Tabletop gamers used to perform a yearly pilgrimage to their FLGS (Friendly Local Gaming Store) to participate in a cool social gathering called International TableTop Day.
Board gamers, role-playing gamers, those who prefer dice, cards, dexterity, or miniatures, crowded gaming tables in tabletop game stores large and small, all around the world, to play games, meet new people, and maybe win some free stuff!
What Is International Tabletop Day?
Boyan Radakovich created this board gamer's festival, with the first such day taking place on March 30, 2013, and live-streamed by Geek & Sundry on YouTube. They played Takenoko, Ticket to Ride, 7 Wonders, Smash Up, and Star Trek Catan, with segments hosted by Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton. It would make an annual appearance for 7 years.
What started as a yearly special on TableTop, the Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day show on YouTube, became a holiday for board game players around the world. We would go to our local board game stores, each of who was trying to host an event cooler than the other FLGSs.
Stores would have demo games available for guests to play, run sales on merchandise old and new, have tables set up for players to test the demo games against friends or strangers. The guests got in the spirit, joining tables with people they'd never met before, to play games they'd never seen before, and enjoy themselves the entire time.
Some stores would run raffles, giving away brand-new games, or a visit to a counter with a series of free items, or even allowing guests to politely line up and take a copy each of one of the demo games cluttering their shelves.
Subsequent tabletop days occurred on:
- April 5, 2014 (games: KrosMaster: Arena, Tanto Cuore, Rampage, and Love Letter)
- April 11, 2015
- April 30, 2016
- April 29, 2017 (games: King of Tokyo, Rhino Hero, Fuse, Dread Draw, Codenames, Dread RPG, Tsuro, Attack on Titan, Dark Souls)
- April 28, 2018 (games: The Climbers, Grimm Forest, Flip Ships, World Wide Wrestling, Marvel Contest of Champions - Battlerealm)
- June 1, 2019
What do We Do for International Tabletop Day Now?
The pandemic may have kept huge flocks of gamers from supporting their local game shops as they had in previous years, but we surely won't see support from Geek & Sundry for the day due to the show essentially being off the air.
Millions of gamers and game stores around the world don't have to let our FLGSs down in 2021, though. Together we can make our own Tabletop Player's Day, involve our local gaming shops, and bring our friends (respecting social distancing guidelines and wearing masks as directed) to support the business owners who are still there, so that they can keep bringing you games and a place to play year after year.
Tabletop Player's Day
This year, let's rally around our FLGSs on May 29, 2021, and make it TPD - Tabletop Player's Day!
We Gamer Monkeys are taking it upon ourselves to organize this brand new variation on a beloved theme. Here's what we can do to help out our local mom-and-pop gaming stores, and have a great time, too!
Involve Your FLGS
Contact your Friendly Local Gaming Store and let them know that you would like to help them participate in TPD (Tabletop Player's Day). If they've never heard of it, don't panic; it's new. You can send them to the Tabletop Player's Day for FLGSs page hosted by Gamer Monkeys, which will tell them how they can get involved!
Involve Your Friends
Let your friends know about TPD and that you'd like to involve your FLGS. Invite them to join you at your store on May 29, 2021, or to find another gaming store that they like, or a gaming store that is more local to them, to involve.
What's In It for the Store?
Stores that rely on walk-in business have had a rough year and a half. This is an opportunity for the store to get some new walk-in business (regulations permitting, and providing social-distancing policies are followed - wow, whoever thought we'd have to type that into a blog post?).
They can find more details on the Tabletop Player's Day for FLGSs page, so send them there for more information :)