Pandemic Party Profile: Game Kastle

Regulars of all ages and walks of life

Regulars of all ages and walks of life

by Ken Tidwell, 21 November 2014

Game Kastle will be hosting the Santa Clara, California leg of the Global Pandemic Party.

The Kastle is a game store nestled in the heart of Silicon Valley. The store features a huge selection of tabletop games – board games, CCG, role-playing, miniatures – if you want it, it is likely that Game Kastle has got it.

The shop is very much true to its setting, looking like a startup carved out of a warehouse. Which is good because Game Kastle is big on community. That takes lots of space, something that is at a premium in Silicon Valley. 

Game Kastle has regulars of all ages and walks of life from all over the San Francisco Bay Area playing in their large, free to use play space just about any time the shop is open! The store hosts everything from the traditional Friday Night Magic, to weekly D&D Leagues, to monthly 40K Tournaments.

They reportedly host the biggest Pokemon League on the West Coast which draws players from as young as 5 to as old as 65. The store also runs epic tournaments and events from World Championships to Flea Markets.

Game Kastle recently played host to the Bay Area's first Protospiel/Unpub event. This is a chance for local game designers to get together, test each other's latest designs, and learn from industry veterans. Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau held the first playtest of their upcoming Pandemic Legacy game at this event!

The folks at Game Kastle have a Cheers philosophy, "Where everybody knows your game!" They like to get to know their customers and learn about the games they like to play so that, at the end of the day, they can make sure that every game is going to the right home.

Ray Wisneski with some innocent villagers

Ray Wisneski with some innocent villagers

Our host for the Global Pandemic Party is Ray Wisneski, one of the co-owners of Game Kastle who has been with the shop for more than 10 years. When we asked Ray to tell us how it all began, he replied, "I first got into gaming when one of my hockey team mates brought a D&D book to practice. I was instantly enthralled by the concept of the game and the artwork captured my imagination. We became fast friends and would make weekly trips riding our bikes to the local game store in downtown Campbell, California (The Game Table). Mind you, this was 34 years ago, so game stores were scarce. It was such a treasure to explore that store! Every time I walked in I was amazed by the books, the games and the miniatures they carried.” One look at Game Kastle and you know that inspiration never left Ray!

When asked whether or not he was a Pandemic fan, Ray was enthusiastic. "Of course! Isn't everyone? It has become a classic/staple and is one of my favorite games to show groups of friends who have never been exposed to the types of games we sell in our store. The simple fact that it is a co-op game I think really intrigues people and breaks the mold of most games Americans are typically exposed to. And let's not forget the fact that the stakes are epic. You aren't out to save yourself, or just a loved one, you are trying to save the world! The game mechanics are brilliant and unforgiving... and that's on the normal game play level. Have yet to beat the game in difficult mode."

Game Kastle is no stranger to charity events, they try to run an annual Warmachine event where players donate cans of food in exchange for "in game bonuses." The proceeds go to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara.

Ray also helps out with school fundraisers by providing baskets full of gaming goodness to be auctioned off. Ray qualified, "But nothing as epic as this one!"

Why is Game Kastle participating in the Global Pandemic Party? Ray says it best: "I am concerned because there are nations in Africa who do not have the resources to respond quickly to the virus. We cannot help fight something if we live in fear and ignorance of it, we need to be able to reach out to those areas who need the most help and provide them with the care and supplies they truly need. Doctors Without Borders is providing those resources and all they need from us is financial aid."

Join us for an epic Pandemic Party at Game Kastle on December 6th
... and don't forget to donate on our donation page!

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How can you expect to win if you don't play?

Pandemic Party
December 6
Starting at 1:00pm

Game Kastle (Santa Clara)
1350 Coleman Ave.
Santa Clara, CA 95050
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/sQwEF

(408) 243-4263
www.gamekastle.com

Want to have your upcoming party profiled? Let us know via Facebook, Twitter, or email us at pandemicparties@gmail.com


Party Details:

Game Kastle
Santa Clara

December 6
1pm to 5pm
gamekastle.com

View Map

Matt Leacock will be there, so bring your Pandemic gear for him to sign.

And Matt has donated a copy of Pandemic: The Cure to raffle off to those in attendance, too!


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