Morgan Hardy's Organized Play store is still in its "soft-opening period" until he ramps up Oct. 1, but he's already stocked indie comics and role-playing games at the downtown store off of Gay Street on 221 Cumberland Avenue, the space recently vacated by Deka Bakari Gallery.
In full form, he'll carry board, mainstream role-playing, and collectible-card games, too, along with mainstream comics. Hardy, who interrupted work on a communications doctoral from University of Tennessee to start the store, says his own favorite game (currently) is Settlers of Batan. He'll offer a full playing area with room for 16-17 players to start, and envisions a niche as "an environment where older gamers feel comfortable—not so aligned with the under-18 crowd, since plenty of others in the community do support them. And I'm really big on creating a welcoming environment for female gamers." He'll also cultivate the downtown market: "I'm considering it a goal to have all the people in office buildings who have fond memories of slaying Orcs come by."
Hardy's essential marketing tool? Twitter (@organizedplay). "It has worked out really well for me," he says. "I have that 100 customer philosophy. If I can get that, and they spend $20 per week here, it won't be an extravagant living, but I'll be fine."
For more info: organizedplay.wordpress.com