Like a Phoenix Burning Bright

We’ve been a bit quiet in the last few months, but we’re back on the blog-wagon!

We’ve been through quite a few things in the last few months. Restructuring, repair, restock, re-imagining. And every step we take forward has been a mix of excitement and nerve wracking.

For those who DON’T know us hi! My name is Vera Campbell, and my wife and I are the owners  of Gaming Grounds, a friendly local game store in Kent, Ohio. We’ve been here since September 2011, and it’s been quite a ride to say the least.

We started off as a game store that sold a little bit of everything, because as gamers we are about as multifaceted as the people we see every day. We wanted to help match the perfect game to someone who would fall in love with it, and we still do.

Over the years, we’ve had our stumbles. Lots of new businesses do. We watched where the demand went, and as more people requested certain games, such as Magic the Gathering, we followed suit. We never set out to carry singles, or be primarily Magic, and yet that was the path we went down, much to the detriment of other things.

Magic is just one game, and while there are plenty of other stores that specialize in it, it’s still just ONE game out of thousands. That’s not what we set out to do, we didn’t set out to focus on only one game. We’re want to focus on the other thousands of games. Catan, Dicemasters, Tsuro, Malifaux, Warhammer, Pathfinder, My Little Pony,  and so many more.

stock 1Gamers are a diverse bunch. We come in all shapes and sizes and that group grows and changes every day. New people find their way to all kinds of games, and we firmly believe that there’s a game for everyone.

It’s no secret that the majority of gamers out there are male, and indeed a lot of game stores tend to follow the unfortunate stereotype of being places seemingly unfriendly to those outside that demographic. Sure, you’ll definitely see exceptions, but not as often as you SHOULD.

Here at Gaming Grounds, we pride ourselves on our friendliness and community more than anything else. We are devoted to being a safe place for people of all stripes, and have never compromised that. Many of our customers here are transgender men and women, or otherwise genderqueer or agender, people of various races, positions, and sexuality, and anything else you can find on the spectrum. I am personally a transgender woman married to a wonderful woman, and simply having a community that’s so open and friendly has made my own transition so much easier for which I’m super grateful. It only reinforces my belief that there should be more places out there that are safe zones against any kind of discrimination, and I’m proud that we can say we are.

You may look at the title of today’s blog post and think “Oh, Gaming Grounds has some kind of rebirth scheme to talk about, with a bunch of new promises to make.”

Well we don’t. We’re not doing anything new that we haven’t done before. Yes, you’re going to see new events. Yes, our game library is growing in the aftermath of the Magic fallout. Yes, you may see new layouts and looks in the store. But all of that is meaningless without a great community to enjoy them, and in that regard, we’re going to continue doing exactly what we’ve done all along.

We’re going to continue to be a safe place for anyone and everyone here. I hate the term “tolerance,” and much rather prefer the term “acceptance.” We get each other here. We know how tough life can be out there. But in here? We’re all a sort of family. And if we can help just one person on their path through life, be it through a friendly ear or a hearty evening of gaming, then we’ve done what we set out to do. And we’ll keep doing so.

Thank you for being here everybody, and thank you to everyone who will be here in the future!


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