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.
D20 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.
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.)
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. 😉