A while back I had sent in an application to become a bunny patrol agent for Playroom Entertainment. Now, we all know that the agency is a sacred brotherhood of like-minded geeks who like to play killer bunnies and wants free swag if they can get it. I first sent off an application in novemeber or something and never heard back from anyone. It was as if I threw the thing into the black pits of the abyss. I followed up around 3 months later with a repeat application and an email to their help desk and someone said they could check on it immediately. Cue crickets chirping and dead silence. I finally managed to snag one of playroom entertainmet's representatives on the gencon boards and was able to ask her if they were just jerking me around for shits and giggles. They require on the application that all agents be affiliated with a game store of some sort and run their demos there at least once a month. I was hoping to substitute the boardgame meetups instead of that, but apparently that was a no-go. Instead of informing me about it, I can only imagine their policy is simply to chuck the thing and then pretend it never existed in the first place. So it looked like the only viable option in the end was to find a local game store.
This is easier said than done. All the local gamestores in the area had pretty much collapsed back when I was still a kid. Even back then, they didn't really host events or have open tables where you could gather with friends to play games and crap. Nowadays, the game stores in the area that were still around were mostly situated in malls and sell pool tables and knock hockey boards more than board or card games. Certainly they wouldn't welcome someone coming in and setting up shop somewhere to demo a card game. Cue the aid of Mr. Internet. I had searched for local game stores (LGS's) online before but this was a more extensive search. In the end, I found one place in Red Bank that had open game nights every friday from 4:30-7:30. I figured that it was unlikely they would say no since it wouldn't cost or require a thing of them and heck, it's an open game night. If it weren't for the fact that Playroom would want to verify things, I could just set up shop without even telling them and have it work out. I mean, I'd be demoing killer bunnies, not selling crack to kids.
Since I found the place online late thursday, I decided to pop over the next day and see how it worked out. The distance involved was a bit daunting for regular visits and in the end it took me something like 50 minutes to get there (though there was some rushhour traffic and then a snafu when yahoo maps gave me the wrong street info). If I could only get credit for running demos at the LGS itself, this would probaly be a dead end. I like playing and teaching the game and all, but I can do that locally with friends just as easily and not shell out more for gas on each round trip than I'd get as swag. The carrot the person I spoke to from Playroom held out is that if I get all signed up, she might be able to get boardgame meetups to count as convention carrots, which allow you to accumilate points faster. That would be worth my while then to make the commute back and forth to redbank a couple times a month.
The people running the store were about as enthusiastic about the idea as I could have wanted. They were all gunho about it and we chatted for a bit about how many people usually showed up for the open game nights, what sort of games people played, etc. It ran well enough that by the end, the owner almost made me a job offer, with the sticking point being that I seriously doubted I would want to do something like that for any extended period and she was looking for full time/long term. So if that was the good part, the disturbing part is the place was filled with kids. At the boardgame meetups and when I've met other gamers, they've all been around my age. Actually, for both the current meetup and for another group I've started gaming with, I'm actually on the young side of the equation. I'd gotten sort of used to that and now I was in a room swarming with kids, none of which had even hit the onset of puberty. It creeped me out a little bit. Well, that and the fact that most of them were playing magic the gathering. I can just imagine sitting there at a table and asking some 10 year old if he'd like to play a game. We can call it, Michael Jackson, the RPG.
I'm not sure how well the kids will even receive killer bunnies. The game is a little complex and there are a hell of a lot of cards. It gets at least 2.5 stars on the Noelle scale which might be too much for most of the kids. There is a kids version of killer bunnies called Kinder Bunnies that's due out sometime this year....a less aggressive and complex one, but I'm not really for the idea of picking that up out of pocket since I'm almost certain Playroom is unlikely to cover something like that. I've thought about picking up a cheap set of the killer bunnies base set on ebay just so that mine dosen't get mangled in play. It would also make it easier to teach in the beginning with a smaller stack of cards. By now, my killer bunnies card stack with all the expansions is around 6-7 inches high.
So to wrap it up, I sent off my new application with allt he new information and I'm waiting for a response. I'm hoping that they can get back to me in a hurry because there's a local convention coming up in a couple weeks and I was hoping to be able to get the start there for demo'ing the game.