A community gaming space and store is coming to Station North, offering a place for people to play trading card games, role-playing games or board games, and to buy new titles.
Called No Land Beyond, a reference from the video game “Destiny,” the project will open in the N. Charles Street space that once housed the DIY music venue the Hexagon and, most recently, a black box theater. The concept came from three participants in a long-running local “Magic: The Gathering” group: Josh Sisk, Mark Brown and Andrew Glaser.
Reached by phone, Sisk said most of the floor space will be dedicated to gaming rather than having merchandise.
“Because the main focus is not really that, it’s about having a space for people to play games,” he said.
(Full disclosure: Sisk, a local photographer, and I worked together at City Paper and he is a friend of mine.)
There will also be a back room that people can reserve for recurring games, like a group that wants to run an ongoing “Dungeons & Dragons” campaign.
For those without their own games, decks of cards and staple games, such as “Settlers of Catan” and “Ticket to Ride,” will be available to for players to use.
As for the games and accessories the store will stock, Sisk said they want to place an emphasis on local designers and artists along with the more well-known entities. He pointed in particular to local authors Justin Sirois and Kevin Sherry, and Baltimore artist John DeCampos as just a few people designing and building their own games.
But they will also have smaller items too.
“Hopefully people will be excited by a cool dice holder that a local artist made, or whatever it might be,” he said.
And while there’s an appreciation for stores that traditionally carry these items–stacked high with cardboard boxes of old product and populated by die-hards–Sisk said the organizers hope to make it a more contemporary establishment, a place that can hold an official Magic tournament and experimental music performances and video art installations.
“We want it to seem like a cool, modern place and not as much like a dodgy, musty hobby shop,” he said.
And he emphasized that it will be inclusive.
“We don’t want any toxic culture involved in this space at all,” he said.
Sisk, Brown and Glaser are still painting the interior and fixing things up to pass inspection. The plan is to have a soft opening in late March, followed by a grand opening in April.