The third place is the concept of having a social location where people spend time that's not home or work. It's all the rage and the key to getting more customers in the door. You see it in Starbucks, where rather than rush you out the door, they encourage you to stick around with popular music, Internet access and comfy chairs. Bookstores do this too, with places to sit and read, waterfalls, and their own coffee shops. We've added the mom's lounge, but the game center is our third place.
A game store is actually a much better third place than the examples I've given, because people actually interact. Are a bunch of people drinking coffee physically in one room, but socially isolated, really together? A game store is unplugged and you'll need to interact with others to play our games. But this opportunity can also be a problem, because I'm first and foremost a business owner, a merchant, and not a cop, psychologist, or your mom. Our high level of interaction can be fraught with perils, something the average Starbuck's employee probably hasn't had to deal with.
This was made clear this week when an upset mother paid me a visit. Her daughter met a boy at the store. Hyjinx followed when they got together later on. Although I'm sympathetic, what was I to do about it? The mother was hoping to track this guy down, through sign-up sheets or the like, but we have open gaming, and no such sheets. She shook her head in disbelief at our open third place community. Starbucks doesn't sign you in, nor does the park down the street, so it doesn't quite follow that we would somehow log our customers (another consideration when considering security cameras). In fact, that assumes a level of responsibility that I frankly don't want to have. If you ever doubted our third place was more intimate than a Barnes & Noble, here's your proof.
FFS, what the Hell? Now it's your responsibility to watch people's children? Tell mommy to grow up and learn some parenting skills.ReplyDelete
I feel for you, G, stupidity is running rampant today. But, not all is lost. Give California some more time and soon everyone will be GPS tracked (and will probably vote it in) and your problem(?) will be solved.
Maybe you should start selling chastity belts :) You had the armor at the old store for a long time. You could just point mom over.ReplyDelete
Maybe you need to offer a babysitting service, so you can make some money off of the parents who send their kids to the store for daycare.ReplyDelete
If they want you to be responsible for what their child does when the child leaves the store, they have to give you some legal authority over the child, and some financial incentive to spend your time/your employees' time supervising the children.
Wait, you did offer such a thing, but not enough families signed their kids up for D&D camp.
FWIW, I think becoming a daycare center requires a lot of legal hoops to jump through, and probably propels Gary into an insurance bracket that will make his rent look like chump change...ReplyDelete
>A game store is actually a much better third place than the examples I've given, because people actually interact. Are a bunch of people drinking coffee physically in one room, but socially isolated, really together?ReplyDelete
Well, most coffee places I see consist of various tables with groups of people gathered around them talking and drinking coffee. How is a game play area any different? I don't intereact with the table across from me at a coffee store any more or less than I do at a game store with someone playing another game. I intereact with those I am playing with specifically.
I see what you're saying. You're ascribing more social interaction in a coffee shop than I envision, while less in the game store, with balkanized gaming tables.ReplyDelete
I was not suggesting that Gary change the business to "Black Diamond Childcare" - just pointing out that the parent has other options if she is seeking babysitting or childcare services - and she needs to pay for those services.ReplyDelete