RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on Feb 1st 2016 at 12:00:00 AM by (Crabmaster2000)
Posted under Game Quest, Video Games, Video Game Store, Card Games, Magic the Gathering, Board Games, Dungeons and Dragons, Weiss Schwarz, Dice M

So you own and/or work at a game store. Pretty awesome, right? You get to constantly be around the things that you love.....but do you actually get to enjoy them??

For the past 2 and half years, I've been running and working at Game Quest as well as a second full-time job doing night shifts. I knew it was going to be busy and cut down significantly on one of my favorite things, my gaming time. Our city had long been in need of a good gaming store, so I felt it would be worth the temporary (hopefully) cut in my free time. The plan was, and still is, to get the store to a point where it doesn't neccessarily need me around to operate so that I can continue to do the things I enjoy and still offer my city a place to sell, buy, and play games of all types.

I often get customers saying how "awesome" or "unreal" it must be to work at the store. It definitely has it's upsides. I get to talk with others who are passionate about the same games that I am, discover many awesome new games, and my collection has grown at a dangerously fast rate. The flip side is that I am barely able to enjoy these things most days. A couple days ago, my wife and son were both out of the house and I had a perfect opportunity to try out Until Dawn, which I have had for months and have been eagerly anticipating a moment I could play it without my son around. After finishing the tutorial mission, I was immediately woken by my phone alarm so that I wouldn't be late for my night shift. At some point after playing for about 15 minutes at 6 p.m. on a Thursday, I had squandered my play time by falling asleep on the couch for the next 4 hours. While I felt more rested than I have in a while, the trade off sucked. I really enjoyed the little time I put into this game and wanted to explore more of it.

To stay in touch with friends, I've been attending a D&D night every Monday with six others. At first, it was a lot of fun. Lately I've been dozing off mid-session, leaving early, or just have not been physically able to make it. My night shifts used to be the place where I beat a vast majority of the 300+ NES games I've beaten and posted to my YouTube channel (300+ games in about a two year time span). Since opening the store, I think I've uploaded less than 10 of those videos.

I know I've also been a strain on scheduling podcasts with Duke and Bil. As polite and accomodating as those guys are, I've missed quite a few shows or had them wait weeks extra so that I could join them.

Magic the Gathering has long been a favorite tabletop game of mine and I've played in 2 events in the last 3 years. When I play Smash Bros. at the store, a game in which I used to be one of the stronger players in town, I keep seeing myself drop down the ladder, as each other local player continues to improve, while my skills stay stagnant due to lack of practice time.

Gotta build my Magic collection up to the levels of my video game collection again!!

The one thing I've been able to do fairly constantly over the last 6 months is spend time in my game room. When I have some time at home, I've been using it to sort, alphabetize, clean, rearrange and just simply enjoy my collection. I'm sure that sounds boring to some of you, but I really love just hanging out with my collection and finding reasons to spend time with it. And because I'm not getting comfortable on a couch, there is a lot less risk of me falling asleep while doing it!

Even with all my whining up above, I do still enjoy both of my jobs. At Game Quest I get to meet awesome new people, many of which I consider friends now, see kids light up when they have saved up enough money for a single pack of Pokemon cards and get that EX they have been wanting for months, grow the community of gamers in town and give them a safe space to explore the things they are passionate about, and just in general improve the options for youth in my town.

During my night shift, I get to work alone and just decompress during that time. I can spend some time seeing what's new online, catching a little Netflix, cooking a healthy snack, and just having some good old me time.

Mario's impression of Crabmaster2000 trying to play video games Sad

This month alone, I am up for two awards for the store. Locally, they have done a Top 40 Under 40 award for the past 2 years now. I have been nominated this year and made the Top 40, which will be announced on the 4th of this month. Province-wide there are the BC Small Business Awards in which we have made the Top 5 for the second year in a row for the People's Choice category and we will find out our final placing on the 25th. While these honors are great, I'm still hoping to step back from the store later this year and have a little more time to do the things I REALLY want to do, which I think will be even more rewarding. Just enjoying the fruits of my labor.

I have a daughter due in June and am planning to take the full 35 weeks of paid leave from the government during that time to enjoy my new family, but also to spend a little time doing some of the things I love. And getting some sleep. Much needed sleep. Sweet sweet sleep. And ..... tooooooooooooo.............zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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It's been great talking to you all the way through this journey. I've been concerned for your health, but applaud you following your dream. The games will be there for you, and I hope you get some well deserved sleep.
I agree. Don't neglect your sleep man, it's essential to your health and well-being.  The guy who owns the local game store and I have become friends since he started his business. We've often talked about how opening a game store seems like a great idea, but that when he gets home, he doesn't really want to be around them anymore. I think that he misses gaming, but in the last two years or so, he has taken a step back from the store and allowed employees to run it, and as a result, he has been able to return to enjoying it. I hope this works out for you as well.

Also, working on your gameroom and just going inside of it to be along and among all of your stuff...... I totally get that. Sometimes I won't even play games, but just sit there; the sights, the smell of it....it feels amazing!
Very relatable (word?).  Once my first son started sleeping through the night my wife and I had several hours every  night to do whatever we wanted.  My second son is not falling asleep and staying asleep as easily so we find ourselves playing hot potato and struggling just to get housework done.  Gaming time has definitely taken a hit.  I haven't played a tabletop game in months. 

Same as banana as far as working on the gameroom.  I find it very hard to sit in a messy room and play games, I need to clean the room first.  So these days when I get a few minutes, I'm usually cleaning something, building something, improving something, or organizing something.
Good read, Crabby. It has been pretty clear, to your friends and family, the sacrifices you have made to get to this point. I was happy and sad at the same time, to read how your intro to Until Dawn went. Glad you are into it though. Look forward to hearing your thoughts about it, down at the store.

Thanks for hanging out with us all the time, Crab.  And for sharing your journeys through your articles and videos.
Good article.  I'm with everyone else here - don't neglect your own health.  Do what you have to in order to take care of your family, because they come first, but not taking care of yourself means you'll not be able to continue to take care of your family.  And I'm glad to hear you're sneaking in bits of time to play some games - without that time to decompress, I know I become a bundle of stress, so I'm glad you're at least finding those small pockets where you can game.  Thanks for sharing your experiences here - for those of us who never got to be a part of that world, it gives us a chance to live vicariously through you a little Wink

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