October 15, 2013 / by Eric

Geek Girl Con

It’s GeekGirlCon at the Washington State Convention Center this weekend and we have three possible ways for you to participate this year.

First, you can simply go. Why not? It’s right down the street! You’re a woman. Or someone who respects and supports them. And you’re a geek. You are! Oh, okay, maybe you’re a nerd. Or a dweeb. Where’s that handy chart when I need it? Look my point is, own whatever you are and how you define yourself. Embrace it. Be out and be proud. Be you, whoever you are. Then go have some fun, make some friends and discover some new things around some shared interests at Geek Girl Con. Let your geek flag fly.

We have one day advance passes available at the shop for $20, full weekend passes available $35 and kids day passes available for only $5. Five dollars!!?! That’s some serious family entertainment value right there, let me tell you! We’re open every day from noon until 8pm from now until this weekend so you could pick them up whenever it’s convenient for you.

Second, if you’re more the hands-on behind-the-scenes type, we’ve got a couple of volunteer opportunities available this year. We could use one person to help us set up our booth on Friday and someone to check in on us a couple of times a day on Saturday and Sunday. None of these opportunities is particularly strenuous, all include a custom t-shirt and free pass for the day that you’re volunteering and provide a unique backstage view of the convention. If you’re interested, send an inquiry email to gammaraygamestore@gmail.com and let me know what your interests and availability are.

And thirdly, and finally, though we’re not throwing an official GGC welcome party this year, if you’re flying in from out of town on Friday and would like to check out our Raygun Lounge while you’re in town, we would love to have you join us for our One Year Anniversary and Kickstarter Fulfillment Party on Friday night.

October 04, 2013 / by Eric

Let me begin by enthusiastically announcing that we’re going to be having our One Year Anniversary Party in 2 weeks on Friday, October 18th at the Raygun Lounge and we’re going to push very hard to fulfill on all of our Kickstarter rewards when we do so.

I know and respect that most backers of the Lounge are feeling some mix of excitement-anticipation-impatience (some verging on anger) about finally getting your awesome Kickstarter swag. In retrospect, we made a ton of mistakes. I made a ton of mistakes. Some of them now glaringly apparent – like thinking that I would be able to fund and build an entire lounge, keep it going and fulfill on all of my outrageous Kickstarter rewards within a single month. Obviously, looking back, we were ridiculously optimistic to have promised that.

But then, we were ridiculously optimistic about the whole damn project from soup to nuts back in that glorious spring of 2012. After having backed some crazy Kickstarter projects ourselves, (and even after watching them face their own untested and unforeseen obstacles; Axe in My Head & Your Art Card Sleeves your tenacity in the face of obstacle after obstacle is an inspiration to us all) Kickstarter still seemed like a fantastic way to raise start-up funds, raise awareness, and share the adventure that only running and being part of a small, bold DIY local venture can provide, all at the same time. And it was. And I love what we do at Gamma Ray and I love sharing about how we do it. Even the messy, sometimes disorganized, learn-as-we-go side of it. Especially the messy, sometimes disorganized, learn-as-we-go side of it. And that’s why I was, and continue to be, wholeheartedly supportive of the whole idea behind Kickstarter, both how it works and how it sometimes doesn’t.

That said, as both a personal and professional backer of a number of long-delayed Kickstarter projects, I can very much sympathize with the bitter-sweetness of waiting for overdue kickass Kickstarter swag. On the one hand, the crazy updates can be pretty fun to read, on the other, I still someday hope to get or see the actual thing that inspired my monetary backing in the first place.

Which is why I am so ongoingly humbled by and grateful for your patronage and patience. And which is why in two weeks on Friday, October 18th we will invite you to come out to the lounge that you built so that we can say thank you one more time. And we’re pushing very hard to fulfill on all of the Kickstarter rewards, once and for all, by this event. Will we achieve this goal? No. Absolutely not. I’ve learned enough over the past year to say that we will do our absolute best. We will use all of the money that our modest operating budget allows us to order shirts, underwear, dice and lockers. We will use all of the time that our modest schedule allows us to finish the Wall of Awesome and table logo laser insets. We will do all that we can to have your t-shirts and underwear and cups and glasses ready, your name on the wall where we said it would be and your locker ready for you with good music and compelling art and your friends all here and we’ll make it warm and nice, all while keeping the doors open 6 days a week for over a year now through thick and thin, surprise after surprise. And we will fail. I don’t know how yet. But something isn’t going to arrive in time. Some application method isn’t going to work. Someone’s mom is going to get sick and they’re going to have to leave on short notice.

And when that happens, and I only have 4 out of the 5 things that I’ve yet again promised in spite of yet again not knowing how we’re going to do it all and daring yet again to try anyway, and you point it out to me as if I don’t already know, I’m going to smile, with great sincerity, and tell you that it’s on its way soon and that we’re working on it. And the sincerity will be real because we are. We’re doing the best that we can. And I know that we’re doing the best that we can because I love doing the best that I can and I love inspiring others to do the best that they can. And that’s why I do this. And that’s why I picked Kickstarter. And that’s why I hope that you picked us.

And if it isn’t why you picked us and you’re disappointed in our or my performance, I’m sorry. But I’m not sad. Because I’m proud of us. Because I’m proud of what we did and what we’re doing. I’m proud that while we were late on our t-shirts and still haven’t found a custom dice company that’s easy to work with, we actually built a friendly local game store and a gaming lounge where you can enjoy yourself six days a week. From scratch! And we now have a staff of six kickass employees to respond to your calls and emails directly, assist you in your gaming explorations, and honestly respond to you about what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. And if we hadn’t have made all of those mistakes along the way, and if I wasn’t willing to be told, to my face and online by strangers, all of the mistakes that I made and the ways that I’d failed them personally, we never could’ve gotten here.

And that’s why I do it. Not for the accolades. Not for the money. But because I love our diverse, local, Capitol Hill community of gamers, creatives, nerds and geeks of all stripes, genders and orientations. And I love bringing them together to collaborate and do things that we’ve never done together before.

So come out with me in two weeks. Come out and celebrate. Come out and celebrate everything that we did and everything thing that we didn’t do. Come out and celebrate what we’re going to try to do next and what we’re going to do along the way in spite of ourselves. Come out and celebrate the mistakes that we’ve yet to be bold and brave enough to make together yet, but someday will be. Bring your hopes and your dreams and I’ll bring mine and we’ll throw them all out on the tables that we had to custom build to be big enough to fit them all. And we’ll mix them all together and we’ll make something amazing. And we’ll call it our lounge.

Happy Anniversary, everybody. I can’t wait to see you again.

-Eric

October 03, 2013 / by Eric

Want to play some of that “Magic game” that your friends have all been getting back into lately? Great! Because we just streamlined our Magic schedule for the first time in… well, ever… to make it even easier for you to do so.

We now have 4 weekly events for you.

Wednesday Night Modern

Our Wednesday night event is an unsanctioned modern format tournament that evolved out of several of our players’ private testing league into a friendly weekly event. Tournament begins at 6pm, has a $5 buy in, prizes for top three, is overseen by our resident judge, Jen, and features players such as our very own Drunken Planeswalker and Nick of Vashon,

pictured here building the place only a year ago.
Nick builds

Friday Night Magic

Our take on the Wizards of the Coast’s perennial favorite occurs in our shop’s upstairs game loft so we can include the all ages players required for official sanctioning and prize support. This sanctioned standard format tournament begins at 6pm, costs $5 to enter, is capped at 8 people to ensure room, is overseen by T.O. Aric and includes all of the standard prize support that one would expect from such an event.

Shiny!
October Prize

Saturday Drafting

Our legendary unsanctioned booster drafts occur every Saturday at noon and 4pm. Each requires a $15 buy-in which gets you the cards that you’ll need to play plus an opportunity to win more. Each of our drafts has room for up to 24 people in ability-tiered pods that are overseen by T.O. Jen and feature the kinds of great, sexy, available 21+ players that earned our shop the Seattle Weekly’s coveted ‘Best Place to Meet Single Men’ award for 2013.

Oh yes they did.
Matt Wins

Sunday EDH

And for our more low key, slower playing magic enthusiasts, there’s always Sunday’s 5pm Elder Dragon Highlander game. We always draw just the right crowd to keep it intimate while still letting the goofy fun of a crowded table unfold.

It usually looks something like this at the end.
magic pile

In addition to these events, we have general casual play, occasional special events like Gordie’s Make Your Own Card drafts and are in the process of putting together a women-only Magic event soon so find an event that works best for you and come check it out. We’d love to see you some time.

Actual staff in their native environment.
DnK