Benjamin James demonstrates his automated mah-jongg table, which facilitates lessons and group play.

At R U Game?, it’s not just about building trading card decks or collections of Dungeons & Dragons miniatures. It’s about building community, face-to-face.

The independent store and play venue for board, card, and tabletop games opened in December next to the Emagine Saline movie theater. The former virtual golfing facility is nearly 5,000 square feet, conspicuously clean, and very, very purple.

It’s owner Benjamin James’s favorite color, according to his father, Chris, who laughs and admits, “I’m not a big fan of it now, because I’m the one that painted it.” 

Chris, who was filling in while his son and other staff were off at a gaming convention, reports considerable local interest in Magic: The Gathering, Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Battle Spirits, and My Hero Academia, among other titles.

“Very much family-friendly in the front [showroom], nerd-based in the back,” he says—the back is a spacious gaming area. One couple even exchanged wedding vows there, and along with their small party “they spent the rest of the evening playing board games.”

Customers of all ages can easily spend hours sampling the board game library. For $5, a group of up to six can try out a few titles to see if they want to take any home. If so, the fee is credited toward the purchase.

R U Game?, 1345 E. Michigan Ave.(Commons at Sauk Tr.). (734) 316–2045. Daily 10 a.m.–10 p.m.