I arrived, dressed in a sci-fi cartoon graphic tee and immediately knew my street cred had fizzled. Wearing a sci-fi tee and being engrossed in gaming culture are two very different things and I’ve only managed to be proficient at the former. The board game concept is nothing new of course, but there has been a hardy resurgence in recent years. Not only is getting together with other people to play games okay, it’s cool. And to play board games of the sci-fi/fantasy ilk? Ice cold and possibly with some manner of hazing ritual. Details unclear.
What I came in for was a cribbage board, and the minute the air conditioning whooshed by me as I opened the door I knew I was punching above my weight. Boxes filled an entire wall, alphabetized, and I arrived at the 3-D puzzles in the corner without having recognized anything. Cards Against Humanity was on the top shelf, in its unassuming black boxes, high above prying eyes. I imagine they keep plain brown paper bags behind the counter for those sales. What I came in for is a game with pegs and cards. Pegs and cards. Lord only knows where that sort of thing is kept. Past the figurines? What is a board mat? Do I need more than one? Why do they sell paint? I kept walking, pretending to be such a connoisseur that I had to inspect every shelf. Why am I not part of this world? Is the “and” in Dungeons and Dragons an ampersand? AN UNEXAMINED LIFE.
No less than 2 salesmen living their dream saw me for what I was and offered to help me find something. One directed me to the “game room” section of the store, where I could try out games, make new friends, and have my behind soundly handed to me attempting to play any of the 500 titles they probably had on hand, including that damn cribbage which truthfully I have never played before. But I couldn’t let them know that. I mumbled a thank you and slithered away.
I bought what I had come in for.
And haven’t even opened it yet.
But I am wearing another t-shirt. Maintenance, at the very least.
Game Night Games, 2148 900 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84106