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Boardgame Babylon is a podcast about designer board games. The show features session reviews, "Rectangular Table Discussions" with guests and themed shows on subjects of interest to players of euro/designer/strategy games. Your host, E.R. Burgess, is a longtime writer, game player and 'redesigner' of board games who will occasionally veer off on tangents about his other passions: literature, film and music.

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FTC Disclaimer

As of December 2009, bloggers are required by the Federal Trade Commission to disclose payments and freebies. Listeners should assume that E.R. Burgess and Boardgame Babylon receives review copies of games but is not paid by any tabletop games industry organization.

As I have previously mentioned in this space, the subject of our loss of good game stores in the Los Angeles area has been on my mind of late. Around the country, we have been losing a lot of independent stores - even as we have lost the only major chains, too - Wizards of the Coast and The Game Keeper (the latter having been swallowed up by the former anyway) not too long ago.

This is a topic of endless debate online but the very real event of losing my FLGS plus the loss of two other excellent ones in recent days inspired me to seek out some former and current game store owners from the Southern California area and ask them about their experience. I am not sure what I have been seeking exactly but I guess I am wondering if they have any insight as to what is happening here and if there is a way to arrest the decline in designer game retailers in this country. 

So, I am calling this series, "The Demise and Rise of the FLGS" - meaning, the Friendly Local Game Store, as we often call them online. I am hoping it will be of interest to any listeners that have also been musing on the subject in recent days. There should be at least three in the series, although I have offers out to a few additional parties to see if they are interested in adding their two cents.

The interview on this show is with Larry Boyd, the former owner of the magnificent store All-Star Games. The store closed about ten months ago and Larry shares his perspective on the FLGS business in general. 

Next up: A new session review with Castle Merchants, Mykerinos, Times Square and No Thanks (Geschenkt).

Show Notes

Games Mentioned:

KooKooNauts

Barn Buzzin' Goofy

Dungeons and Dragons

Risk

Shogun (later called Samurai Swords)

Poker

Carcassonne

Puerto Rico

Magic: The Gathering

Pokemon (the card game - apparently they do a video game, too...)

Yu-Gi-Oh!

Rifts: RPG

D20 System

World of Warcraft: The Boardgame

Other links:

SoCal Gamers (one of many discussion groups in the LA area)

Built to Spill (Carry the Zero is six minutes of pure bliss on their monumental album, Keep It Like A Secret)

John Lennon (Instant Karma!)

Oingo Boingo (not a favorite for me, but a fun band)

IKEA (I'm too old to buy furniture there, but I do love Lingonberry juice)

Johnny Carino's (which has such big portions, my wife had a full meal on my leftovers - try the lasagna)

Gameology (my new FLGS, come see me demo some Z-man games there on 6/29 at 6:30 PM)

Strategicon (run by another longtime SoCal Game Store company, The Last Grenadier)

Games Workshop

Wizards of the Coast

The Game Zone (which is still a store I check out since I work a few miles from it)

Brookhurst Hobbies (Legendary SoCal retailer and distributor)

Pegasus Hobbies

Game Castle

The Realm

Frank and Sons Collectible Show

Thoughthammer (my online retailer of choice)

Fairplay Games (also a fine online retailer)

Rio Grande (and the incomparable Jay Tummelson - a man much responsible for designer gaming in the USA)

Jeremy Young (and Uberplay)

Z-Man Games (the excellent Zev Shlasinger, also bringing us cool games)

Vons.com

Amazon

Deep Discount DVD

"Rad"

"Way Rad" - Also spelled 'wehrad', apparently - argh, the copy editor just developed  nervous tic)

Collectible Card Games

Boardgame Cafes (one example)

I-cafes

Costco

Pep Boys

Video Games

Xbox

World of Warcrack...er...Warcraft!

Minot, N.D. (to which I apologize)

Minnesota (which isn't bad at all, except for the Jesse Ventura thing. I mean - California did the same dumb thing but at least he's an A-lister)

Wisconsin (hey, we're Southern Californians - everywhere sounds worse from here. Plus there's that cheese rivalry thing. Let's not get into that...)

Beanie Babies

Wrestling

Shuffleboard

GenCon (and Gen Con SoCal)

Origins

Conquest LA

Not Water (hmm...Larry didn't have a specific recipe, but Christina is thinking one up. Post your recipe in the comments section!)

Disneyland

Strip Mall

Diamond Bar, California

Howard Stern

Vroman's Bookstore

USC

Direct download: bgb_19.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:25 PM

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