This week I want you to think about your Friendly, Local Games Store (FLGS). This is the place that you know you can go to hear the latest goss on your favourite game, to pick up a cool new mini, order in that strange new indie RPG, or just chill out for ten minutes while you wait for the next bus. One of my best mates has recently opened a game store and I am so impressed with what he has done. In just a couple of short months he has turned it into a thriving community hub, brought together different groups, started leagues, run tournaments, and is now looking at hiring staff. All this, despite the competition from the very competetive online retailers, tough economic times, and the myriad pitfalls of starting your own business. Jason at Good Games Newcastle has really impressed me, and if you are a local, or passing through, you should drop in and check the store out.

If you are not a Novocastrian, I recommend you seek out your own FLGS – even if it is just for a “sticky beak”. Local game stores really are the heart of our hobby community and many store owners face a lot of challenges to keep their business a successful going concern. Unlike online retailers, they have the overheads of a shop, as well as having to keep business hours that suit the gamer (my “local” is open till 10pm  five nights a week). Many store owners give up their own gameing time in order to run the shop. Such store owners often live and breath the games they support, and bring an enthusasm that is sometimes difficult to rival. Pop on in to you FLGS, say “Thanks” for supporting your favourite game or hobby, and maybe pick up some more dice!