Saturday saw the opening of an exciting new gaming store in Fitzroy North. Gatekeeper Games is a space born of admirable ambitions: provide a fun and comfortable environment for nerds – and their families – to enjoy tabletop gaming; create an event space suitable for anything from parties and functions, to live action role-play sessions; and sell awesome board games, card games, and tabletop supplies.
The founders of this exciting space are Simon Waugh and Paul Wing, two veteran game lovers with a wealth of retail experience between them, and a welcoming attitude towards tabletop gaming – although credit must also be given to Simon’s wife, Rachel, whose support in setting up Gatekeeper has been integral. I asked Paul and Simon why they were driven to open their own gaming store, and what their vision is for Gatekeeper:
We would love to be the place that people can come to, and feel at home while playing tabletop games of their choice. We are going for an open, bright, and friendly environment that is very family friendly. Not just kid friendly, but family friendly – whatever that family may look like.
This warm attitude certainly characterised the Grand Opening, and signals potential for Gatekeeper Games. With a convenient location, ample gaming space, and a focus on both teaching and inclusion, the store is a refreshing departure from the norms of tabletop gaming stores. Simon emphasised:
We want to introduce this wonderful hobby to as many people as we can – people who may not normally go into a ‘geek’ shop are just as welcome as us geeks.
Another goal of the store is to support local and independent games. Aside from an impressive range of popular and classic board games, Gatekeeper also boasts several home-grown products, including Rise to Power and Conjure, with plans for Entropy and El Luchador to be stocked once they are released – and all of this announced in their first week, no less. Already, some demo events have been held for these games, with plans for similar events in the future.
While the decorations may still be underway, the store is already furnished with everything players may need to have a good time, and the range of games on sale makes an impressive spread. Be part of the birth of an awesome new gaming space by dropping in over the next few weeks.
Gatekeeper Games can be found at 323 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North. It’s an easy fifteen-minute drive from the CBD, and the number 112 and 11 trams stop almost directly in front of the store. Opening hours are currently midday – 10pm Tuesday to Friday, and midday – 7pm Sunday, but these may change over the coming weeks. Visit Gatekeeper Games’ Facebook page or website for the latest information – trading times, events, and promotions, as well as regular updates from Simon and Paul on everything tabletop related.