Nerd Nirvana: Mayhem fosters late night gaming community


Photo: Kait McKinney/Iowa State Daily

Dungeons and Dragons game pieces sit during an active game at Mayhem comics. Mayhem Collectibles is open on Lincoln Way from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays.

The two sat face to face with each other, neither one moving a muscle. It had all come down to this. Neither one was going to back down. They stared each other in the eyes, raised their fists and rolled the dice.

They stared at the game pieces as they sat motionless on the table. One player raised his fist in the air triumphantly while the other slumped back in his chair in defeat. After a tireless battle between two armies of miniature figurines, one had finally emerged the victor.

The Warhammer 40K winner had been crowned.

Scenes like these are typical for a Thursday night inside the local Ames shop, Mayhem Collectibles. Game nights are held nearly every day and feature several different events, including Pokemon League on Tuesdays and Dungeons & Dragons nights on Wednesdays.

Open since 1990, Mayhem Collectibles has been providing some of the most unique comics and collectibles in all of Iowa.

“We have pretty much everything for nerd culture,” said Mayhem employee Jack Schilling.

The shop features two levels of walls packed with comic books, board games, trading cards and much more.

“It’s always fun to stop in and just look around at all of the new things they get,” Joseph Johnson, a junior studying marketing, said.

Mayhem Collectibles prides itself on providing the best and most inviting experience to all its guests.

“Other stores might have a better selection, but we want you to really enjoy the time you spend here and get together as a community,” Schilling said.

Mayhem organizes gatherings for the community and hosts events such as the 24 Hours of Games event, in which the game room stays open for a full 24 hours and holds many different board game events and competitions throughout the day.

Employee Ashe Johnson recalls last night’s Warhammer 40k event as one of his favorite experiences at Mayhem, even though he had to stay up and work throughout the whole event. Johnson had been a customer of Mayhem Collectibles for over six years before joining the staff just over a year ago.

Schilling recalls feeling the welcoming experience of Mayhem during his first time in the store. Schilling ended up winning a promotional giveaway and still considers it one of his favorite memories at Mayhem.

“I really enjoy just being around the customers and interacting with them about their interests,” Schilling said. “There’s no other place where you get to interact with all of these different communities.”

From Dungeons & Dragons experts to those just stopping in to look at the cool knick-knacks, Mayhem welcomes all of its customers with open arms.

“No matter what you’re into, you’ll find something that you’re into or that piques your interest at Mayhem,” Johnson said.

Mayhem Collectibles is open on Lincoln Way from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays, although some game nights can last deep into the night.

Additional information and the event schedule can be viewed on the store’s website.