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  • St. Paul Game Con

    Posted on November 9th, 2005 Highland_Piper No comments

    D&D claims day of fame

    The curious and the cant-get-enough can learn more about gaming and meet enthusiasts at area events.

    Pioneer Press

    To most people, Dungeons and Dragons is an obscure fantasy game played in dark basements by nerds with no social lives.

    But for Nick Postiglione, co-owner of the Source Comics and Games store in Falcon Heights, D&D is a versatile, social game that draws an incredibly diverse group of players.

    "People have a stereotype that a gamer is some kind of social outcast," he said. "That's just not true. We have all types of people, ranging from professionals to blue-collar workers."

    Postiglione said that one group that plays at his store includes a real estate lawyer, an insurance actuary, a dry-cleaning service owner and two sisters from St. Paul. "And if that isn't diverse, I mean, good Lord," he said. "I don't even know how they got together."

    Today, visitors will have a chance to experience D&D for themselves. Wizards of Coast, the company that owns the D&D franchise, is presenting its second Worldwide D&D Game Day in stores nationwide, including the Source. Activities will include demonstration games for new players, a large-scale day long game and a question-and-answer session with one of Wizards writers, Monte Cook.

    Postiglione said the company began Game Day last year to celebrate D&D's 30th anniversary. Wizards picked two stores as their flagships for the event, and the Source was one of them.

    "We happen to be the biggest game store between New York and L.A.," he said. "We've had a long relationship with Wizards and TSR (Tactical Studies Rules, the original creators of the game) before that, and they knew wed promote and treat it right."

    "Dave Arneson was here (last year), and it was really fun because a lot of guys got to play D&D with the guy who created the game," Postiglione said. "If you're a baseball fan, it was like playing catch with Sammy Sosa."

    Last years event drew 3,000 to 5,000 visitors throughout the day, Postiglione said. Many of them had played D&D as kids and were checking it out again.

    Woodbury resident Jeff Johnson is one of those people who used to play D&D, but he says he's moved on to hobbies with a more "epic" nature. "Right now I consider myself a historical miniatures gamer," he said, re-creating Civil War and Napoleonic battles.

    Unlike D&D, where players control a single detailed character, miniature games use armies of models (from 20 to 200) to simulate historical or fantasy armies.

    After traveling to gaming conventions across the country, Johnson and a group of fellow gamers decided there was enough interest in the Twin Cities to create their own.

    "Id say the (gaming) community is pretty big and pretty strong," James Reijio, president of the local gaming group Adeptus Minneapolis. "You could have four really big cons interspaced throughout the year."

    So Johnson and his group created the Minnesota Gaming Convention, which focuses on miniature games and board games ranging from Battleship to Monster Menace America. The gaming convention, also known as MGCon, will take place Nov. 18-20 in St. Paul.

    "We have a Magic the Gathering tournament, a Warhammer fantasy battles tournament, Warhammer 40,000 Rouge Trader tournament, an Axis and Allies tournament," Johnson said.

    The highlight of the convention will be a re-creation of the World War II battle of Kursk by a group called the St. Paul Irregulars. He expects 60 participants using several thousand figures in one titanic game covering a 400- to 600-square-foot tabletop.

    "It is the largest miniatures event in the upper Midwest in a decade, in sheer size," Johnson said.

    In its first run last year, MGCon drew about 170 people, and hes hoping for almost 300 this time.

    Reijio said a lot of members of Adeptus are excited about MGCon.

    "The thing about conventions is they don't really generate new interest in things," he said. "They're a focal point for people who already have those interests. We want to get together and know everyone else exists."


    Worldwide D&D Game Day will take place today at 15 Minnesota stores, including the Source Comics and Games, 1601 W. Larpenteur Ave., Falcon Heights, and Unicorn Games, 7105 10th St. N., Oakdale. For more information, call 651-645-0386 or visit

    The Minnesota Gaming Convention (MGCon) will run Nov. 18-20 at the Holiday Inn, 2201 Burns Ave., St. Paul. For more information, go to

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