Monday, October 31, 2005

GAME STORE CONFIDENTIAL ~ Advice For The Troubled Gamer

Many years ago I used to publish a local newsletter. Eventually gamers far and wide began writing in and asking my sage advice on everything from gaming issues to gamer issues, to romance and even for help fixing their cars. I finally began running an advice column in the newsletter in hopes that I could reach out and help other gamers in need. Particularly those who weren't confident enough or too embarrassed by their issues to write me.

Periodically I'll run some of the best of the more recent cries for help I receive on a constant basis. Perhaps you'll find yourself in here somewhere... and if so, maybe my unerring insight and common sense will make your life as a gamer even better.


Dear DW,

I’ve been having quite a bit of trouble lately with my dice. No matter what game I play I pretty much suck at dice rolling. I have kept my local store in business by purchasing new dice every time I game, and I game every night. Nothing seems to help.

So tell me DW… do I have negative waves? Am I cursed? Is the game store selling me factory seconds? Perhaps all my gaming buddies cheat. This is really making me feel worthless and I am close to just giving up games altogether.

Help me out here DW. What’s wrong and how can I change things and stick with the hobby I love so much?

Martin Feeblemeister
Clinch, Utah


I wish I could help you out here but it seems obvious to me what your problem is. Frankly, Marty… you suck at games. My calculations lead me to believe you own nearly 7,000 sets of dice and only 3 different games. I’ll help you out this way my friend; I’ll buy all your dice for $150, just to ease your pain a bit. And I suggest you donate your copies of all three games; Risk, Monopoly: The Vatican Edition and your D&D books to the local thrift store. I’ll call your local retailer and congratu--- errr… commiserate with him to help him through the sadness of losing such a great customer. Good luck!


Dear DW… you overwhelmingly sexy stud muffin…. Grrrooooowlll…purrrrrrr…

I was in your store the other day and when I saw your personal game collection behind the counter I just felt all gooshy and quivery inside. How did such a exceesively macho man like you get this far without being snagged up by hordes of game-loving females?

I’m tellin’ ya here and now lover boy, you’re the man for me. Anyone who not only plays all those fabulicious board games, but also owns them is my own personal male love machine and I’m going to grab you right up… along with your precious collection and take you to my double-wide where you’ll live like a king.

See ya tonight baby-bumpkins!

Lotta Rhumpus
Athol, Idaho

Hello again Lotta!

Sorry to say… but I had to hock my collection after your last visit to the store. You certainly haven’t lost any weight over the last 12 years have you? I should have known when you had to get all six of your kids to push you through the door that there would be trouble. And I certainly should have realized that the 12 packs of Ding-Dongs, the three 64 ounce Mountain Dews and the Family-sized bag of Cheetos would have made it near impossible for you to use the door to leave without damaging the building.

The cost of a new door frame, the rebar and concrete work and a new door was a lot higher than when you last visited my store in Boise. Not to mention the case of Valvoline and silicone lubricant I had to buy to get you unstuck… that stuff is pricey!

But thanks for the visit Lotta, and I have to say the shock collars you invested in really do help in keeping your kids under control. I also think you made a wise choice in getting rid of your old van and replacing it with that 2-ton delivery truck. I’m guessing you have saved enough on not having to replace your suspension every 1500 miles to maybe even buy something the next time you visit a game store.

I’ve emailed you the address of my two competitors in Boise, they’re really handsome guys and they have even more games than I used to have.


Yo DW!

I don’t need any of your lousy advice man. I’m just letting you know I buy all my game stuff online and at distant stores where the discounts are deep and excessive. You have always been over-priced and you’re a mean and evil person. I have limited funds man and I’ve asked you before to sell me my game crap at 40% off and you’ve ignored me every time. Well, I just want you to know that I think you’re a real dickwad and I’m glad you’re changing careers.

I’m pretty sure it’s also your fault that I can’t seem to find a D&D group, you probably have talked bad about me to all the other players. So because of what you’ve done to me I think you ought to let me put up a notice on your bulletin board and let me use your store for a D&D campaign. That’d go along way towards paying me back for all the emotional damage you’ve done to me over the years.

Treat me right man and I might let you sell me something, maybe even save your store for you. LMK

Richard Hedd
Nyssa, Oregon

Gee Dick,

I’m really sorry you feel that way. Now that I think about it I realize I don’t deserve your business. I’ve emailed you the address of my two competitors in Boise as I’m sure they will appreciate you for what you are. I have also emailed you the address of a very charming young lady named Lotta. She has a ready-made game group of six and I’m certain she’ll treat you like a King. Have fun!


Dear DW,

Since I totally admire you and trust your gaming judgement I need some help. Here’s my problem; no matter how hard I try I just can’t get any enjoyment from most of the top games on BGG. Ra, YINSH, Attika, GIPF, Blokkus, Goa, E&T, Puerto Rico… them and a dozen more I have bought all leave me feeling empty and sterile. What am I missing? These are the games that supposedly have made board gaming enter a Golden Era. Is it me?

Emery Wietenstiengenzen
Upper Padduca River, NY

Hey Emery,

Nothing wrong with you at all Bud. Those games pretty much suck, each and every one. The main reason BGG hasn’t required members to post an image of themselves is that after years of playing Euro games a person literally has all of their life siphoned out of them from a total lack of fun. Their juices run dry, their skin draws tight around their jaws and teeth in a frightful parody of Mister Sardonicus, Their hair falls out in patches and they murmer in low, eerie monotones about how much better it is to play a game where luck isn’t a real factor. If BGG allowed personal images of Euro Gamers it would create a panic sell-off in the over-produced, dry, boring and lifeless game segment. Dozens of Middle Eastern immigrant German factory workers and scores of Chinese peons would be jobless as the Euro Game industry came tumbling down. Not a pretty picture at all Emery.

The problem you’re having isn’t with you my friend, it’s with them. Most Euro games are actually Satanic creations designed by the same three men who, while they claim they’re German, are actually part of a planetary conspiracy to convince the energetic, playful, dice-chucking, laughing, pizza-munching, Coors-swilling fun people on this planet that they’re not really playing a game if it isn’t boring, with drab art, zero theme and made with excessive amounts of unnecessary cardboard and wood pieces. Once we are convinced that Euro-Snoot garbage is fun, we'll be their puppets.

Run, don’t walk, to your local game store and grab up a copy of Monsters Menace America or Monopoly: The Vatican Edition, or Cranium or Apples to Apples or perhaps Axis & Allies… anything that involves dice, laughing, swilling and fun.

Play two fun games and email me in the morning.



That abut does it for this week. I hope some of this helped you out. It did get me to thinking... since I'm changing careers anyway, maybe I ought to look into the field of helping out others in need. It suits me I think.


Anonymous said...

Did I miss the post where you said you were changing careers and why?

Anonymous said...

Dear Abby's got nothin'....I mean NOTHIN' on you....

great read as usual.


gamesgrandpa said...

Yeah, DW, I think you've got just what it takes to write an advice column. But, don't be so reserved, man; you got to open up more. Tell these folks what you REALLY think of them.


Anonymous said...

Gee, it sounds like your advice is more to help yourself than the those who write in. Just like the ever-so-lovely advice you give your opponents in the games you play.

Good read and good for a laugh this dismal morning.

DWTripp said...

Yes, I am leaving retail behind after a long, long time. I'm considering every career idea from selling tree shredders to a romantic novelization of the steamy backroom hijinks of Game Store Geeks Gone Wild. I was thinking when the movie gets made I could get Cameron Diaz to play the hot chick from the corner Deli and I would play myself... in a steamy back room liason with the hot chick from the corner Deli.

I also might just get a job at Home Depot.