The expansive store—whose shelves are lined with board games, comic books and other products—can host a “Star Wars”-themed event one evening and a Dungeons and Dragons competition the next.
Some of the recurring events that keep enthusiasts coming back are Dungeons and Dragons on Wednesdays, Magic the Gathering on Fridays and board games on Saturday nights.
“[Gaming is] becoming more mainstream. … People are being exposed to how fun these new games are,” Madness Events Manager Jarrod Feight said.
Feight said the gaming community is a welcoming one that accepts people from all backgrounds and skill levels.
“You can come in with your friends,” Feight said. “You can come in by yourself and join a group. We even have people come in with a small group, and they’ll have a sign that says, ‘Please join us.’”
And the growing, diverse crowd of gamers help expose their peers to different types of games that are new on the market.
“On Saturday nights, you’ll find anywhere from 30 to 40 different games over the course of an evening,” said Madness employee Logan Davis. “We have a very diverse crowd that plays a lot of different games.”
It was the intrinsically inclusive and social nature of the gaming community that inspired Feight to begin working with children on the autism spectrum, he said.
“Board gaming, [Magic the Gathering] and Dungeons and Dragons—role playing games—are actually one of the really good outlets for individuals on the spectrum trying to get socialization skills,” Feight said.
Though Feight’s background in gaming stems from playing Magic the Gathering, he said his personal favorite event is the Saturday night board gaming—due in part because the friendly level of competition and the willingness of the seasoned gamers to be helpful to newer gamers.