Our next Community Feature comes from the midwest - Moonshot Games in Noblesville, Indiana, managed by Mark Burke.
What was the catalyst for opening a games store?
We are all about community. We wanted to create a space where friends and families can come together and get away from the "screen life" that encompasses daily living these days. Our focus is on bringing people together. This is done through community game days that are promoted throughout the city. Our monthly events will generally have a dozen on more gamers hanging out. Some months, we end up with as many as 30 people of all ages spending the day playing games together. This past October, we opened a second location a block south of our store. This new location is a lounge that serves pizza ($8 for a 14'' large pizza with unlimited toppings) and fountain drinks, holds our Magic: The Gathering event, and has a basement (The Dungeon) that is utilized for Dungeons and Dragons sessions throughout the week.
How do you promote inclusivity and accessibility at your store?
Our store is for everyone. We have many people of color and folks within the LGBTQ+ community that frequent our store. They know they are welcome here and that we will treat them with the respect that every human being deserves. We will not hesitate to remove someone from the premises if they are creating an environment that is not welcome to all. Again, community is of the utmost importance to us. We want everyone - regardless of race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender identification, or physical limitation - to have space where they know they can stop in at any time and enjoy the company of other people. Moonshot is a safe space for all.
Why do you think FLGSs are important?
FLGSs are important because they allow friends and family to come together and reconnect away from the screens that seem to dominate our daily lives. With everything seemingly done online these days, socializing with human beings is a necessity. Your FLGS provides a safe space to reconnect, learn new games, and meet new people. Tabletop games don't work if you don't have people to play them with. Your FLGS lets you meet people to game with. Community and camaraderie can only truly be built through in-person, face-to-face interactions. A game store provides a place where people can go and not have to worry about being in someone else's home (with pets and kids and rules and all of the other things that go along with being in another person's residence).
What's the most important thing you want gamers to get out of your FLGS?
The most important thing for us is community. We are laser-focused on creating a place for people to come together, unwind from life, and play games together. We've seen new friendships formed and have regulars that visit us multiple times each week. While we are a business, we want people to think of us as a place to play games first and a store second.
You can find Moonshot on Facebook and Twitter.