.Best Place to Find Nerds in the Wild

Goblin Bros. Games & Gear, Petaluma

A couple of years ago, I became interested in board games, specifically Dungeons & Dragons, which I had played briefly and found fun and complicated. Looking back, it is easy to see why I became interested in board games. Covid brought isolation, and board games provided both community and escape. Now all I needed was a board game.

So I wandered like a desert traveler until I discovered an oasis. The oasis was Goblin Bros. Games & Gear. In the middle of downtown Petaluma, it’s a place where the geeks and the nerds roam freely and happily like gazelles on the African savanna.

Similes aside, Goblin Bros. is a very impressive store, not least of which is because it takes gaming seriously. As comedian Chris Hardwicke once observed, “The difference is that a nerd would wear a D&D shirt because he loves D&D, while a hipster would wear a D&D shirt because it’s ridiculous that he is wearing a D&D shirt.”

The magic of Goblin Bros. is that any ironic hipster who enters often exits as an ironic nerd. And the conversion is the result of the sheer amount and selection of games. There’s something for everyone. Whether a 20th-level hill-dwarf cleric or just a would-be geek with time on their hands, you cast a die, and Goblin Bros. casts its spell.

Goblin Bros., 133 Kentucky St., Petaluma. 707.780.2048. goblinbros.com. — Desmond Howell

Desmond Howell
A Sonoma County-based writer.


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