From the Winnipeg Free Press Community Review, April 12th, 2023.
Photo by Jarrett King
by TONY ZERUCHA
Special to FP Community Review
For 20 years, GameKnight Games has been Winnipeg’s go-to place for tabletop, role-playing and fantasy games. Located at 519 Osborne St., GameKnight Games also offers a wide selection of puzzles, novels, miniatures and hobby supplies.
General manager Ben Shantz said owner Scott Tackaberry launched GameKnight as a way to pursue his passion for tabletop and role-playing games. He started with a shelf in his brewing supply store and it has grown ever since.
“GameKnight Games has continued to blossom and flourish. We try to be a safe haven for gamers,” Shantz said.
Some gamers can be introverted, so GameKnight Games serves as a gaming ‘community centre’ where people can gather and enjoy a shared passion. Shantz said he’s seen a resurgence in the popularity of tabletop and role-play gaming coming out of the pandemic, as people use it as a social activity to reconnect with friends and loved ones.
“The past few years have been trying on a lot of people,” Shantz said. “Tabletop gaming has offered that escape and opportunity to connect with people that were otherwise difficult.”
The entire tabletop gaming community adjusted well during the shutdown, Shantz explained. Folks shifted to digital board games or played role-playing games on Zoom and Discord. Many also embraced painting miniatures that they use when playing together. War gaming has also taken off.
GameKnight is a great place to begin for people who are curious about tabletop and role-playing games but don’t know where to start, Shantz added. Staff are knowledgeable and friendly and regular learn-to-play sessions are held. They attract everyone from 12-year-old kids to married couples.
The daily gaming events and regular learnto- play nights provide an important social venue for people who find bars, nightclubs and even community centres uncomfortable.
“It is so wonderful to see people come out of their shells,” Shantz said. “It’s also a welcoming community. Players are so excited to share games with new players.”
Shantz loves the games and the community. He was a devoted Magic: The Gathering player for many years but has lately been playing a science-fiction version of Warhammer, a miniature war game.
“There’s never enough time to play all the games,” Shantz admitted.
For more information, visit gameknight.ca, phone 204-487-4263 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. GameKnight is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and noon-5 p.m. on Sundays.