June 25, 2010

Dreaming big

I went to a local gaming and comics store last Sunday.  I needed the 4th edition Dungeon Master's Guide.  Yes, needed.  I went straight to the gaming books, plucked out my treasure, and headed to the register.  I was a girl on a mission.  Okay, and I was craving In-N-Out so very much that I wanted to hurry so I could get to my neapolitan milkshake faster.

I placed the book on the counter.  The cashier picked it up, looked at me, and said, "This a great Father's Day gift, lucky guy!"

I sighed with audible exasperation on the inside.  I said, "Oh, actually, it's for me.  I want to learn to DM."  To which he said, "Oh, um, well... good luck with that."

Dude.  You could have been really cool at that moment.  You could have given me advice or tips or pointed me in the direction of the gaming tables and said, talk to that guy, he'd love to help.  But no.  You treated me like a girl.  It was only my second time in that store, but I have only seen one other girl there and none were at any of the gaming tables downstairs.

This is not related to me being a disgruntled female, but also?  That store smells of stereotypical gamer body odor.  Just sayin'.

It reinforced a dream that has been in the back of my head for about eight years.  I want to open a gaming store.  A female-friendly but not male-repelling gaming store.  I want people to come buy things and keep me in business, but I also want it to be a place folks want to come hang out with friends.  I would love to have a handful of gaming tables out in the open, a private gaming room with a table from Geek Chic that groups could rent, and maybe a room that is a mini theater.  I envision selling comics too and having them in a separate room with a cushy place where artists and writers can come sign their work.

As you can tell, I haven't sat down in any kind of serious fashion to make it happen.  But, I am extra inspired to do so because of another geek lady, Natali, who is taking big steps to make her dream a reality.  She has envisioned an  place for dorks, and even non-dorks, to congregate / eat / drink / be awesome.  In her words, "UberDork CafĂ© is Art + Science= Geek in a family-friendly environment that supports local vendors and artists, the earth and gives back to the community not only by providing a safe place for youth to play and learn, but also in financially assisting future Art + Science= Geeks."

Sounds pretty damn perfect to me.  She has created a Kickstarter pledge page to help raise funds for start-up.  If you're not familiar with Kickstarter, you back the project by pledging money.  The project has to  meet it's goal by the date stated for you to actually be charged and for Natali to get the cash.  Let me cut you off before you say, "But this in Milwaukee and I am nowhere near Milwaukee!"

It's the principle of thing.  Also, just think if the first UberDork Cafe opens and it's a gigantic success.  Maybe there would be offshoots in other cities.  We can hope!

Read lots more details about the project at the Kickstarter page:

13 comments:

  1. Ubeffinglievable. *headdesk* If you are thinking of adding 80s video games to that location - consider me in. I'll bew the investor in the corner playing Frogger.

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  2. Sounds more like a disgruntled guy. Perhaps the type that has never kissed a gal. HEH!

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  3. What he should have said was "This is a cool book, do you play?" That leaves it polite and open for either answer and further conversation or a polite end of it. His approach did nothing but hammer home the stereotype that he's probably never had a girlfriend and lives in his mom's basement. Its his loss really.

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  4. Sexist frakker...

    Also? That's actually just straight-up bad customer service. It's not my job to comment negatively on what people buy from me, and I don't do so (even when they are seriously weird sex books) because it's not my place. So being a sexist asshole isn't even an excuse because he has no right to say that to you at all.

    Then again, when I went to the Gollancz table quiz, 90% of the other sci-fi buyers were male and surprised to see me... *sigh*

    If you want to add books to that dream store you can totally count me in ;) We can create a megastore of AWESOME XD

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  5. What a jerk. He thought it more likely that a man your father's age was a DM than you were? I guess I don't have a great sense of the age demographics of tabletop D&D, and here I am being ageist. But I would have expected him to be impressed or something, not...hmm, condescending?

    Anyway, I would so go to your comics store. And the UberDork Cafe is such an awesome idea.

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  6. Hand to Yoda hon, I will back you a gazillion % on your amazing dream and the first UberDork Cafe outta Milwaukee will be connected to your place!!

    And Mr. Smug behind the counter not only can kiss my big ole lily white ghetto booty, he's not allowed!

    Thank you sooo much for the mention! You are sooo awesome!!! *huggles*

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  7. I love the UberDork Cafe idea! :)

    As a rule, going to places gaming stores & the like makes me feel a bit intimidated. I like to play but I don't normally DM and I have other hobbies so I'm not 100% up on gaming stuff. Makes me feel nervous talking to the people who work there unless I have a question.

    Last time the guy at the cash register was joking about Cubans with someone else, which was a little awkward.

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  8. I'm sorry you had a bad experience. :(

    The game store I went to growing up was run by a woman. :)

    Anyhow. I'm lucky my local store is pretty great and they sell comics, anime, and board games too.

    I hope that cafe takes off in a huge way.

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  9. Terilynn - Yeah, he was decidedly not cool. Frogger- brilliant idea! :D

    DarkShinobi - It is very possible.

    Shawn - Exactly - he could have played it an entirely different way.

    Mary - Grr, he made me a bit angry. And books, ooh, it could be a megastore of awesome nerdiness. Oh and I just decided the decorations might be steampunked themed.

    Eleni - I'm not sure of the demographics either; I do think a lot of older than myself dudes play though. He was definitely condescending. Blerg.

    UberDorkGirlie - "Hand to Yoda" - hee, you rock! I think UberDork cafe is such a very awesome idea, and I want to help get the word out. :D

    Ruth - They make me feel a bit intimidated too, but some stores very much less so. It depends on the atmosphere... a few of them I've been to have been really great and have a welcoming vibe.

    8Bit-Emma - Eh, it was only one store, but I wanted to kick the guy in the shins.

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  10. You know I once lived an isolated geekless life of confusion and depression. If I had known that there were women like yourself around when I was younger I could have saved myself years of regret. Keep doing what you're doing because it makes you awesome in my book! ;)

    PS: I did find my geek goddess so I am a happy geekster now. :D

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  11. I work at a game store and nothing makes me happier than seeing a woman with a game in her hands, especially something like a DMG. I guess I just have so many female friends that are gamers that I would not be surprised by one wanting to DM.

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  12. Jedi-J - Aww shucks, thank you. I'm very glad you found a geek goddess. :D

    NakedHobo - I guess they don't get a lot of females in that store. But I don't really know, to be fair, I've only been there twice...

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  13. Ok, I game at my local gaming store at least 2 times a week. there is one girl who works there, 3 girls in my group, and i see about 2 other girls come in and game about once a month. I do remember one time, looking over at the door when 2 preppy girls came in. they took one look at the store, and all the people playing. The guy at the counter said, "you girls lost?" they glared at him, giggled to each other, and left. Those are the girls that give gaming girl bad reps

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