Some friends of ours just opened a new Game Store in London. Give it a look if you are in the area!
WHAT IS BMC? In its core, BMC has been lovingly designed by three friends (and avid Warhammer fans) to become the ultimate gaming destination in London and beyond. With its primary focus being Games Workshop games and products, BMC is a 3,500 square foot café, store and gaming venue. We have 15 custom-built 6×4” gaming tables, each with a matching mat and great terrain. We have 9 café/board game tables and an extensive board game library, both for rent and for purchase. BMC will have an large stock of Games Workshop products for purchase, as well as related hobby products and board games.
WHAT CAN YOU EAT AND DRINK AT BMC? With ‘community’ being a key focus of ours, we have agreed with a local brewery and a pizza restaurant to supply craft beer and wood-fired pizza to BMC. In addition, we will have barista coffee and a large selection of non-alcoholic drinks, snacks, and café products.
WHAT ABOUT COMMUNITY AT BMC? We have so many exciting things in the calendar – a Warhammer 40,000 Grant Tournament series, monthly Warhammer 40,000 and Age of Sigmar tournaments, Warhammer Underworlds and Kill Team organized play, league nights, and SO much more. We have partnered with the London Wargaming Guild, one of the biggest Warhammer communities in the UK, to host some of their recurring weekly gaming nights as well as future events. We hope that all of our events will be ITC events, providing a great opportunity for London based Warhammer fans to get those precious ITC points. Additionally, we have met with Zach from the LGT (he told us he is coming to see you) about ways to partner with the LGT, given our London connection.
WHERE IS BMC? BMC is located in Central London, moments away from Borough Station and in close proximity to London Bridge. We are situated on the ground floor of a large student housing complex, home to 800+ King’s College and London School of Economics students.
From the owners:
Millennials are turning to Dungeons and Dragons as a way to make new friends amid a ‘loneliness epidemic’ among young people.
The fantasy board game was once the pastime of social outcasts and maligned as a gateway to devil worship in the Satanic Panic of the 1980s.
But after a recent renaissance with celebrity gamers and an appearance in TV show Stranger Things, lonely young people are now using formerly nerdy games to widen their social circles.
An Office for National Statistics survey this year found 16-24 year olds were the loneliest age group, with one in 10 young adults saying they are often or always lonely, compared to just 3% of those aged 65 to 74.
A study published in August by the Intergenerational Foundation comparing three generations of young people found that today’s millennials are unhappier and lonelier than previous generations, with close friendships falling by 6% between 2005 and 2015.
‘It’s increasingly easy to find yourself isolated, falling between the cracks of the different social groups that already exist around you,’ said Physics teacher Andrew Moore, 24, who took up D&D after finding himself alone in London after moving to the capital for a job.
‘I had no university friends, a big age gap with colleagues who all had families or other priorities, and a really small starting salary to work with.’
After joining a D&D group, Moore said he found making friends came much more easily.
‘It felt like a chance to be creative, spurred on by others who’d reward ingenuity or character development, for as cheap as a group pizza and some cokes.’
Thousands are now finding friends among fellow orcs, elves, goblins and magicians in similar fantasy games. The London Meetup Group for the game consisted of just a dozen people once a week in 2009, but after the company behind D&D announced its highest ever sales last year, the group today has more than 5,500 members.
An exciting new cafe catering specifically for games like these has opened in London, and is looking to attract new young gamers eschewing the old
Bad Moon Cafe in Borough, Central London, opened its doors December 15th, serving local craft beers, wine, hipster coffees and artisan pizza in an attempt to lure the new wave of fantasy fans.
‘We want to open up tabletop gaming to everyone, there’s a growing number of people who enjoy these games but don’t want to sit in a smelly, poorly ventilated place only selling fun-size Mars bars and bags of Frazzles,’ said 25-year-old entrepreneur Wilym St John, who runs the cafe.
‘Our aim has always been to create the de facto best place to play these games in London.’
Bad Moon, named after a tribe of Orcs in a fantasy game, is packed with 6ft by 4ft tables, custom-made for gaming with dice trays and a mouse mat lining designed for dice rolling and card dealing.
The cafe will also cater to players of Warhammer, a tabletop strategy game using painted models and scores of dice, which has joined D&D in a recent renaissance.
Games Workshop, the creators of Warhammer, said their profits last year almost tripled from £13.8m to £38.8m, with sales in the six months to November 2017 jumping 54 per cent to £108.9m. Over 2017 the company’s share price rose 250 per cent.
St John says it was sharing his interest in Warhammer that helped him tackle loneliness that came from his social anxiety.
‘I would actively avoid any situation I wasn’t familiar with, including meeting strangers. But the fact that I shared a common interest with these people meant I got lost in our games and felt completely relaxed,’ he said.
Cambridge resident Gretchen Allen, 26, hosts an all-female D&D podcast, in which she and three friends broadcast their weekly games. Allen plays as T’Chad, a half-human half-demon bard with a penchant for ale.
‘I can see how it can be a big ameliorating factor for people who are lonely, it forces you to interact on a fairly deep level with the people you play with,’ she said.
‘For me the social aspect of the game is the biggest draw, I didn’t ever and don’t currently have much of an interest in “D&D adjacent” pop culture the way most players do.
‘I think attitudes have changed drastically now that “geek” culture has become heavily mainstream, there’s no shame in liking what used to be stereotypically nerdy things.’
Aine Barry, a software developer from Limerick, said fantasy roleplaying games helped her settle in when she moved abroad, and she is now seeing them sprout back home in Ireland.
‘We run a board game night at work and it has been growing a little every time we do it. A couple of board game nights have started to spring up in cafes and bars in my town,’ said the 24-year-old.
‘I think the image of guys with bad hygiene playing in a basement has been dismissed by more high-profile people saying they play.’
Bad Moon Cafe is located at 159A Great Dover Street, London. You can visit them at www.badmooncafe.co.uk and fb.com/badmooncafe.
And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!