There’s a lot of curiosity about what we’re up to, so we want to try to post at least weekly on some part of our plan. Leave your questions in the comments, and we’ll work on tackling them. We lead off with an odd piece, a kids’ area…in a gaming store?!? (To be known as +1 Kids, or perhaps the Itty Bitty Gamer Committee?) It might help to read the About page for an overall view of where we’re coming from.
(You might notice this picture’s different than the originally posted one; we’re always tweaking as we firm up stuff like furniture selection.)
Jeremy and I have an almost 3-year-old girl, and we also know a number of other gamer parents. Most of them have a hard time maintaining personal hobbies like they used to. So, of course we think this will be awesome. And we want things that are awesome. And we think it’s not going to hurt the awesomeness for everyone else. (More on that later.)
We know that gamer parents will appreciate having an enclosed place where kids can safely have fun with minimal supervision. It’s at least enough to drop by, see the newest stuff, and chat with a few friends. Maybe parents will come together, or one can relieve the other parent for a while, with the bonus of getting a game in. We’re mindful of all family needs, so we’ll make one of the restrooms a family restroom with a chair, a changing table, and a stool to help small ones reach the sink.
This also fits into our larger goal of building community. Parents will be more able to join games and keep in touch with friends. Some of their kids will eventually transition to the adult group. Also, I feel that having a fun space for kids works as a more general signal of welcome to newcomers.
Good Times for All
Before Jeremy was a parent, he really didn’t like kids, and we know some of you feel the same. No problem. We segregated them. You will have more fun with their parents when kids in the store cause fewer distractions, while parents can still see their kids are safe. There’s a 3-foot-high divider around the kids’ space, with easy lines of sight from almost anywhere in the store. We’re also considering a mirror overhead to cover the blind spots. While we’re not at all a babysitting service, the area is next to the counter, and we’ll try to keep half an eye on the younglings.
We’re giving the kids sitting space, not a jungle gym, so that should reduce potential noise. (You big kids in the back will be louder most of the time!) The layout above shows three squares on the left: dice-shaped beanbag chairs, perfect for your DS-toting 10 year-old. Younger kids will like those as well as the kid-sized table and central floor space. A shelf storing tabletop games available for play will form one of the dividers, and the games will target multiple age ranges. The arch in the front represents what will be a castle facade. Along with a large plush dragon, we expect the castle to encourage imaginary play.
Oh Yeah, It’s a Store
Those games available for play? We’ll also happen to sell them (surprise!), which we consider a bonus for us and for our customers. Like many of you, we want the next generation to experience awesome education for life skills through gaming, like we did. Many gamer parents look forward to helping their progeny start a first deck, paint a first army, or run a first adventure. Hopefully some games targeted to their skill level can be the first step. Even non-parents may consider games as gifts for relatives’ or friends’ children, and we can help them figure out what to buy.
We welcome your suggestions, questions, and constructive criticism.
If you’ve got questions about +1 Gaming, write a comment here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.