Shall we play a game?
That’s the first question that Matt Givler asks his customers when they walk into Shall We Play?, a store that specializes in board, card and dice games. If the customer agrees to his offer, Givler introduces him to a wide variety of lesser-known games.
Givler and his business partner Derek Taylor opened the store at 7120 N. Durango Drive, Suite 180, May 4, 2013, to provide people with a way to interact communally.
“We want to use games as a foundation for social interaction,” Givler said. “Games can be used as a medium for communication. That was our whole purpose of opening up this store. Retail is secondary.”
Taylor, who also owns a comic book store, said that since opening Shall We Play?, they have focused on families and bringing generations together.
“When Matt and I first started the store, we had the idea to design it with a rustic feel, so that it’s more inviting to people,” Taylor said. “We had a few growing pains starting out, but we’ve since focused on a more family aspect. All of these games are designed to teach people something, even if it’s just using their imagination.”
The owners said they encourage their customers to ask questions, and workers make it a point to demonstrate to people how to play a variety of games.
In addition, they can teach people how to play a previously purchased game when the rulebook is not clear.
Their three most popular games are ones that involve an opponent, teams or games where people play against the board, according to Givler. Games range from $10 to $100.
“Parents can come here and buy a game for half the price of taking their family to the movies,” Givler said. “Plus, these games are designed for ‘re-playability,’ which gives players a different experience every time.”
Every Wednesday, the store hosts a game night where customers can learn how to play three games.
The owners added they do not feel the need to compete with video games. They said video games have helped bring people into their store.
“We are not against technology; we just sell a different experience. A lot of folks that come in have the ‘Ticket to Ride’ iPad version, but they want the physical feeling of the board game,” Givler said. “Video games have actually helped us sell games.”
The store runs with the help of four employees, who are also responsible for learning how to play as many games as possible.
Most of their customers range from 18-35 years old.
“I’m more into video games, but I heard about this place through my friends and decided to come check it out,” said customer Jim Karitsiotis. “I’m impressed with the variety of games that they carry.”
The store includes a section of educational and logic-based games for children ages 3-8 and European-style board games, which focus on strategy rather than chance.
“My kids are getting older, and they want to play something that’s more strategy-based,” said customer Shannon Thompson. “This is a great place to come to when I want something to do together as a family. I didn’t even know stores like this still existed.”
Store hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays through Saturdays. For more information, call 702-721-7974 or visit shallweplaygames.com.
Contact North View reporter Sandy Lopez at email@example.com or 702-383-4686. Find her on Twitter: @JournalismSandy.