This post is probably very late, but I come to mourn the loss of a local gaming store. I didn’t visit it often, and I didn’t appreciate it until it was gone, but I lament all of that and more.
The store in question had been around for 54 years, through two different owners, and it was a shame that it is gone. They weren’t doing terribly; the rent was increased. You may or may not believe in gentrification, but I’m sure that it will be replaced by some boutique or sickeningly expensive restaurant that will pay the consistently rising rent costs.
I made sure to go and tell them that I was sad to see them and the store go, once I had found out. I asked if they were opening anywhere else.
They are not.
But rather than to go on some rant about rent gouging or cultural non-appreciation, I’ll only say this; you may have an internet full of people to meet and games to buy, but you can’t replace a gaming store as a communal hub.
There are other places that sell hobby games, and another one just opened up, but that is not the point. I feel a keen loss at the demise of an establishment; what we have lost is not fungible*. Rather, it is a cumulatively important piece of the local gaming culture and history. These are not things that you can trade for a clean new store with attached coffee bar, or at least not until the place gets grungy and has been established for a few decades**.
But I suppose that the main thrust of what I’m trying to say is that you have to appreciate what you have. Some of my favorite games are out of print. I’ll never see a new episode of Korgoth of Barbaria***. I’ll never drink a Josta**** again. Maybe this is just the airing of my nerdy lamentations, but there is something to be said about loss. Sometimes you create things that only a handful of people like, and that is as important as being critically received. Sometimes you are the person who loves a thing that is gone, and it feels equally important to preserve the memory of something that is worthy of reverence.
“I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.” -Banksy
* Fungible here is a word that means “not attainable by yuppies, millennials, or hipsters”
** You might say the same about a good hole in the wall restaurant.
*** Diedrich Bader is a great voice actor. More on that later.
**** There is some strange sub-culture of nerd that mourns discontinued soda. Weird, huh?