(Steven Lane/The Columbian)
WHERE TO GO
Gut Bustin’ Games are available at stores around Clark County:
• Amboy Saw & Service, 39708 N.E. 216th Ave., Amboy.
• Brady’s Auto Body, 7615 N.E. 119th Place, Vancouver.
• Clark County Lawn & Tractor, 17900 N.E. 72nd Ave., Vancouver.
• Orchards Feed Mill, 6017 N.E. 109th Ave., Vancouver.
• Ridgefield Hardware, 104 N. Main Ave., Ridgefield.
• Rietdyk’s Feed, 512 N.W. Carty Road, Ridgefield.
If you go
• What: GameStorm 13.
• When: At-the-door registration begins at noon Thursday; convention continues through Sunday.
• Where: Hilton Vancouver Washington, 301 W. Sixth St., Vancouver.
• Cost: $45 for the weekend; $10 for Thursday only; $20 for Friday only; $30 for Saturday only; or $15 for Sunday only.
• Information: http://www.gamestorm.org.
Economy tanks, move 10 spaces ahead.
A poor economy has actually boosted board-game sales even as overall toy sales fell. Looking to pinch pennies, many families brought back game night.
Those looking to take their gaming to the next level can spend four days straight playing this week if they so desire.
GameStorm 13 will convene Thursday through Sunday at the Hilton Vancouver Washington. Admission for all four days is $45, but players can also purchase admission for a single day, which ranges between $10 and $30 depending on the day. Organizers expect attendance will reach 800 to 1,000.
GameStorm has convened in either Portland or Vancouver over the years. Participants will find everything from simple dice games to those that require complex strategy, such as the railroad game “Empire Builder,” said convention spokesman Jason Bostick of Portland. Those attending will also have a chance to test out games still in development.
“The board-game business has been great,” said Lisa Steenson of Yacolt, owner of Gut Bustin’ Games. She will be a guest of honor at GameStorm. Her company made a name with “The Game of Redneck Life,” in which the player with the most teeth at the end of the game wins.
The company recently released “Oh Gnome You Don’t!” in which greedy and aggressive gnomes try to collect the most gems. The games are available from the company online at http://gutbustingames.com, as well as at feed stores around Clark County.
Demand for board games remains solid even as console games become ever more sophisticated, Steenson said.
“So many people are locked into computers at their work, so it’s nice to have another couple come over and have that interaction and create memories,” she said.
Growing up in Sweet Home, Ore., Steenson and her siblings turned to board games as an escape from television, believe it or not.
“We would sit in the kitchen and play games to avoid being in the living room where our parents were watching Archie Bunker and ‘Hee Haw.’ To this day, I’d rather do something across the table,” she said.
Bostick, 36, agreed: “I love my video games. But there’s something about sitting across from the person you’re challenging.”