David Holmes digs through a pile of boardgames during Platypus Gaming’s two-day mini-con over the weekend at Douglas Public Library and Sunday at Mendenhall Public Library. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

David Holmes digs through a pile of boardgames during Platypus Gaming’s two-day mini-con over the weekend at Douglas Public Library and Sunday at Mendenhall Public Library. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Good times keep rolling with Platypus Gaming

Two-day mini-con held at Juneau Public Library.

For Juneau resident Alex Valentine, Platypus Gaming events come with a charisma buff.

“I’m a regular at these things, they’re always a lot of fun,” Valentine said. “I just really enjoy games and for me it’s like social practice where I go out and I’m forced to make friends, it’s like being back in elementary school.”

The Juneau Public Libraries hosted two days of Platypus Gaming’s mini-con over the weekend from 1 to 3 p.m. with Saturday’s event at Douglas Public Library and Sunday’s at the Mendenhall Library. Admission was free and participants were given the chance to play for prizes and giveaways that consisted of additional board games, all of which were rated ages 5 and up.

Eric Moots and Jacob Babb carefully strategize over a game of SHŌBU on Saturday at the Douglas Public Library as part of Platypus Gaming’s two-day mini-convention. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Eric Moots and Jacob Babb carefully strategize over a game of SHŌBU on Saturday at the Douglas Public Library as part of Platypus Gaming’s two-day mini-convention. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Josh Warren, a lifelong Juneau resident and president of Platypus Gaming, said he started the organization nearly nine years ago as a way of bringing similar gaming convention experiences he had found in the lower 48 to Juneau.

“I knew it was not terribly affordable for everyone to go to them down south, so I wanted to provide some more local experiences and sort of mirrored it here in Juneau,” Warren said. “We try to have our convention every year, COVID did push us out of one of them.”

Warren said Platypus Gaming typically holds its convention, which is its biggest event, every year in late January, however, due to the renovations at the group’s usual venue at Centennial Hall, Platypus Gaming will be hosting this year’s convention Sept. 8-10. More information about the September convention or upcoming library events can be found at facebook.com/PlatypusBoardGaming or at the group’s website at platypusgaming.org.

Additionally, Warren said he tries to stay on a quarterly schedule with smaller gaming events at the Juneau Public Libraries to give people more options and a slightly less intense version of the conventions.

“Normally, in January we start at 6 p.m. and go until 2 a.m. and then similar schedules the next few days, so it’s a lot more time,” Warren said. “This weekend would be our normal weekend every year and so we wanted to mark it in some way, so we decided to have our library game days on the whole weekend.”

Juneau residents choose from a wide variety of games, seen here, on Saturday during Platypus Gaming’s mini-convention at Juneau Public Libraries over the weekend. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Juneau residents choose from a wide variety of games, seen here, on Saturday during Platypus Gaming’s mini-convention at Juneau Public Libraries over the weekend. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Margaret Luedke, programs and marketing coordinator for the Juneau Public Libraries, said that while the library has been hosting game days with Platypus Gaming for a while, roughly three to four times prior, this marked the first time the library has hosted the gaming group for an entire weekend. Luedke further said she hopes it’s a tradition that can continue as she sees the game days as a great way of welcoming in person programming back to the libraries.

“We were happy to open up our doors to them,” Luedke said. “They’re a great partner to work with and we’re happy to have everyone out here, it’s fun to have people in the library for in person programming again. It feels like we’re still ramping things up since COVID, it’s been a slow ramp towards getting back up to our pre-pandemic programming and doing something like a whole weekend event feels like we’re getting closer.”

• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at jonson.kuhn@juneauempire.com.

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