Gaming isn’t always about being plugged in and tuned out. Sometimes, it’s a social and even charitable experience. Just ask Glens Falls couple Tori Trombley and Aaron Cordiale.
In 2017, Trombley and Cordiale started Joined by Gaming as a way to contribute to and get to know their community while having fun playing an array of old-school board games and modern video games. “I was craving an inviting, inclusive, open space where I could meet people and try different games,” says Trombley. “I figured I couldn’t be the only person looking for this and set out to create it myself.”
Trombley sat down with Cordiale (her fiancé), and together they made a list of gaming-related aspirations. Soon after, Joined by Gaming was born, holding pop-up gaming events throughout the Capital Region. Starting this year, the group began hosting regular game nights every other Thursday at Saratoga Coffee Traders and has frequently partnered with other local businesses such as the Freakopolis Geekery in Whitehall, the World Awareness Children’s Museum in Glens Falls and Northshire Bookstore here in Saratoga Springs (where the group held a dual fundraising and gaming event earlier this month). Trombley says they’re always looking to connect with new businesses to develop new experiences. “One of my favorite game nights was probably Board Games and Brews at Common Roots Brewing Company. It was the first time we did something for adults only instead of the entire family, and everyone seemed to have a great time.” (Common Roots recently suffered a devastating structure fire that destroyed the majority of its building. No one was injured.)
Trombley and Cordiale have also been using Joined by Gaming to raise money for the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center. Since 2017, they’ve raised around $2000 through Extra Life, an organization that unites gamers around the globe to play games in support of local children’s’ hospitals. “Gamers from all around the area fundraise year round to help local children get the care they need, and we’re so honored to be a part of that community,” says Trombley. In total, local gamers have donated $120,000 to the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital.
Over the last two years, Joined by Gaming has raised money through raffles and its annual 24-hour gaming marathon in early November. Trombley says they have another event in the works for this summer at Freakopolis Geekery—an all-role-playing games fundraiser (Dungeons & Dragons fans get ready) with various raffles and giveaways. But you don’t have to be a skilled gamer to enjoy Joined by Gamings’ events: Trombley and Cordiale encourage gamers of all skill levels and ages to come out, even beginners. “I try to have a variety of different options so there’s a style available to suit everyone’s needs,” says Trombley. “If a game interests someone but they don’t know how to play, Aaron or myself can teach them.”
As for the couple’s wedding, which is slated for September, Trombley confirms there will be board games aplenty for her wedding guests. That, however, will be a private gaming event.