Gaming Grounds Owners want to Spruce up their Neighborhood

Board, role-playing games business launches Indie GoGo fundraising campaign

It sounds like an unlikely story; a comic book and role-playing shop looking to spruce up and connect with the surrounding neighborhood.

But that's exactly what the owners of on Stinaff Street are trying to do.

Commodore and Caitlin Campbell say they've created a business where novice and expert fans alike of a variety of board, card and role-playing games feel welcome, and they're looking to expand that atmosphere beyond the shop's walls.

"We've become a place where people can come in and not feel weird about what they like," Commodore said.

"Not feel judged," Caitlin added.

The shop, which celebrates its one-year anniversary in September, has launched a fundraising campaign to brighten its corner of the neighborhood by adding picnic tables, outdoor lights, weeding and removing graffiti.

Much of the planned improvements focus on the store itself, including plans to pressure wash the building, add a sign, fresh paint and possibly a mural. But the Campbells also want to install a bike rack, put up lights to illuminate the adjacent alley way, designate a smoking area and build a fence between the shop and .

The store facelift is about presenting a property that mirrors the tidy homes surrounding them on Stinaff Street, the Campbells said. The picnic tables, bike rack, fence and other improvements are meant to expand the sense of community that's developed inside the store out into the nighborhood.

"The idea is just to brighten this corner of the neighborhood," Commodore said.

Inside the store, you'll find practically everything you need to play Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, Pokémon and other games. But the store is less about selling the necessities than it is about providing a gathering space for people to come and play together.

"We pretty much host everything we sell here," Commodore said.

A fan of the role-playing game Scion, he said they host tournaments for different games frequently. Caitlin favors the game Call of Cthulhu. It's not uncommon to find the owners playing with their customers.

They don't sell games or items they don't have a personal interest in.

"Us having enthusiasm for what we do here helps us connect with the people who come in," Caitlin said.

The Campbells' goal is to raise $5,000 to make the improvements to the store, but they'll do whatever they can with however much they raise. So far, nine donors have contributed $815 to their IndieGoGo campaign.

To contribute, visit Gaming Grounds' IndieGoGo website.

Teresa K. August 04, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Good to know there is a business on that property again. The intended improvements they want to do sound good: adding picnic tables, outdoor lights, weeding and removing graffiti, including plans to pressure wash the building, add a sign, fresh paint and possibly a mural, install a bike rack, put up lights to illuminate the adjacent alley way, designate a smoking area and build a fence between the shop and neighboring gas station. I had some questions as I read all this: where is the bike rack going? where are the picnic tables going and how many? are the store hours going to change? where is the smoking area going to be? I'm not a gamer, so I'm wondering if any of the games/ activities are going to spill out into the picnic/ bike rack, alley area? As the store hours are only until 8 pm at the latest, how much outdoor lighting will be needed? I don't live on Stinaff, but there are questions I would have if I did. Where do all these people park? on the road? in the alley? I wish Gaming Grounds much success and I hope they have a long stay at that site.
Caitlin Campbell August 06, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Hello! I am one of the owners of Gaming Grounds, and would like to address your questions: There is a short driveway to the left of the building (the side closest to the Circle K). The bike rack will be situated here, just beyond the reach of the rest of the parking lot. The picnic tables will also be on the left side, in the grassy area where the large standing sign is situated. There will likely be 2 or 3 tables. The store hours will not change, though even as of current, the store sometimes stays open an hour or two longer than the posted hours on tournament nights or in order for customers to finish up games. We will likely see gamers playing at the outside tables, yes. However, we will also do our best to discourage loitering, especially of non-customers. Lighting will be added for the outdoor play space, but also to spot-light our large sign and as a security measure for the darkened side, back and alley along the building. The security lights will likely be motion-sensitive. Customers park in our lot, and when that is full (usually only when tournaments are being run), on the street. Many of our players walk or bike, which is why we would really like to provide a bike rack for them. I hope this answers your, and any one else's questions! Thank you for the good wishes!
Matt Fredmonsky August 06, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Thanks for answering Teresa's questions Caitlin!


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