Gamer’s Hollow is a place where anyone can go to enjoy playing tabletop games, board games and pool or to hang out with friends every day, according to Melissa Rogers, co-owner of Gamer’s Hollow.
“It’s old school social interactions,” said Kyle Kallenberger, Rogers’ son and employee at Gamer’s Hollow. “Sit down and have a game with someone. Everything from chess, chutes and ladders, Warhammer, Dungeons and Dragons and everything in between.”
Rogers and her husband, Jason Kallenberger, bought Gamer’s Hollow from a friend and relocated from Lufkin to Nacogdoches in July.
Along with owning Gamer’s Hollow, both Rogers and Kallenberger have full- time jobs and juggle the two on a day-to-day basis.
“My husband does full- time maintenance, owns his own business, and I am a full-time hunting dog trainer,” Rogers said. “I [train dogs] in the morning and Hollow in the evening. That’s why we’re not open in the morning. A lot of people ask me to be open before noon, but I can’t do it. I need some time to sleep.”
Customers have formed their own community, not only with those who play tournaments or daily games, but with new comers as well. The gaming tables are filled with people of all different gaming backgrounds.
“Everyone is more than welcoming to shake your hand and say ‘hi’ or teach you a game,” Kyle Kallenberger said. “If you’re a stranger, give it a couple days and you won’t be.”
According to Rogers, the oldest player at the Hollow is a 72-year-old woman who plays Dungeons and Dragons. The ages of players range from 8 to 72 years old.
If a new player does not know how to play a game and needs help, there are helping hands all over the Hollow.
“Either we teach them or a player will teach them,” Rogers said. “Someone will take them under their wing and teach them whatever they want to learn.”
Players are welcome to bring their own games and play at the Hollow for free. Although it does cost to play tournaments and join leagues, Rogers will often gift new players gaming merchandise. This encourages new players to learn the game and come back to the Hollow.
“When I was driving around one day, I passed the store to buy some cards,” said Cameron Smith, a sophomore mass communication major from Houston. “They gave me a beginner’s box and told me to come back later if I wanted to learn how to play."
The prices to join tournaments varies depending on the game. According to Rogers, the prices can range from $10 to $50. Magic the Gathering and Warhammer tournaments are from $15 to $20 and last longer.
“The Magic leagues and the Warhammer leagues are a month long. Those are designed to help new players get established in the games without being overwhelmed,” Rogers said. “[New players] can play it in stages, so they don’t have to spend $1,000 on an entire Warhammer army or $500 on a really expensive deck. They can build it up over time.”
Along with day-to-day tabletop gaming, special events are held at the Hollow.
According to Rogers, the Hollow will host potlucks, board game nights and costume parties, bringing the Nacogdoches and SFA community closer together.
“We are open pretty much 365 days a year,” Rogers said. “There are some kids that don’t go home for the holidays, and they don’t have any family here; we’re pretty much a family. We invite everybody. If they don’t have anywhere to go and we don’t have anywhere to go, why not get together?”
Gamer’s Hollow is located at 1326 N. University Drive.