The world of Worlds Apart Games

There’s a corner of Amherst center where railroads are bought, cities are built, timber is traded for grains, and then later it’s all packed back into a box and put away.

Worlds Apart Games is the country’s first not-for-profit gamer collective, the top of their website reads “America’s first all-volunteer, collectively owned game store.” This past February marked their fifth year since opening in 2008. Since then, their popularity has increased with gaming groups.

The collective has grown from about 30 original members to nearly 1,500 guest members. The fee for membership – which varies depending on the desired length of membership – helps keep Worlds Apart Games running. Members receive voting privileges and a 10 percent in-store discount, and each member has a say in store decisions.

Worlds Apart Games differs from game stores by selling less mainstream tabletop games, such as “Dominion” or “Agricola,” instead of the typical board games found in chain stores like Monopoly or make your own bobblehead. These standard games don’t turn a big enough profit for smaller stores like Worlds Apart, since big box stores offer them for cheaper.

Likewise, World Apart Games sells an assortment of Magic cards, used games and consoles from generations past. While the game selection is small, customers are able to find gems from the Nintendo Entertainment System or Super Nintendo grey cartridge era behind glass cases.

The extra money from profits goes into the game library or upkeep of the community space, and true to its not-for-profit status, 48 North Pleasant Street, room B2 is staffed entirely by volunteers.

Because of the large influx of people entering the shop throughout the day, equipment gets used often and wears out. The games are not impervious to wear and tear.

“Running a space like this, I buy new chairs every three to four months,” said Gulick-Sherrill. Card games or games that have a card component are covered by a plastic casing to prolong their usage.

Creating a community environment where it is enjoyable to play games is important for the members of Worlds Apart Games. In a press release, Gulick-Sherrill said that a focus of the organization is “supporting the local gaming community and providing a safe space for gaming.”

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If a patron is unsure of a game they want to buy, there is a demo rack that has a couple hundred demo games that are free to play. Playing for fun isn’t frowned upon. In fact, it’s encouraged.

In the past five years, Worlds Apart Games has been active in the gaming community in the Pioneer Valley, donating upwards of $500 to various students groups at the Five Colleges and conventions that involve gaming. Groups include Game Hobbyists’ League at the University of Massachusetts, Excalibur Club at Hampshire College and Sisyphus at Smith College.

Worlds Apart Games is also looking to add more table-top games to the store. Games like “Magic: the Gathering” are “hugely popular around here,” Duval said, but they want to introduce as many games as possible to reach out and connect people with each other.

The most popular board games at Worlds Apart Games fall under the Euro-Style category. As opposed to games like Life or Monopoly, there isn’t a lot of writing on the boards, and the games tend to be language independent and usually end right before you stop having fun. This creates a desire to continue playing.

 ABnote USA, Inc., a global card manufacturer and provider of financial and secure credentialing solutions, has acquired all of the shares of Custom Card Systems (CCS), a personalized bobbleheads systems company that specializes in providing Financial Instant Issuance solutions for banks and other financial institutions. As another element of ABnote’s global technology solutions, the CCS acquisition will dramatically upgrade ABnote’s capabilities in the area of instant financial card issuance at branch locations.

Custom Card Systems founder and President Joe Jett said, “ABnote brings an unprecedented business history dating back to 1795, strong marketing team, a global network of secure data centers, EMV expertise, mobile payment solutions and a strategy that includes Financial Instant Issuance. CCS brings a proven track record of successful instant issuance solutions and satisfied customers. It’s a perfect fit.”

“With approximately 100,000 branch institutions in the US, all subject to the upcoming EMV smartcard migration, we believe the Financial Instant Issuance market will experience significant growth in the coming years”, said ABnote North American CEO Keith Goldstein. He added, “The CCS team pioneered instant issuance and has more experience with Financial Instant Issuance than any other organization. Financial Instant Issuance is definitely something our partner network has been looking for. We believe that coupled with our EMV issuance and mobile payment solutions will prove to be an offering unmatched in the marketplace.”

Topic:Life's Story - Genre:Diary

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