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Loot & XP: It's all fun and games at board game cafe in Norman

Penny Ridenour / Red Dirt Report
A group of gamers at Loot & XP.
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NORMAN, Okla.- Family game night has gotten a shot in the arm in Norman.  Loot & XP in Norman opened two years ago as a mild-mannered retail game store by day, board game social space by night.

Jack Claxton and his friend, DC Bueller, are two of the five owners of Loot & XP and are the ones most typically behind the counter at 2228 W Main St.  The store is named as a reference to components in a role-playing game, Loot as in accumulated treasure, and XP which stands for experience points. 

The quintet of friends met at the University of Oklahoma and played games together. After seeing a board game café in Seattle, they came home with a vision.

“We thought it would be really great to see this in Norman, but it didn’t happen. So we thought if no one is going to do it we might as well,” said co-owner Jack Claxton. 

Loot & XP features about 800 games for sale. Although classic games like Monopoly are available, the store specializes in role-playing and advanced thinking games.  Players, who range from middle school students to senior citizens, can play all day for $6. 

 “I like it that there is a diverse group of people who come here,” said Claxton.

Most of the time, players come in groups, but Claxton said many people show up looking to join a game.  Add a small snack bar and players are set for games that may last anywhere from one to eight hours to complete.

Claxton said that was one of the main reasons the store is located on Main Street instead of Campus Corner.  He said players come from Moore, Norman, and small towns south on I35. 

None of the owners have a background in business.  Claxton has a degree in International Studies.  But they were united in a passion for gaming, not just the desire for the store to make money.  This is the first business any of the group has opened.

 “Basically I just wanted to bring the gaming community together and have a place for people to get together and play new games and have a good time,” Bueller said.

The store is nocturnal, serving mostly as a retail outlet until the sun goes down.  But after work and classes, people start to congregate around the games.

Tyler Hon,17, is a student at Norman North.  He frequents Loot & XP at least once a week.

“It’s a very friendly environment.  You can get snacks and play games.  I really like that I can just hang out,”  he said.

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Penny Ridenour

Penny Ridenour is a transplant Oklahoman of almost 20 years with enough red dirt under her...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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