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SIUE alum opens board game business in downtown Edwardsville


siueboardgamebizA Southern Illinois University Edwardsville alum with a master’s degree in geography is putting his expertise – and his entrepreneurial talents – to work in his new board game business in downtown Edwardsville.

Otherside Games, located at 231 North Main St. in Edwardsville, opened Monday, Aug. 1, and is the brainchild of Alex Tidball. The 30-year-old entrepreneur caught on to board games and miniature games during college and never stopped gaming. Otherside Games offers a broad selection of board games, card games, miniatures and miniature painting supplies for players of all ages and abilities.

A sample of Otherside Games’ popular products include Settlers of Catan, Pandemic, 7 Wonders and Carcassonne. The store also stocks several miniature games including Warhammer 40k, Star Wars X-Wing, Malifaux and Infinity. Tidball said there are several miniature gaming events throughout the week and a board game night on Saturdays at 6 p.m.

“Our game space and game demos are free to use and open to the public, so we invite everyone to join us,” said Tidball. Tournaments for Magic the Gathering, a trading card game, are also scheduled throughout the week.

“We definitely carry more miniatures than any other store in the area,” he said. “Tabletop games offer the social element of interaction between players. A portion of our downtown space is specifically designed to welcome avid gamers to stay and play.”

Tidball and his wife, Carolyn, approached the Illinois Metro East Small Business Development Center earlier this year with questions about starting a business in Illinois. Interim Director Jo Ann DiMaggio May worked with them on issues such as registering with the county, marketing their business and fine-tuning their business plan.

“Jo Ann was incredibly helpful to us,” Carolyn Tidball said. “We went to see her a few times just prior to opening Otherside Games. The expertise she provided was awesome, and it came at no cost to us.”

DiMaggio May said it is clear that Alex Tidball is dedicated to his business.

“Carolyn and Alex have worked hard to make their venture a reality,” said DiMaggio May. “Otherside Games is sure to impress all who visit the store, because Alex’s passion is evident in everything he does. I look forward to all of the Tidball’s success.”

Otherside Games is open 1 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 1 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-midnight Saturday and noon-8 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call (618) 692-5525 and visit

— From the Illinois Business Journal

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