May 01, 2015 / by Eric

We’ve been at this for about 6 years (I know, right? Get ready for some anniversary parties starting this June!) and when I say we, most of the time I mean all of us. You, me, Dane, Amy, Skylar, Aric, Andrew, other Andrew, Chrithew, various Jakes… everyone.

But sometimes… just sometimes, people who know me we well know that when I say we, I actually mean just me and the imaginary Dominic over there in the distance, giving obscure advice when I’m near unconsciousness from another unneccesary fight again.

Dominic, more than anyone else, was responsible for building and optimising many of the systems that we still use here today but more than that, he was a friend. A good friend. And I’ve been at a bit of a loss ever since he left for the wilds of San Diego.

So it’s with great joy and enthusiasm that I announce that Dominic’s coming back!
You feel me?

Yes. I know that it’s “just for the Summer,” and that I “shouldn’t expect much,” but you know what? Quit being a Debbie Downer!

Dominic’s coming back! And I am stoked about it. If you’re as stoked about this as I am and would like to see him during his limited counter engagement here, you can see him this Tuesday, Wednesday & Sunday as well as more shifts as the summer progresses.

And for those of you who don’t know Dominic and are thinking, “but Eric, you’re a notorious evil genius. Is Dominic going to be okay around you?”

Don’t worry. He’ll be just fine.

July 03, 2014 / by Eric

The lounge is just shy of its two year anniversary (the shop just turned five!) and, as promised, we continue to listen, learn and adjust as we go. And now, based on your feedback, input from the Washington State Liquor Board and feedback from the King County Department of Planning and Development, we’re unveiling our three biggest changes to date:

1) By the end of the month the Raygun Lounge will be an all-ages space(!) with significantly expanded operating hours. Yes, we will still be serving a range of beer, cider and wine. Yes, we will be crafting an expanded menu of lite bites and snacks to serve our new daytime crowd. And yes, we will continue to host a growing range of weekly, monthly and special events.

That’s right. The lounge will be

All Ages 1

2) At the same time we’re moving our retail shop – Gamma Ray Gamesinto the Raygun Lounge space. Starting Tuesday, July 15th we’re bringing back the synchronicity of the original shop so you will no longer have to walk up and down the street and split your tab in order to get your favorite gaming supplies while you’re playing, drinking and eating with your friends. By combining sites there will be a dedicated management team on site, in one location, to ensure better & easier access for improved service and faster response times.

3) And, maybe most importantly of all, WE’RE RENOVATING THE BATHROOM! Twice!! First on a preliminary level in July, and then a complete overhaul in October.

Altogether it’s going to be the biggest, most exciting expansion we’ve ever taken on. And I am thrilled about it.

Thank you for a great past 5 years. Thank you for the great next 5 years.

And remember, kids…
seriously, every time

See you soon,

-Eric

November 20, 2013 / by Eric

With the wrap of our supergreat 1 Year Anniversary Party last month, we’ve acknowledged and celebrated our first year together. But our work here is still far from done. As anyone who’s ever spoken to me about the lounge knows, I view its buildout and completion as a 3 year project that we are still very much only in the beginning stages of.

One of the things that makes Gamma Ray Games so unique as an experience is not just its location at the corner of gender and sexuality on the edge of hipster town but that we bring those elements, along with art, philosophy and discussion right into the space. It’s always been my goal that if you come into Gamma Ray Games, you’ll walk into an interesting conversation, or at least the opportunity for one. Games are an amazing crossover point where people from different backgrounds, aesthetics and ideas can come together through shared interest and activity to create entirely new social interactions and dynamics.

This year, we’re focusing on bringing this cultural blending into the Raygun Lounge through diversified event programming. Because while the lounge is indeed a tabletop gaming space and will continue to be so for most of its operating hours, it is also a bar. On Capitol Hill. A tabletop gaming focused bar on Capitol Hill that understands and is excited about hosting pop culture related events in a way that no other venue in the area is. And we are actively supporting our community to take advantage of and benefit from having access to such a unique space.

Recently we’ve begun actively reaching out to organizers to discover and create new events that reflect different parts of the Gamma Ray/Raygun/Capitol Hill community. Last week’s Geek Out! Trivia Night was the first concrete result of these efforts and it was an astounding success by every measure.

trivia night

If you missed it last week, we’re doing it again this Thursday and then switching to every other throughout the holiday season. I highly recommend that you come check it out. If you’re at all excited by games, scifi, fantasy, geekery and the like and want to give your knowledge a go, it’s definitely a good time.

And trivia night’s literally just the beginning. Within the next few months we’ll have pop up markets, national author readings and even a couple of concerts – with groups like the Double Clicks – coming up.

Even more important than announcing everything that’s coming up, though, this post is a shout out to you, personally, to let you know we’d like to host your event too! Let us know what kind of event you’d like to participate in, organize and host and we’ll start looking into how we could make it happen together.

Don't make me get all Uncle Sam on your ass.

Don’t make me get all Uncle Sam on your ass.

We’re not done here. The lounge is not finished or fully defined. We’re just getting started. We’d love to get you and your community in the conversation. Our greater community and our greater conversation will all be the better for it.

We’re looking forward to working with you.

-Eric

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