#CSBASpotlight: Pandemonium Books and Games

It’s time for the latest #CSBASpotlight — Pandemonium Books and Games! This #CentralSQ staple has been a part of our neighborhood for twelve years and continues to evolve with the ever-changing needs of the gaming community.

“Nearly 29 years ago, I was out of college and was looking for a new job. At the time, Harvard Square was full of bookstores, and I was sad when a science fiction bookstore I frequented often had closed. When I realized the space was still empty a few months later, I did my homework and arranged the money. The rest was history.

We were in Harvard Square for 16 years. About 12 years ago, it was increasingly apparent that the internet was becoming a problem for stores like mine that were primarily bookstores with a smaller selection of games. I had to change my business in order to be able to provide customers with the things that the internet can’t provide — gaming events and social interaction. We revised our business model once we found this space with a large basement to host gaming events.

It was trial and error, but we’ve been in Central Square for nearly 12 years now. We host events every single night, and our next big expansion is working with the Department of Early Education Care to create afterschool gaming programs, summer camps, and school vacation camps for kids.”

– Tyler, Owner

“Most of our in-store events focus on trading card games, which is great because that’s what keeps the doors open at most game stores. People come in every week for Friday Night Magic tournaments or to play in prerelease events. We have events for Magic: The Gathering nearly every day, and we’ll see anywhere from eight to 96 people (our maximum capacity!) filling up the space. With the renewed interest for Dungeons and Dragons, we’re also organizing more D&D and Pathfinder events.”

– Matt, Community Outreach Manager

“Although the in-store events are a main focus, we’re not giving up on books. Since a majority of sci-fi books are only available in ebook form, we’re creating physical placeholders to put on our shelves. Customers can browse our store, look through binders filled with ebook links, and scan a keycode to buy the ebook right there. By doing so, we’re combining the two worlds — you can purchase an ebook and still have that in-store experience.”

– Tyler

“Overall, my suggestion when people ask what Pandemonium and gaming are about is to come by and play a game! You don’t need to have experience — we can provide you with everything you need to learn and get started. If it’s not for you that’s fine, but if it is, then we’ll see you again soon!”

– Matt

View www.pandemoniumbooks.com for a complete list of their upcoming events!