Another dismal Free RPG Day in Arizona?

Books, Events, Gaming, RPGs

Free RPG Day 2012Just like last year, it looks like most Arizona hobby retailers are giving Free RPG Day a pass — or, depending on whom you ask, were left out in the cold.

The event, an industry promotional effort that has much in common with the more well known Free Comic Book Day, only has one Arizona shop participating (so far): Imperial Outpost Games in the West Valley. That’s according to the event’s official participating retailer locator.

Last year, Samurai Comics was the only local venue.

This year, Free RPG Day is June 16, and in addition to getting sample editions of gaming products big and small, you can try out games you’ve never played before.

But only at one shop, in one of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. I remember when Tempe’s Game Depot at least got in on the act.

Last year, when I wrote about the dearth of participants, Empire Games in Mesa responded with some insight from the industry:

This national event was so poorly planned and run it is sad. Personally I found out about it about four weeks in advance from a customer, so I started researching it. That day I found that it was “sold out” yet only one phoenix store was participating. Normally with events like this the group will contact stores and advertise to them, it would be nice to have enough of your kits to accomodate at least a majority of the stores as well.

It doesn’t look like much has improved in the campaign’s organizational structure, then. But at least Imperial Outpost is representing and RPG gamers — and potential RPG gamers, which is the whole point of this thing — will have somewhere to partake and learn more this year.

And remember this: Even if they’re not involved in Free RPG Day, your friendly local gaming store should always be willing to demonstrate games, old and new, or at least talk with you (usually at great length!) to help you find one that’s right for you, or for your children.

Here’s a look at the sponsors’ product lineup — traditionally, you only get to pick one thing, and it’s first come, first served:

About Jayson Peters

Nerdvana's founder and owner. A former East Valley Tribune copy editor, page designer and website editor, he is now Digital Editor for The Pueblo Chieftain in Southern Colorado, a web design instructor at Pueblo Community College and president of the Southern Colorado Press Club. He has contributed to the popular GeekDad blog and taught online media at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, his alma mater. Lifelong Star Wars fan and Trekker who also worships all things Tolkien and Doctor Who.