DAVID McGucken was secretly thrilled when the kids at Howard State School brought in Pokemon trade cards to class.

Rather than tell them to pack them away, the former principal encouraged kids to grab a friend and play.

Reading, problem solving, team work and learning to lose gracefully can all be learnt from snap or other table-top games, he said.

"Unfortunately schools will often introduce rules for kids not to play, usually with good intent," he said.

"But the more choice that children are given to play, the better they will behave and the wider their learning can be."

The 44-year-old Toogoom man, who clocked up decades worth of teaching experience in the Fraser Coast and in northern Queensland, now sells board games for a living.

David decided to pursuit his dream of opening a hobby store after he retired as the principal of Howard State School last year.

Former Howard State School principal Dave McGucken with the table top war game Warhammer 40,000 in his Good Games shop at Pialba Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle
Former Howard State School principal Dave McGucken with the table top war game Warhammer 40,000 in his Good Games shop at Pialba Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle Alistair Brightman

He said the eight-year stint there had seen him achieve everything he had wanted to in the profession.

"Something I'd always wanted to do was open a hobby store and I didn't want to turn-around one day and say I wish I had tried."

Now his working week involves hosting game nights and international gaming event qualifiers.

He attributes the growing popularity of the pastime to television show "The Big Bang Theory", which made after-work sessions of Dungeons and Dragons cool.

"Once upon a time, if you table-topped gamed, you tended to be ostracised," he said.

He has already introduced more than 140 players to the card game Magic the Gathering, he said.

Now about 30 people gather on week nights at his store for gaming sessions. Age is no barrier to enjoying the atmosphere of friendly rivalry.

"We've got young children, right through to elderly people come through the store," he said.

"Our youngest child is probably about five-years-old," he said.

 

Find Fraser Coast Good Games at 8/7 Liuzzi St, Pialba.

Ring 4194 1664 or find on Facebook.


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