Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Everyone Loves Dice

There must be something built into us that makes us like them. I've mentioned before how there's something primal about the thrill of that random number coming up; and it has nothing to do with the Gambling association that dice have. That same excitement is generated whether playing Dungeons and Dragons, Chutes and Ladders, Yahtzee, or Craps—money doesn't have to be on the line for the random number generation thrill to well up inside.

I observed this first hand several weeks ago. I was making a stop at our Friendly Local Gaming Store (FLGS). As I got out of my car I observed a Large car pulling close as possible to the front door, then little old ladies poured out like clowns.

Before I go on, I have to say—that of all the Local Gaming Stores this one is the best. As far as business practices go: they have the best selection of board games, they have a large selection of current title comic books and graphic novels (they've mostly gotten out of the comic-books-as-collectibles business), they carry large selections of miniature war gaming products in a very space efficient manner, they manage to cater to a large number of collectible card games (CCGs), they have a number of computers set up for online gaming, and they have the best selection of role playing games in town. They pretty much do everything right as a business (unlike most of the other game stores I've been to locally). However, the nerd and geek quotient of their customer base is still very high—i.e. the little old ladies seemed very out of place. There is another game store in town that has a narrower gaming focus (read: mostly euro, popular amero, and a sprinkling of old style war games (i.e. cardboard chit units on hexagonal maps)) that also does everything right as a business. Their Nerd and geek quotient seems significantly lower—and the little old ladies would not have seemed out of place to me at that location. [I have nothing to back this paragraph up except my own limited observations]

Needless to say, I was very curious what they were looking for. So I watched from a distance as they scanned the shelves. The employee on duty took great care of them, and found the product they wanted.

I thought that they would be in there to get either Bunco or a Gift for someone. I was wrong, they were looking to get Farkle.

Farkle is one of those games that drives me nuts that they even package and sell it commercially. It's a Dice game that uses standard six sided dice. I got the impression that they were looking for Pocket Farkle because they were shocked by the size of the box (it is ridiculously large for a game that uses six standard six sided dice). The Game Store Employee took the opportunity to introduce them to the dice selection they sell. I observed those women get all excited by the sheer amount of variety available. They perused the dice selection the rest of the time I was there.

I was curious what they would end up with, but I had to go. It was like watching kids in a candy shop. They were still exploring the magical world of dice when I left.

I observed similar behavior from my wife when she bought her first dice.

Everyone should go buy themselves at least one set of gaming dice from their FLGS—even if they don't plan to ever play games, make it a "window" shopping trip in that case, it's just fun.

1 comment:

  1. It is fun to pick out dice! I have 4 sets & then some odd pieces and yet I can't help looking at the dice everytime we're at a game store! I want more!!