Timm Metivier is steadfast. “I want to evangelize gaming,” he says. “I want people getting out of their smartphones, off their iPads, off the Internet, sitting down, looking at somebody across the table, talking face to face, interacting.”
To be clear, when Metivier says gaming, he’s referring to board games. That’s why he’s opening Meepleville Board Game Cafe on the northeast corner of Decatur and Sahara. For the uninitiated, “meeple” is short for “my people” and refers to the figures in the game Carcassonne.
The café aims to be a meeting ground for lovers of all board games, combining play space for 75 people with a retail game section and a counter serving a variety of drinks and snacks. Metivier, who spent years of his childhood without a television and thus has been a longtime lover of the form, has more than 1,000 games in his library. That means classics like Monopoly, Trouble and Life, plus games you’ve never heard of and will barely believe exist. There’s Zombie 15, where you have to survive a zombie apocalypse for 15 minutes. There’s 1960: The Making of the President, in which you must win the election as one of the candidates (spoiler alert: pick Kennedy). There’s an entire glut of games based on old TV shows like Welcome Back, Kotter (I call Assistant Vice Principal Woodman!).
A former cruise-ship magician and comedian, Metivier hopes to attract senior citizens in the morning, set up after-school programs in the afternoon and get the young professionals at night. Scheduled to open by year’s end, Meepleville will charge $5 for all-day play Monday to Thursday and $10 Friday to Sunday.
Can the format, popular in other cities, make it in Vegas? Metivier thinks he knows how to win this game. “What you’re going to have is a community, a group of like-minded people who aren’t going to be stuck in a device. Whatever you like to do, I can help you find a game about it.”
Meepleville Board Game Cafe Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-midnight; Friday & Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. 4704 W. Sahara Ave., 702-444-4540.