Gathering Their Own Magic: Dark Tower Games

Owner: Nathaniel Williams

Why Bellingham? “I think it’s a good place to raise kids, it’s safe, but it’s not isolated at the same time.  It’s good for a game store to be in a prominent college town, there are always new people coming in.”

Favorite shop downtown? Why? “I really like The Local next door. They have fantastic food and great beer.”

On a quiet Monday afternoon at the shop, there doesn’t seem to be much happening at Dark Tower Games. Employees shuffle around adjusting, cleaning and replacing products. But come evening time, the shop is buzzing with action. While Dark Tower carries a vast retail inventory, their distinctiveness lies in the mass of events they hold on a weekly basis for tabletop gaming fanatics.

Most recently, Dark Tower was chosen as one of two locations in the United States to be selected for a preview event of the Conspiracy: Take the Crown game from the Magic: The Gathering Franchise on August 20. Wizards of the Coast, its producer, has published Magic: The Gathering since 1993. It is a highly popular franchise that attracts an estimated 20 million players worldwide.

Employee Aaron Wallace said, "One shop out of seven locations in the world, one of only two in the United States, with fifty-six total players for this event. I've got more than 20 years playing games, and I've never seen anything like this."

Dark Tower regularly hosts Magic: The Gathering tournaments and game nights for the local community. Collectively from their events, they draw in around 500 game enthusiasts on average per week.

Owner Nathaniel Williams aims to foster a space where gamers can come to have a good time without the need to pay. He opened Dark Tower just five years ago after relocating from the Bellevue area in 2007, and is a long time game fanatic himself.

Nathaniel has been awarded medals from his competitive tabletop gaming and also hand paints miniature figures in his off time. Owning a business that caters to other game lovers has been a bonus.

 “I like the fact that you’re in control, you can engage the areas that you want,” he said.

While there are comic book and hobby stores in Bellingham, there’s nothing quite like Dark Tower’s driving focus on gaming. For those who are unfamiliar with tabletop games, Nathaniel explains the complex strategy and mental challenges simply.

“It’s kind of like a mix between Risk and chess,” he said.

With a variety of events and tournaments cropping up on a regular basis, Nathaniel and his team welcome fans of all sorts of tabletop games.

Stop by 1431 Railroad Avenue to check out their latest happenings!

Today's post was written by marketing intern Ashley Conradi.