Tonight was my regular game night that I run at my FLGS every Thursday. We had a couple new players and had a blast playing Raiders of the North Sea and Istanbul.
Sadly the fun games of the evening were overshadowed by another event. I brought a new girl to our event that was interested in playing games. She’d never been to the event before, or this store for that matter.
When we left, one of the employees slipped her his number with her purchase with a typed up message about how it’s not often that a good looking woman comes into the store that likes games and that he thought he’d go for it.
While I’m not shaming anyone for trying to make connections, in fact I encourage it, it’s half the reason why I play games, to make friends, socialize and meet great people. But there is a time and place. The first time someone comes to the store is probably not the right time.
Growing a gaming community isn’t an easy task, especially when trying to make it friendly and accessible to everyone. I’ve worked really hard for the last year to try to be inclusive and comfortable for new members. This is a topic we hear about a lot, and it sucks when it does happen, especially if it means that a person loses the excitement for gaming, or at least gaming in a group because of it. They might also not recommend that other women join the group if they felt uncomfortable.
Thankfully the girl is understanding and while she thought it was a odd, she will be coming back. She politely declined and told him that it wasn’t appropriate and that if it was someone else, they might feel intimidated to come back.
I want to follow up with how wonderful my FLGS is and these issues are something that the owner cares very much about, but it’s a good discussion to have. So what do you think about what happened? How do you think this could have gone otherwise?