This morning I thought I’d go into my Games Workshop in Guildford. There’s something about GW shops to non-gamers (such as my wife) that mean I’ve not been in one for many many years. I tell a slight lie here; I’ve not been in one as a gamer. Being open and honest I did go in there a few months ago looking for a tool but only because the local general modelling store had just closed down. I wasn’t looking with my gamer eyes, so it doesn’t count.
Anyway, I went in there with little Frank in his pushchair. There was one guy about my age already browsing and one GWer manning the tills. It’s a small store and the first thing I noticed was the lack of life in the place. All of the stock these days comes in sealed boxes; you can’t see the models. I used to love looking through the blister packs and seeing what was in there. It seems too clinical, too corporate these days. I think this could be a general GW thing based on what I’ve read online. There was also a lack of gaming choice. It was 40k or Lord of the Rings or nothing, except for a few paints and scenery here and there. It seems to me that there used to be new games coming out all the time as well as constant variations of existing ones. Now there was probably too many to manage but still this seemed a little drastic.
So the GWer asks me what I collect, me being me I try and give him the ‘just looking’ brush off but he was persistent. I relent and say I’m getting back into BB. Straight away the other customer chips in and says it’s the best game ever. We chat a bit about it and a common love of American Football and Orc teams. He was a similar age but was a little ahead of me on his revisiting his youth journey as his kids are a year or two older, but did admit to building a Lego Millenium Falcon at Christmas. Gamers are a good bunch and it’s sad that if I want to play BB these days I’m going to have to source models, meet people and share stories online. The GW store won’t be the focal point as it was back in the day. It made me think that when we’re moved and I’ve got a team setup that I’ll put out a shout to see if there are any players looking for a game or maybe even a league in Exeter. There must be lots of blokes like me looking at their past to pass it on to their sons.