores that strive to be accessible, inclusive, friendly, and how they add value. Let’s talk about which online sellers find ways to go the extra mile.
We’ll always do better by building up than tearing down. Come on everyone, we’re gamers, we’re a community, and we’re better than this.