by Evelyne Vivies
Do you remember the days of good old-fashioned table-top board games or video games that you played side-by-side with friends and family? Game Qore owner C.B. Thompson is bringing everything back, right here in Downtown Visalia.
“We specialize in games that are more social,” explains C.B. Thompson. “The types of games where you need people to get together with and sit down at a table to play. Our specialty is European-style board games that are very popular in Europe. Their focus tends to be more on everyone having fun while they play the game.”
We spotted two young boys enjoying a game of Magic: The Gathering, without headphones or controllers, speaking politely to each other and with those around them. They had walked in looking for video games and had discovered games to play in person with like-minded gamers.
Getting to play is as easy as walking in the door. There are communities of players of particular games, and schedules that show which games are played on any given night. If you don’t already know people to play with, you will be sure to find them by attending the numerous game nights throughout the week and watching the play. The staff is happy to help, and the existing communities are very inclusive and welcoming towards newbies. After all, the more players there are, the more they get to play. Socializing skills are developed in the name of fun.
Game Qore stocks a variety of board games. Some of their more popular games are: Ticket To Ride, Catan, Munchkin, Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons, a Star Wars dice game, and several role-playing games. Bring in your game on Board Game Night and you can find a group of people to play it with you, or play along with someone else’s game. “You don’t necessarily have to have a board game with you. Just show up and see what’s playing. We have this room in the back dedicated to just gaming space,” says C.B. Thompson.
Even a local school, Sycamore Valley Academy, has embraced Game Qore for their classic mission project. Having students create board games for their classroom missions, and showcasing them to parents in Game Qore’s game room. It was exciting for the students, very interactive, and a great learning experience. Who says school is no fun?
In the retail section, a variety of games whose emphasis is bringing people together are on the shelves. The video game section features retro games from Nintendo, and an older game console that requires multiple players to join in side-by-side. “I feel that with those types of systems people get together with their friends and play,” says C.B. “If you’ll ask any video gamers who grew up in the 80s or 90s and even early 2000s, they have good memories of getting together with family and friends and playing Mario Cart around a pizza.”
As C.B. explains, “If you want to buy something in this day and age, the internet is an infinite resource. But the intangible that we offer here is the community. That’s not something you can buy. You can’t buy friends. I look at it as more than just a store; it’s like a hub for communities of gamers to meet. If you came in here, let’s say on a Friday night or on a Wednesday evening, you’d see people come in and gather here. It’s like a gathering of friends. It’s like a family reunion. They greet each other. They are meeting these people that maybe they didn’t know before but now they’ve become part of their actual, real-world social networks. So it’s kind of like Facebook or Twitter, except in real life.”
107 E Main St,
Visalia, CA 93291
Mon: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Tue: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Wed: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Thu: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Fri: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sat: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sun: 12 p.m.-7 p.m.
Editor’s Note: All photos were taken by Roger Gong.