SUFFERN, N.Y. -- Sure it's nice to laze around on Christmas day and break out the Monopoly set but 4thought, a new gaming store and social space on Chestnut Street, makes every day feel like a holiday. The concept store, which combines retail sales with a social space for non-electronic gaming, is one of the nation's few hybrid destinations.
The store belongs to Marcia and Robert Fitzsimmons, who opened it last month in a space last occupied by a taqueria. Inspiration for the concept, which is unique to the Hudson Valley, derived from their 26-year-old son Bjorn, a gaming enthusiast who spent three years working at The Brooklyn Strategist in Carroll Gardens, heading up its magic department. Like the Brooklyn outfit, 4thought, which has a carefully curated library of 90 games, focuses entirely on games that require face-to-face interaction. The collection includes Abalone, Chess, Checkers, Dominion, Monopoly and Pandemic, to name a few.
There is a $10 fee to play in the store, which is good for a four-hour stretch. The store is open from 11 am to 8 pm Monday through Saturday.
4thought is hoping to be a game-changer -- pun intended -- in the way we socialize.
"Way too often, when we need to escape, we reach into our pocket for our phones," said Bjorn Fitzsimmons. "We have to remember that it's important to interact."
Fitzsimmons left Brooklyn and came back to his native Rockland County to start his own gaming outpost. He lives in Sloatsburg with his family.
Face time for kids may be even more important because they are so hooked on their electronic devices. The store manager hopes to start up an after-school program, and to eventually offer a limited cafe-style menu.
Kids get absorbed in computer games that don't require them to do much thinking, he says. Contrast that to Settlers of Catan, which forces players to utilize more decision-making skills. "When you're playing a board game, and you have to take in the entirety of your environment, it's easier to see that you're an agent of control, as compared to playing a character that's exploding birds."
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