About Us

Alameda Mag Best of Pic
D20 Wins 2015 Best of Alameda – Gamestore

d20-logo-on-dark-for-websiiD20 is above and beyond all else, a friendly joint to buy (and play games).  We specialize in games that don’t go beep,  believing in the value of getting face to face, instead of face to screen.

We believe that games are a great tool for toning brains, coaxing social connections, and giving us a place to let off steam in a world that is doing it’s best to get us good and boiling.  We’ve seen the families that build amazing connections through family game night, seen people break through shyness with a game at a party, seen kids who had trouble with reading let curiosity about Pikchu’s  friends pull them over the daunting gap, seen parents and kids playing Magic Two-headed Giants without the kids realizing how cool it was for the parents to get an extra night side by side with them.

Player's at the new storeD20 is a dad-run joint, where we replace bad language and smack talk with the knowledge that it’s more fun to lose a great game, then to be a know-it-all and make someone feel bad.  The community has taken to this and has built extra pride on making people feel welcome and cared for. D20-2015-hoodies

We do a lot with collectible card games like Magic the Gathering  and Pokemon, running running regular events for people to play and/or trade as well as having an extensive selection of both sealed product and collectible singles (yes, we do buy singles as well.)   Obviously, from our name, we’re no strangers to role playing games like D&D.  The events are a comfortable place to come and play a game you like with other people who feel the same way. And our collection of tabletop games, while not encyclopedic, is all stuff we can vouch for, with great games for families, buddies and even couples (for kids of lots of different ages.)

Ben Calica, Owner of D20 Games Alameda
Ben Calica, the guy who runs the shop
Original D&D White books
A misspent youth?

D20 Games owner, Ben Calica is a parent of 3 kids (two 15 year old boys and a 12 year old girl) here in Alameda. He’s been playing games since he was a kid (including playing with the original 3 white book D&D set back when he was 10, with lead figures, which should indicate how long ago that was). Ben has worked at computer game companies and high-tech companies from Adobe to Apple (where he was in charge of their Game Technologies.) He was a journalist for many years, including being  Founding Editor for New Media Magazine, one of the first national magazines covering the intersection between computers and graphics, music, animation and content, as well as being the first Toys Editor for Wired.  He was one of the founding contributors to Game Developer Magazine’s online version Gamasutra.com where he wrote game design articles. He has a brown belt in Kenpo, where he taught Karate to kids, age 7-15, and is a Padi certified Rescue Diver that has had him diving in places as far off as the Seychelles islands, and brought him within 20 feet of a pod of sperm whales.

He’s in the process of helping his kids get to the point where they can beat him in games on a regular basis.  Ben plays Magic semi-seriously (ok…mostly for fun),  is decent at Pokemon.  Don’t play him Backgammon for money though. 😉

Ben’s current Magic Level

8 thoughts on “About Us”

  1. Dear Ben,
    my name is Sergio.
    We met last month when I went with my sons Leo and Nico to play Pokemon.
    I asked you about to buy the new Plasma Buster Packs BOX and two or three decks. Meanwhile, Leo and Nico bought other Pokemon stuff.
    We live in San Rafael. If we will make the deal, I can come to pick up or you can send by USPS. OK?

    I emailed you to before the pre-release (unfortunately we was not able to partecipate) but I did not get answer (perhaps I mispelled your email).

    PLEASE, please, can you answer?
    Can you sell me the Plasma Buster Packs deck and 3 deack?

    THANK YOU in advance
    Sergio

    1. Sergio,

      I’m so sorry for the delayed replay. The amount of spam that comes in through tends to drown the real voices. We are about to have a prerelease for the next set in two weeks. Let me know if you still need anything and I will do my best to help you out.

      Ben

  2. Hi Ben,

    My name is Hyung Lee, a recently certified lvl1 judge for Magic the Gathering. I heard from Thomas that you are looking for judges at your event so I thought I would send you a quick note. 🙂

    I am free for most weekend events – feel free to contact me if you want to chat, or if you have any questions.

    Thanks!
    Hyung

  3. I have just been enjoying exploring your website… A great read and I am very impressed at all of the events that you run and the philosophy behind the store! (Also I had to click on the “full story” of Adult Yugioh being banned, that was an eye-opener!)

  4. Millicent Morris Chaney

    Hey Ben –

    Sorry we didn’t get back to the store on Sunday. Please, please, please add my email address to your mailiing list! Do you send out special event/reminders to an email listserve? Gratefully yours, Millicent, Jim and Lucas Chaney

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