Business

Coverage of businesses originating in and/or catering to the MN geek community, including but not limited to gaming companies, publishers, stores, favorite geek hangouts, start-ups with cool ideas, and Kickstarters worth noting.

Can Can Wonderland Highlights the Artistic Value of Retro Gaming

The Twin Cities has so many unique bars, and I wanted to check out a retro gaming bar that has been drawing lots of traffic since it opened in 2017: Can Can Wonderland. At first, you might not suspect that Can Can truly fits this category, but the arcade portion, which sits adjacent to its famous minigolf, has attracted the local Twin Cities crowd, similar to other retro gaming locations in the market. I wanted to delve deeper into...

Afropunk Tabletop Game Swordsfall Hits Crowdfunding Success

Sci fi and fantasy have a long history of trying to nudge humanity toward a better version of itself. Whether by cautioning us about possible futures or putting current issues on display through direct allegory, such media helps us explore our problems and our potential. In particular, tabletop role-playing games offer a chance to engage these narratives in a uniquely direct way, which can be a fantastic opportunity for players to expand their horizons and experience new ideas in...

Chatterbox Pub Is the Perfect Retro Gaming Haven for a First Date

While I was doing research for my last article, I reached out to Steven Miller, who is the owner of Chatterbox Pub in Minneapolis. I thought it would be interesting to get his take on the retro gaming scene in the Twin Cities, especially since his pub was one of the first to service the local retro gaming community. I walked into the bar and was instantly taken back to my childhood as I noticed the vintage Nintendo Power...

Twin Cities Comic Shops Celebrate Hellboy Day on March 23, 2019

To mark 25 years since the first Hellboy comic, Dark Horse has declared that March 23, 2019, is officially Hellboy Day. Not only can I barely believe that it’s been 25 years since I first saw Hellboy on the shelves of what was then my local comic store in the Hillcrest Center, it’s hard to get my head around how extensive the adventures have become. With two live-action movies in the past and a reboot coming soon, a dozen...

Up-Down Minneapolis Bottles Gaming Nostalgia for Twin Cities Millennials

When I first walked into Up-Down a few years ago, around the time it opened, I felt an instant nostalgic attachment. I noticed the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game and nearby, an unused X-Men arcade cabinet. Both sat beckoning me to reclaim my youth. I was flooded with memories of a local pizza shop and arcade in Appleton, Wisconsin, where I spent birthdays, Friday nights, and the celebrations after stellar report cards. I would rapidly scarf down the...

Minneapolis’s Heroic Goods and Games Combines Facebook and a Personal Touch for Marketing Success

Minneapolis was hunkering down for its first below-zero weekend of the winter when I made the call to visit Heroic Goods and Games. The owner, Paul Zenisek, connected over Facebook, and we agreed that it would be the perfect time for an interview given Minnesotans’ hermitlike behavior on frigid weekends in the month of January. I first investigated the store after noticing it pop up in one of my Facebook feeds. I was intrigued by the social media strategy...

Why Every Game Store Needs a Code of Conduct

When I was a broke college student, I would visit my local game store to play Magic: The Gathering. Sometimes, I would encounter other players trying to mansplain the rules of the game to me—an experience many female gamers have had. When this occurred, however, the owner of the store always stuck up for me and told the offender to treat me as an equal player. I never forgot these moments and how comfortable I felt being in a gaming community...

The ULTIMATE Minnesota Geek Guide to Black Friday and Small Business Saturday 2018

Planning to start your holiday shopping, support local geek businesses, or just take advantage of some amazing deals this weekend? Well, we’ve done all the legwork for you and are happy to provide your ultimate Minnesota geek guide to Black Friday and Small Business Saturday! We’ve arranged all of the businesses into categories and featured what sorts of bargains and events they’re offering this year right under their address, complete with a Google Maps link to make life easy....

The MN Bookstore Guide to Black Friday and Small Business Saturday 2018

Thanksgiving weekend features some of the biggest shopping days of the year, and seeing as Minneapolis and St. Paul are always popping up on lists of America’s most literate cities, you can be sure a lot of the purchases around these parts will be books. In addition to Black Friday, independent bookstores have been celebrating Small Business Saturday over the last few years as a shop-local alternative, with author Sherman Alexie’s Indies First campaign helping to bring authors into...

An Open Letter From the Shieldmaidens Regarding Source Comics and Games

On October 8, 2018, Lisa Olson, a former employee of Roseville’s Source Comics and Games, published a Facebook post about her experience as an employee that went viral and elicited many comments from both customers and other former employees about their experiences in the store. Below is an open letter that was sent to Twin Cities Geek this week by the game masters who run the Kattakemeros and Kosnos games at the store on Sundays. Shieldmaiden Sundays are a casual meetup in the...
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