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Subject: Survey of female gamers: Your experiences at local game stores rss

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Patrick C.
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I've never posted to this forum before (at least that I remember) so I hope it's okay that I do so now. My intentation is to gather information that I'd specifically like to get from female members of BGG regarding their experiences with local game stores.

As many are already aware, Asmodee and other publishers are beginning to restrict online sales of their games in favor local game stores. One of the stated reasons for this action has been that they believe local game stores provide better customer service and, most importantly for the purposes of this survey, bring non-gamers into the hobby.

I'm working on an article about my visits to close to 50 game stores in five states that refutes this argument. One of my major contentions is that the majority of stores are in fact unwelcoming if not outright hostile environments for non-gamers, women especially. This is what I've personally witnessed and confirmed by my wife who despises going into most stores. However, I realized that input from female members of BGG would be very helpful. And who knows, maybe you all will disprove my impressions of the stores I've visited.

I'm not going to post a poll because I need to know that each person answering is in fact a woman. To me this is a matter of credibility of the data. I believe this hobby, especially at the retail store level, has a serious problem and I want to drive that point home with legitimate input from women. But again, maybe I'm wrong and just haven't been to all the good stores.

First, a clarification. When I state that I've seen game stores to be unwelcoming to non-gamers I'm referring to the general atmosphere of the store. Does the establishment feel like a man cave? Does it look like a store that was set up by a serious gamer who's more interested in gaming than serving the general public? Is the store well lit and clean? Is it in a location where the average woman would feel safe? Etc. etc.

The crux of what I'm asking is: Would the average woman, especially a woman that is not currently a gamer or who is brand new to the hobby, feel immediately comfortable, if not at least okay, when first entering the store?

The Survey

1. How many retail game stores have you visited in the last three years? An estimate is fine.


2. Where were these stores located? The state is fine but if you can include the city that would also be great. Also not necessary but helpful, feel free to name the stores specifically if you want.


3. In your opinion as a woman, did the majority of these stores have an atmosphere that was A)hostile, B)not hostile, but certainly unwelcoming, C)Neutral, neither welcoming nor unwelcoming, or D)welcoming: to non-gamers, women especially? I hope this succinctly encompasses most perceptions. If none of these describe your experience then you can give a different answer than A through D. But please stick to these four choices if you can as it makes using the data much easier.


4. Are there any stores you'd like to shout out as examples of having good or bad atmosphere? For example, a store that was horrible and/or a store that was outstanding at welcoming non-gamers, women especially. Please give the store's name, city and state. If you can't remember the store's name then city and state will suffice.

5. Any comments you'd like to add that might be included in my article?


I will use this information as part of my article that I hope to post soon to BGG. I'm not sure how long people will continue to respond to this survey, but my hope is that everyone who would like to post will have done so within a week (by April 7). I will amend the results in my article as needed if new responses come in after I've summarized everything - which might happen before April 7 as I'd like to get my work posted soon. But again, please continue to respond if you like as I will follow this thread.

I thank you all for your time!

And please, a plea to all - this is not intended to be yet another discussion about the fairness of Amosdee/ANA's actions, your opinion of the company, etc. etc. This survey is only about the atmosphere of local game stores and its effect on female customers which is its own issue outside of the recent changes by game publishers.
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S Squidpigge
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So I know that you are looking for female gamers but I wanted to express that I have had very similar experiences to you. My wife hates going into game stores for the most part. There are several that I don't even like to go into. It seems that a lot of them we have access to are ran more for the purpose of a location for the owners of the store and their friends to game. The actual operation of the store and attending to customers is an afterthought at best.

I am going to follow this thread just to see what kind of comments you receive.
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Patrick C.
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swmalone wrote:
So I know that you are looking for female gamers but I wanted to express that I have had very similar experiences to you. My wife hates going into game stores for the most part. There are several that I don't even like to go into. It seems that a lot of them we have access to are ran more for the purpose of a location for the owners of the store and their friends to game. The actual operation of the store and attending to customers is an afterthought at best.

I am going to follow this thread just to see what kind of comments you receive.


You're making me realize maybe I should have been more inclusive in my questions.

I'm going to count your wife in the count as a women with negative experiences. If other males post, pro or con, with experiences they've had with their partners I'll also include that in the data. If you have any idea how many stores your wife has been to that would be helpful. I do want to isolate that variable - visits to stores by women so that it's understood that these are the perceptions of women and not men.
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S Squidpigge
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11 stores throughout Utah and Idaho. Most of those she has not enjoyed going into. She has commented about the following things.

1 People staring
2 The smell
3 Cluttered and or dirty
4 Employs seemed rude ( One even actively told her the game she asked for sucked and when she told him that it was a gift the guy told her only if she wanted the person to hate her)

Those are the things that jump out at me. The stores she has enjoyed more seem to have a broader product base. In addition to games they sell comics, t-shirts, and other pop culture items.

I hope this helps.
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Daniel B
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Question: Define a welcoming environment? How can store owners have a more welcoming environment to non-gamers? I was just thinking it would be a good idea to have stations with games set up and ready to play. Someone approaches you at the door and asks what kind of games you are into and gives you an area with that type of game set up and ready to try out.

swmalone wrote:
11 stores throughout Utah and Idaho. Most of those she has not enjoyed going into. She has commented about the following things.

1 People staring
2 The smell
3 Cluttered and or dirty
4 Employs seemed rude ( One even actively told her the game she asked for sucked and when she told him that it was a gift the guy told her only if she wanted the person to hate her)

Those are the things that jump out at me. The stores she has enjoyed more seem to have a broader product base. In addition to games they sell comics, t-shirts, and other pop culture items.

I hope this helps.


People stare everywhere. As a tall dark guy who longboards around my city and works on a laptop at coffeeshops, everyone stares and tries to get my attention. It's annoying, yes. But happens everywhere. As with smells and clutter.

As for the HONEST employee, I'd rather have a real person giving me their honest opinion, not a fake, smiling individual who just wants you to buy the game and couldn't care less whether you enjoyed it or not.
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1/2:
Millennium Games in Rochester NY,
Enchanted Badger in Ithaca NY,
Flights of Fantasy and Zombie Planet in Albany NY,
Jupiter Games in Binghamton NY,
Kirwan's in Catskill NY,
Money G in Middletown NY,
Dragon's Den Poughkeepsie NY,
so 8 different ones, total.

There's also a comic book store in Middletown that has some games, but I'm not including it for this list. There is an awesomely cool woman that works there, it's fun to shop when she's there.

3. I'd say most of them were (B) unwelcoming, with some closer to (C) neutral, depending on how you feel about being ignored.

Zombie Planet in Albany was (D) Welcoming to non-gamers, including women. It was clean, well-lit, the people at the counter were nice, and there was a decent mix of men/women in the store. I'd feel comfortable sending someone there even if I wasn't along as a wingwoman.

Millennium Games in Rochester has its ups and downs. Sometimes the staff members are welcoming, sometimes not. Its new location is bright and clean, it has a good mix of games, and there are often women there. Its old location was more intimidating, especially if you had to use the restroom, because you had to walk through the large play room in the back, where there might be 20 tables of guys playing WH40K. Its bathrooms are generally decent, and the play area is in a side room, but still pretty open and well-lit, it doesn't feel sketchy to go in. I'd send people there if I knew Steve B. was going to be at a game night or something, so I knew they'd have someone who would say hi, offer them a place at the table, etc.

Most stores don't greet people when they come in. I always appreciate it when the person at the counter says hello. To be clear, most stores don't welcome Sam, either, so I don't think that they're ignoring me because I'm female. I think overall many FLGSes aren't all that friendly.

At one of the stores on the list, we went when it was pretty new. We came in, went up and down each shelf. I walked around the counter where one of the people was standing, looked at some things. Came back around the counter. Sat and looked at one of the demo copies. Not a word.

At another of the stores on the list, they had moved to a new location, so we decided to check it out, and support them on their weekly game night. We didn't know what would be available, so we brought a bag of games that we could easily teach other people. We went in, looked at all of their games, walked around the store, not a word from anyone. No one said, welcome to game night, or welcome to our new location, thanks for coming to check it out. We shrugged and said we could go home and play games at our own table, so we left. If they were truly interested in having a welcoming game night for people to walk by and come in, having a woman at a table playing a game might have inspired other women/couples/people walking by to come in, watch, ask questions, join in. Instead it seems they wanted the same couple of people to play Magic, and they weren't interested in welcoming new people.

Then there was one time we were at one of the stores on the list, we were checking out (as in, buying stuff, paying customers) and the guy didn't say a word all the way through, not hello, not how are you, not 'did you find everything okay?'. Nothing. Pure silence, as Sam and I kind of looked at each other out of the corner of our eyes. At the end, the guy managed one syllable, I think it was "bye" or something.

There's a store not on the above list, because we just stopped going to it after too many bad experiences, where I did feel invisible, possibly because I was female. I stood at the counter, trying to get their attention, and they kept looking at and talking to the guys, but ignoring me. I eventually gave up and they missed out on a sale. And one time I was looking at games on a shelf, a staff person came up next to me and never said a word.

At one of the stores on the list, their old location had a side-by-side play area (that is, two large rooms connected by a large doorway). In their new location, you have to go downstairs, which is a little weird, because it feels like you're going down out of sight, and it had some odor issues. That stands out as not feeling safe, and not very welcoming, especially for a new woman that might go there on her own.

I brought up bathrooms because for many of the stores on the list, we drove about 2 hours to get there. I really appreciate having a clean bathroom when we get there. Even if I don't drive very far to get there, if I'm going to browse, or stay and play a game, it makes a difference for me to have a clean bathroom available. If I could say two ways that most stores could most improve, it would be to greet people when they come in, or come over and welcome them when they're browsing, and have clean bathrooms.
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Board_Game_Nerd wrote:
Question: Define a welcoming environment? How can store owners have a more welcoming environment to non-gamers? I was just thinking it would be a good idea to have stations with games set up and ready to play. Someone approaches you at the door and asks what kind of games you are into and gives you an area with that type of game set up and ready to try out.


Well lit, clean, someone says hi when we come in, and that bathrooms are clean.

Jupiter Games has a nice library of demo games that are out, you can take one down and try one. That was fun, we got to try some games we had been wanting to try. At some other stores, Dragon's Den and Millennium come to mind, the store copies are back behind a counter, and it's unclear how you would get to play them. While people could ask, if we're talking about someone being new and uncertain, just having some games out within reach is nice.
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S Squidpigge
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Board_Game_Nerd wrote:
Question: Define a welcoming environment? How can store owners have a more welcoming environment to non-gamers? I was just thinking it would be a good idea to have stations with games set up and ready to play. Someone approaches you at the door and asks what kind of games you are into and gives you an area with that type of game set up and ready to try out.

People stare everywhere. As a tall dark guy who longboards around my city and works on a laptop at coffeeshops, everyone stares and tries to get my attention. It's annoying, yes. But happens everywhere. As with smells and clutter.

As for the HONEST employee, I'd rather have a real person giving me their honest opinion, not a fake, smiling individual who just wants you to buy the game and couldn't care less whether you enjoyed it or not.




I think maybe I should have used the word leering rather than stare. I also don't think it putting to much of a burden on the store owners to maintain a clean and sanitary store.

There is a difference between honest and rude. The game she was asking about was one that was on a Christmas wishlist, so she was requesting the game because the person she was giving it to requested the game. Also just because that one person didn't enjoy the game doesn't mean that the person requesting it won't. I think you can look at reviews on BGG to see that to be true.

The following is a personal observation I have had from visiting various stores. I would say of those 11 stores perhaps 4 or 5 of them seem to be operated by gamers that thought it would be cool to own a game store. They don't really have the skills need to be in retail, in particular the skills required to interact with customers that just come in off the street.
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Ryan S
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We have a store in Plano Texas called "Madness Games & Comics". It's a very large and inviting store, and from what I can tell, female shoppers are treated pretty well. My wife and friends' wives seem to be treated well. My mother-in-law even has been in several times to shop for Dr. Who stuff and is treated well. Also, there are a number of female employees, which probably helps.
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1. I've visited 4 actual stores (5 if you count picking up from an online retailer, but I don't think you would )

2. Toronto (401 Games, Face To Face Games, For The Win (cafe)) and Vaughan (Legends Warehouse). Richmond Hill (BoardGamesBliss) for the online retailer (there's a Scarborough B&M store for BGB now, but I've not been there)

3. It's hard to say what would make something more welcoming to women in particular, can you give an example? But in general:
401 Games - D; Clean, well-lit, I've usually been greeted and offered assistance by a worker the few times I've been there. Upstairs game playing area is staffed, which makes things safer
Face to Face - D; I only stopped there for 5 minutes to pick up some stuff, but the staff member was friendly and gave me some advice. If I lived in the area I would probably go to their game nights. Playing area was open and in the main store area, so that's also safe
For the Win - D; this is a cafe, so I'm not sure if this should be included, but it as a game cafe should be. It's not a fancy cafe, but it was family-friendly and there was a good mix of customers
Legends Warehouse - B; it's a warehouse, so by default it's not going to be as "welcoming", plus they were undergoing some renovations so it was a bit messy, but I think it's unfair to penalize them too heavily for that Proprietors were neither friendly nor unfriendly (they acknowledged my presence, but did not offer assistance). It was also empty except for one other person so it's hard to really know what the usual atmosphere would be. Game playing area is in the back, but it was well lit and within calling distance if needed. I've only been there once, but I would go back for an organized game night or to buy something specifically, though not to just browse

4. I haven't been to the stores often enough to really know if they go above and beyond.

5. I've been to game stores, comic stores and video & boardgame conventions, and have never encountered a problem related to being female that I've noticed (please note that I'm not saying that these things don't happen--they obviously do). I bring this up just to say that being a woman doesn't necessarily have to do with whether a store is welcoming or not, and crappy stores are probably crappy stores to everyone.
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S Squidpigge
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Quote:
I bring this up just to say that being a woman doesn't necessarily have to do with whether a store is welcoming or not, and crappy stores are probably crappy stores to everyone.


I agree with this.
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I've been to 5 different FLGS in the past 3 years in the USA and visited 2 or 3 in Europe.

The ones in Europe were very welcoming and friendly and helpful. They didn't always greet you when you walked in (because they were helping other customers) but eventually came over and talked to us. Gender issues - neutral/none. (Keep in mind that I was a tourist)

In USA, I've been to Cool Stuff in Orlando and they were welcoming, friendly, knowledgeable and displayed no issues or difference in treatment with me being female.

I met up with Mamadallama at a game store to play games. I did not feel unwelcome or treated differently because I was female (the owner is a BGG user, Marc Burnell). Get Your Fun On in Melbourne is the game store.

I met up with BGG users at a game store in Jacksonville called Cool Stuff located on Beach Blvd in 2014 and also had no issues (I arrived a bit early and was welcomed and treated normally).

One of the others was a comic book store that sold games and the owner was on hand, welcomed me, chatted with me and was perfectly friendly. No difference or problem that I was female.

The last one was a game store and they were friendly, welcoming and knowledgeable. The owner's wife was there when I visited and everything was as it should be for a store-customer relationship.

Maybe because I'm in Florida and the customer service is more tourist-oriented? DUNNO.....
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Board_Game_Nerd wrote:
People stare everywhere. As a tall dark guy who longboards around my city and works on a laptop at coffeeshops, everyone stares and tries to get my attention. It's annoying, yes. But happens everywhere. As with smells and clutter.

As for the HONEST employee, I'd rather have a real person giving me their honest opinion, not a fake, smiling individual who just wants you to buy the game and couldn't care less whether you enjoyed it or not.


If a store is cluttered and smelly, with rude employees and people staring at me, I'll just stay home and order from CoolStuff. And if it's not on CoolStuff because of some restriction, it'll be in a geeklist auction/Amazon/eBay, or I'll trade for it, or play a different game.
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Board_Game_Nerd wrote:
Question: Define a welcoming environment? How can store owners have a more welcoming environment to non-gamers? I was just thinking it would be a good idea to have stations with games set up and ready to play. Someone approaches you at the door and asks what kind of games you are into and gives you an area with that type of game set up and ready to try out.


Owners, employees, and customers could start by treating every woman who walks into a game store as a gamer or would-be gamer same as every man.

There's looking, and then there's staring.

There's "being honest", and then there's tact.
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swmalone wrote:
Quote:
I bring this up just to say that being a woman doesn't necessarily have to do with whether a store is welcoming or not, and crappy stores are probably crappy stores to everyone.


I agree with this.


Based on my experience I would have to disagree.

I've been to dozens of stores where there were many customers - all male. The stores seemed to be just fine and have been in business for years.

Yes, there ARE truly bad stores that would be crappy for everyone. But by definition, how could they exist if they were crappy for everyone? They'd go out of business or have a very limited customer base.

Part of my article is about how the truly best and the truly worst are both rare. I give most stores a C grade. I visited a couple of stores I'd grade F and a couple I'd grade A. I wouldn't call the C grade stores acceptable at all. I still say they're harming the hobby. But there's a basement and I visited it (it was in Cleveland, Ohio) and there was no comparison between that store and the average poorly run store geared toward white male gamers. IOW, successful for the owner perhaps, but not welcoming to non-gamers or women.
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I've been to several stores in the past year. I've only played at one of them, however.

1) Dragon's Den (Poughkeepsie, NY)
2) 20-sided Store (Brooklyn, NY)
3) Card Kingdom (Seattle, WA)
4) A store in Rochester, NY (can't recall the name)
5) Great Hall Games (Austin, TX)

My general impression has been that the bigger the city, the more friendly the experience has been. In both Seattle and Brooklyn there was a good mix of people in the store and the staff was at worst neutral and at best friendly and helpful. Card Kingdom was a particularly good experience, with a pub next door. The stores in the smaller cities were more likely to be full of stereotypical gamers and not welcoming - either due to staff attitude, or the vibe of the store (smell, lighting, only younger magic players). In most cases I think this is a wholesale problem, rather than a gender specific issue.
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If the Rochester one was in the plaza near the Indian food store (Namaste, I think), it's Millennium.
 
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travvller wrote:
swmalone wrote:
Quote:
I bring this up just to say that being a woman doesn't necessarily have to do with whether a store is welcoming or not, and crappy stores are probably crappy stores to everyone.


I agree with this.


Based on my experience I would have to disagree.

I've been to dozens of stores where there were many customers - all male. The stores seemed to be just fine and have been in business for years.

Yes, there ARE truly bad stores that would be crappy for everyone. But by definition, how could they exist if they were crappy for everyone? They'd go out of business or have a very limited customer base.

Part of my article is about how the truly best and the truly worst are both rare. I give most stores a C grade. I visited a couple of stores I'd grade F and a couple I'd grade A. I wouldn't call the C grade stores acceptable at all. I still say they're harming the hobby. But there's a basement and I visited it (it was in Cleveland, Ohio) and there was no comparison between that store and the average poorly run store geared toward white male gamers. IOW, successful for the owner perhaps, but not welcoming to non-gamers or women.


There are stores where the issues seems to be directed towards females, but then there are stores where I also felt like I was ignored, dismissed, etc and the store had issues of cleanliness etc. I often find that these later stores even though they may appear to have a lot of male customers it is a group of people that all know each other. If you are known to them then you are golden, but if you are a newcomer it can be very intimidating. As far as them staying in business of the stores I mentioned previously 2 of them are no longer in business and they fell into that latter category.
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travvller wrote:

Part of my article is about how the truly best and the truly worst are both rare. I give most stores a C grade.

Just to be clear, I used the letters you stated in your OP where a D is "good" (using letter grades probably would have been clearer).

travvller wrote:
swmalone wrote:
Quote:
I bring this up just to say that being a woman doesn't necessarily have to do with whether a store is welcoming or not, and crappy stores are probably crappy stores to everyone.


I agree with this.


Based on my experience I would have to disagree.

I've been to dozens of stores where there were many customers - all male. The stores seemed to be just fine and have been in business for years.

Yes, there ARE truly bad stores that would be crappy for everyone. But by definition, how could they exist if they were crappy for everyone? They'd go out of business or have a very limited customer base.


We'll say "the majority" instead of "everyone", then Some stores have unfriendly help or are dark, but many customers don't care as it's still a useful space/store. I'm just saying most of the issues that affect whether a woman will patronize a store or not are issues that affect all customers (or those perceived as "outsiders".

Btw, you're of course free to disagree, but why ask for a survey if you already know what your conclusion is?
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The two stores I visited that I give an A grade to both had the same qualities. Not only did I perceive them to be stores that felt welcoming to all (gamer, non-gamer, men, women, all races), they actually had customers that reflected the outcome of having those attributes. These stores were NOT located in strip malls (thus had foot traffic and felt safe), had a wide variety of inventory to pull in all sorts of customers, were not geared to only the interests of the owner, and had friendly and knowledgeable staff that didn't come across as stereotypical gamers. The staff weren't socially awkward and I witnessed them repeatedly give excellent customer service that was accurate and relevant to that customer, not the desire of the store to push some "cool" game that the person would never get to the table. I've seen this in stores where the staff were being gamers first and clerks there to help second.

I have been to both these stores multiple times over the years and it's always the same - bustling with activity with lots of customers. And these stores had many female customers. I'd go even as far to say on certain visits they were the majority!

However, I didn't want to define what was "welcoming" to women because I believe their perception is more important - and easier- than me nailing down what caused the perception. I leave that to the women to define for me.

I do think, however, that some women might not be thinking in terms of outsider status which is both good and bad. Good for them - if they feel accepted and comfortable that is stupendous. But what about another woman who isn't yet part of the hobby (and might never be) and they enter that same store? There's a difference if you've already established yourself versus being a complete newbie or some random person walking through the door looking for a toy or game and this is the first exposure to modern board games.

I hope the women responding keep this in mind.

I know as a male I had to have my eyes opened by my wife can handle her own in many games, but doesn't consider herself a member of the hobby. When I asked her her perceptions she was outright visibly angry. She's the one who used the term man cave. She said many of the stores I've taken her to made her feel like a piece of meat. She particularly didn't like the stores where sexual imagery of women was common - comic books, displays, posters, etc. This had nothing to do with the staff behavior This was about the fact that these stores are visibly set up for mostly male customers and not a general customer base.
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Mashpotassium wrote:
travvller wrote:

Part of my article is about how the truly best and the truly worst are both rare. I give most stores a C grade.

Just to be clear, I used the letters you stated in your OP where a D is "good" (using letter grades probably would have been clearer).

travvller wrote:
swmalone wrote:
Quote:
I bring this up just to say that being a woman doesn't necessarily have to do with whether a store is welcoming or not, and crappy stores are probably crappy stores to everyone.


I agree with this.


Based on my experience I would have to disagree.

I've been to dozens of stores where there were many customers - all male. The stores seemed to be just fine and have been in business for years.

Yes, there ARE truly bad stores that would be crappy for everyone. But by definition, how could they exist if they were crappy for everyone? They'd go out of business or have a very limited customer base.


We'll say "the majority" instead of "everyone", then Some stores have unfriendly help or are dark, but many customers don't care as it's still a useful space/store. I'm just saying most of the issues that affect whether a woman will patronize a store or not are issues that affect all customers (or those perceived as "outsiders".

Btw, you're of course free to disagree, but why ask for a survey if you already know what your conclusion is?


I think you're missing the point of the entire survey. I'm trying to isolate a specific variable - the experiences of women. If I wanted the impressions of everyone I wouldn't have posted to this forum.

I have stated my position up front, but I incorporated into the survey the question of whether or not women even think there's a problem with what they have perceived. If you don't think there's a problem specific to women then that's your answer about how welcoming stores are.

It feels like your post was a challenge to the entire idea of sexism at retail stores. If that's your opinion, fine, but it's not what I've witnessed and I'm clearly not alone. It just doesn't feel like you're just offering your opinion, it feels like you're challenging the very basis of the survey.

Yes, I have made a conclusion and I stated it right in the header, but I've said I'll include data that goes against that conclusion if that's the result. I simply stated what I've seen. I'm not stating my political views, I'm saying what I saw at close to 50 retail stores. I saw a ton of white male customers at stores that were generally negative environments for everyone else - non-whites, women, non-gamers, etc. I'm actually baffled that you haven't seen this. White males dominate this hobby. How could it not be reflected in stores especially when so many of them are run by serious gamers . . . who are typically white and male?

So I guess I shouldn't have posted anything about what I've seen and waited until most people had already posted. I'm affecting the data so to speak. So I'm going to bow out of this and check back later once I'm able to look at people's responses and see if I can quantify the results.
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Marcie Dobyns
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I've been to a couple stores:

Rainy Day Games in Beaverton, OR
Guardian Games in Portland, OR
Red Castle Games in Portland, OR

I have never had an issue with any of them.

I have more experience with Rainy Day Games, where I'll bring in non-gamer friends (male and female) and we've never had an issue. We're always greeted when we enter the store, it's well lit and organized. Staff is always friendly and willing to offer suggestions, they've never assumed I'd be only into lighter weight games because I'm a girl. Friendly and chatty. I've talked with customers as well, and never had any issues.

Guardian I've gone too on my own for various activities, and while I haven't really browsed their selection, I've never felt like customers or staff have treated me any different than a random guy of the street.

Red Castle I went to with a couple of my guy friends, and again, I had no issues with the staff or customers.

The only reason I shop mostly at Rainy Day Games is they are far closer to my house than the other two.
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Marcie Dobyns
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I should also point out:

If I don't know what I'm looking for, I'll always go to Rainy Day Games and talk with the staff and find recommendations.
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Kathrin
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Are you interested in stores in the US only, or also in other countries?
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travvller wrote:


I think you're missing the point of the entire survey. I'm trying to isolate a specific variable - the experiences of women. If I wanted the impressions of everyone I wouldn't have posted to this forum.

I have stated my position up front, but I incorporated into the survey the question of whether or not women even think there's a problem with what they have perceived. If you don't think there's a problem specific to women then that's your answer about how welcoming stores are.

It feels like your post was a challenge to the entire idea of sexism at retail stores. If that's your opinion, fine, but it's not what I've witnessed and I'm clearly not alone. It just doesn't feel like you're just offering your opinion, it feels like you're challenging the very basis of the survey.


I never said that there are no problems associated with being a woman, or that there is never a problem with sexism (I said that explicitly in my reply), I'm just saying don't conflate sexism with stores being crappy. Some stores are crappy to all "outsiders", but that's a separate issue from sexism (although the two may well be correlated). It has not happened to me; unfortunately, it has happened to others. It's true that for the purposes of your survey the reason for being unwelcome doesn't really matter, so my apologies for misunderstanding that. I'm not challenging the basis that some stores may be worse to women. I am NOT a sexism denier; on the contrary, I think sexism is too important an issue to be confused with other problems a store might have.

Quote:

Yes, I have made a conclusion and I stated it right in the header, but I've said I'll include data that goes against that conclusion if that's the result. I simply stated what I've seen. I'm not stating my political views, I'm saying what I saw at close to 50 retail stores. I saw a ton of white male customers at stores that were generally negative environments for everyone else - non-whites, women, non-gamers, etc. I'm actually baffled that you haven't seen this. White males dominate this hobby. How could it not be reflected in stores especially when so many of them are run by serious gamers . . . who are typically white and male?


This is why I usually don't post in these types of threads; every time I do, it feels like my validity of having a woman's experience is challenged because my experiences may be atypical. Maybe they are; anecdotal evidence tells me so, but I do not appreciate being questioned as to how I cannot perceive things. Yes white males dominate in boardgaming. I know this. I have not been to as many stores as you, but the ones I have been to were not like the ones you describe.

I'm out of the thread now.
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