About OP

My name’s Morgan Hardy, and I started Organized Play in September, 2009. Why start a game store, a traditional high failure rate business, in the midst of the worst economy of my lifetime? Well, I wanted to provide a space that encourages in-store gaming, particularly for role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons. As time’s passed – at the time of me writing this, it’s been about six months – I’ve also found that we’re becoming a home for Magic: the Gathering, board games and several miniatures games.

As big a project as OP has been, it’s more than just me. Here’s some of the people who have been instrumental in making OP a success – there’s more, for sure, but I wanted to provide special thanks to them:

* Elizabeth Cahill: Elizabeth’s help and encouragement with the store started when it was just an idea that I was throwing around. Her assistance in helping me learn retail, bookkeeping and all the details that make a successful operation were amazingly helpful – not to mention coming in on most Saturdays when I was wiped out from Friday Night Magic. She also helped develop the OP little viking logo, taking my primitive ink pen scrawl and turning it into something that’s actually readable. She was also vital in helping me find the location for the store, locating artists for First Friday, doing the initial setup on the Web site and Twitter, convincing me that Preston was a good idea… there’s so many other things I could list here. I really can’t thank her enough.

* Kevin Grigsby: Kevin works here on Wednesday and Friday nights, and has been instrumental in showing me what the Magic: the Gathering community here in Knoxville – and the East Tennessee region – wanted out of a gaming store. In addition, Kevin’s six years of retail experience have also been very influential in helping establish the store.

* A.J. Nicholson: A.J.’s done a lot of work around the store, such as helping with adjusting the ramp, electrical installation and hanging the (really nice) gridwall. He’s brought a lot to the table that I would have never been able to do alone.

* Ken Austin: Not only is Ken a fabulous customer, he also helps out a great deal with grabbing this and that from Lowe’s, picking up lunch, and generally being an amazing support system for me when I can’t get away from the shop. He also DMs an obscene amount of games at the shop, and is always willing to try out a new game with someone who’s needing an extra player.

* My Parents: It may be a little sappy, but my parents have been very helpful in giving me advice, whether it be for taxes, cash flow management, or even the occasional t-shirt mockup sent in the mail. They’re small business owners too, and them being there to be a sounding board whenever I felt a little lost has been a great relief to me.

* Jay Anderson: Jay’s been a tireless runner of events at the shop, as well as coordinating multiple game days and events here, including – soon – our D&D Encounters program! I could never have had the time to do so many RPGA-related events without his help.

* The Knoxville Gaming Community At-Large: It’s a small business, so there’s a lot of small problems that come up with being a small business that you don’t get when you go to the mall or a more refined operation. So thanks, everyone, for every time it’s been cold in the shop, or when the computer’s gone down, or when the circuit breaker’s blown… I really appreciate your patience. 🙂



  1. Hi, My name is Thomas Lynaugh. I have recently moved to Knoxville and was trying to find a good comic/game shop to met people at. I see from the site that you hold Magic the Gathering tournaments, but was wondering if you hold anything for the World of Warcraft TCG, either tournaments or even selling/trading the cards.

  2. Hi Morgan —

    We think what you’re doing is awesome! We’re psyched you’re now a part of our Preferred Retailer Program! Let me know what we can do for you and we’ll do everything we can to make it happen!


    Margaret Weis Productions

  3. Hello Morgan, I was in your store over the weekend and just wanted to let you know how impressed I was! You’ve done a brilliant job and I wish I lived closer so I could be a regular participant. 🙂

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