Games bringing community, family together


RACHEL SUN | The Daily Evergreen

Palouse Games employee Ryan Wilson plays Pathfinder with a group of customers.

RACHEL SUN, Evergreen reporter

Name, age: Ryan Wilson, 28

Occupation: Palouse Games employee

Tell me about yourself. How did you end up working at a game shop?
“Board games were very popular in my family. I gravitated to a lot of gaming stores as I grew up. Then I came to the Northwest and went to college at the University of Idaho. I found Fantasy and Tactics, which was once in Moscow but went out of business, and then I kind of found my way here because the community is very similar.”

You said you started playing games at a very young age. Can you tell me about that?
“I’m originally from Florida. Growing up, I had three older brothers, a mother and a father. The six of us played board games like Monopoly, although I was, admittedly, a terrible loser back then. It was bad. But my brothers and I always played video games, and then we kind of gravitated to other games through my mom’s history with the role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons. We had a lot of fun and got along as well as siblings do — it still comes back into memory all the time. I have just always been in and out of game stores, using my allowance to buy a pack of cards. My brothers would get together, we would buy a pack of cards and open them on the way home and play each other.

How long have you been working here?
“I’ve been working here since May. We do all types of games that aren’t video games. We have tabletop games, and we also have a lot of board games. I tend to hang out behind [the counter], and occasionally when customers come in, I try to inform them about the games I have played and try to find a fit for the kinds of games they like to play. There are also a lot of games being developed that are cooperative games. So it would be everybody that plays versus the board game itself.”

What is something interesting about working here?
“The people. We have tables where a bunch of people come to play games. The community and the people here are very fantastic. When someone new comes and wants to play, the community is very welcoming.

Do you have a lot of regular customers?
“We get random college students come through a lot, but we also definitely have our regulars. We have role-playing games and we have one group of people that come here once a week to play board games. Sometimes, they get one, other times, they bring a random one that they own, and almost every single week, it’s a different game, which is very impressive because they have been coming here for a very long time. And then we have our regular Magic: The Gathering players, which is a very popular card game.”

Do you have any fun stories from working here?
“I had a friend of mine who liked to be a bit reclusive. So I was like, ‘Just come here, join the fun and see if you like it.’ She came and played Pathfinder with us and just fell in love with it because the community is very nice.”