Aug 31, 2016

An Afterschool Game Plan

Working with schools can attract players and PR. A store that runs a successful program shares what to expect.

Aug 31, 2016

An Afterschool Game Plan

Working with schools can attract players and PR. A store that runs a successful program shares what to expect.

Working with schools can have enormous benefits for students and retailers alike. Students gain a social outlet and an educational inlet, while retailers gain potential new players, good PR, and the satisfaction of a worthwhile contribution to the community.

Just ask Rook's Comics and Games. They sponsor an after-school gaming club at Bozeman High School.

Owners Sara and Lincoln Erickson were kind enough to share some tips about what to expect from a school initiative—and what schools will expect from you:

1. Find a "Champion"

Rook's program started with a suggestion from a regular, who acted as liaison with the school and pushed the program forward by meeting with the principal and completing paperwork.

2. Recruit a Teacher

Schools often require a teacher to oversee the proceedings, and many will already be sponsoring another club. This is another area where Rook's "champion" helped out.

3. Present Gaming and Your Store in a Positive Light

"Schools are protective of their students, as they should be," says Sara.

Remember that school officials may not be gamers, and may not have a complete understanding of the hobby.

And remember that you're not there to advertise: focus on the educational value, and the benefits will handle themselves.

Check back Friday for a downloadable script you can use to present your program!

4. Assemble Guest Speakers

Sara and Lincoln are assembling a lineup of guests to discuss how Magic has impacted their life.

Invite:

  1. A gaming industry professional to discuss career opportunities
  2. A teacher/gamer to discuss the educational value
  3. An L2 judge to discuss leadership, conflict management, and travel opportunities

5. Gather Peripherals

Peripherals and amenities you're used to having—Land, dice, Sample Decks—won't be on hand. Use this checklist to make sure you're prepared.

  1. Land Station
  2. Sample Decks
  3. D6s
  4. D20s
  5. Lifepads
  6. Pencils
  7. Snacks

Contact us for sample decks, and contact a student or teacher from among your players, and start your school initiative today!

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