Gaming in Olympia? Geek Out, Learn New Games and Make Friends at Capital Mall’s Tabletop Day

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Spend a day learning and playing popular tabletop games and questing throughout Capital Mall. Photo courtesy: Capital Mall

Tabletop gaming – whether you like to play Catan, Pokémon, Dungeons & Dragon or some obscure game only your friends know about – has become a wonderfully inclusive and friendly subculture. People of all ages and backgrounds come together in a fun and friendly competition. Costumes are worn, and food is shared. If you’ve been wanting to meet new gaming friends or learn how to play the games everyone is talking about, don’t miss Capital Mall’s free Tabletop Day, June 3, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Adventurer’s Guild Takes Over the Capital Mall for Gaming Fun

Tim Alexander is the enthusiastic and friendly owner of PLAYlive Nation in the Capital Mall. This year marks the store’s 10-year anniversary – he started out in a small kiosk in front of Chuck ‘E’ Cheese and has grown into the large retail gaming store and arcade he is today. Tim says it’s all because of his wonderful customers who have supported him over the years, especially during COVID. Tabletop Day marks the return of in-person events, and for him, it’s a way to say thank you to everyone who has supported the local small businesses.

Sitting on his counter, a large leatherbound book – from Earthbound Trading Co., another local small business – is waiting for adventurers to sign up for 16 different LARP quests that will take place throughout the mall on Tabletop Day. Prizes will be awarded to those who complete a quest.

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Don’t worry if you have never played these types of games before, volunteers will be teaching you how to play at the gaming day at Capital Mall. Photo courtesy: Capital Mall

Learn and Play Tabletop Games at Capital Mall

The Mall will also have 12 stations where attendees will be treated to 15-minute games in a range of genres, with a volunteer showing you how to play. “We will have genres like punk, fantasy and even horror,” explains Tim. “But all will be kid-friendly, and there will be a sheet explaining the content so parents can decide if it’s right for their children.”  

In addition to those stations, head to the front of PLAYlive Nation, where to The Board Game Café. A cover charge of $10 (just $5 if you purchase tickets ahead on Eventbrite!) will get you into this fun space where volunteers will be waiting to teach you about the latest and most popular board games. Complimentary non-alcoholic drinks will be served.

Duck inside PLAYLive Nation to try tabletop games like Pokémon, Magic and Digimon, again with people there to teach the rules to newcomers. They will also be two people explaining Warhammer and taking people through a “Kill Team” short game.

Cosplayers, Entertainment and More at Gaming Day in Olympia

Of course, cosplay costumes are strongly encouraged, and the entire mall is getting in on the fun, look for security guards dressed up and wearing their classes on their hats. Iron Rose Cosplay will be wandering the mall, too – ready to pose for pictures or talk cosplay creation! And you won’t want to miss the Ectobmobile from “Ghost Busters” and the Ghost Buster cosplayers at the Board Game Café.

There will also be on-stage entertainment, including a morning show with Warlocks and Waffles, family-friendly play sessions from “Tablehaven” with international guests and a performance by Emerald City 5.

When you need to refuel, local vendors will be serving some fun eats like barbarian dogs, and Sub-Zero Freeze Dried Candy will be selling special dragon eggs. The event is local-focused, something that Tim was really pleased about. “Olympia was built on small businesses, and the Capital Mall has so many – just look for the Shop Local Oly signs on the storefronts – we are working with as many small businesses for this event as we can,” Tim shares.

Gabi’s Olympic Cards and Comics is partnering with Sensory Tool House to provide a quiet comic corner just down the mall from PLAYlive Nation. It’s a great place for anyone that needs a rest during the day.

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Local artists and crafters are bringing wares fit for any quest to Capital Mall’s Tabletop Day. Photo courtesy: South Sound Artesian Guild

Need Supplies for Your Quest? Shop the Village Vendors

You just can’t have a day of gaming and LARPing fun without some wicked cool shops that cater to those of us that know the difference between an owlbear and a mimic. South Sound Artesian Guild is bringing together 20-30 incredible vendors for a shopping village you won’t want to miss. Local artisans and crafters will have dice towers, costume and cosplay items, deck boxes, lanyards, campaign pages, world-building pages, tabletop RPG accessories, trays, art and more.

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Purchase VIP tickets and get perks to the Legends Arcade after-party. Photo courtesy: Legends Arcade

Legends Arcade After Party

After a day of tabletop gaming fun at Capital Mall, head to Legends Arcade for an after-party of questing proportions! The after-party takes place from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

“As fellow tabletop gamers, we are excited to host the after party for the tabletop game day at Capital Mall!” shares Legend Arcade owners Christina and Patrick. “We often hear that tabletop gamers are looking for big tables and a quiet space to host a game for a few hours in their campaigns. Our Starbase party room has a table we picked out specifically for big-table gamers!”

Legends Arcade features 50+ games, such as modern and retro arcade, foosball, skeeball, air hockey and bumper pool. Their snack bar will be fully stocked and ready to refuel you, and they also have alcoholic beverages, including beers, ciders and seltzers. The after-party is for those 21 and older only.  

Gaming Day VIP Perks

When you’re going on a quest, the more advantages, the better! So, in true gamer fashion, Tabletop Day is offering VIP admission that comes with some amazing advantages to make your day an even better and bigger quest! VIP ticket holders will have access to a special VIP lounge with a tavern theme that includes exclusive seating and restroom access; entries into giveaways from partners including Magpie Games, Dispel Dice, Cantrip Candles, Elderwood Academy, Many Worlds Tavern, and more; free access to the Board Game Café; special artisan displays; complimentary snacks and beverages; and perks at the Legends Arcade after party that include $5 in tokens and 20% off food and drinks.

This is a day you are not going to want to miss. The hardest decision? Deciding which cosplay to wear. Don’t have one? Don’t worry! Tim stresses that are all welcome and you will be made to feel at home, even if you have never played any of these games. Purchase your tickets for Capital Mall’s Tabletop Day on the Eventbrite website. On Gaming Day, head to the registration table at the Macy’s Court behind the stage to pick up your lanyard if you have pre-registered! Head into PLAYLive Nation beforehand and ask for a special discount code off VIP tickets. And if you need a place to crash, The Double Tree is offering special rates.

Tabletop Day at Capital Mall
June 3, 2023
10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Free – $40

Legends Arcade after party
109 State Ave NE, Olympia
8 p.m. – 1 a.m.