Ray is owner of Black Diamond Games in Concord, California, the
premiere game store in Contra Costa County celebrating its seventh year.
He has an undergrad degree from San Diego State University in Asian
Studies and a MA with honors from Graduate Theological Union in
Berkeley. Studying classical Tibetan and writing his honors thesis, Tendai Influences on Dōgen's Concepts of Enlightenment, qualified Gary to bus tables in a sushi restaurant. Luckily he had other interests.
Gary's interest in computers, especially connecting American Buddhists
electronically in the pre-web era, resulted in meaningful IT employment
around the time of the dot-com boom. He became very good at spending
other peoples money, mastering terms like "burn rate" and observing
esoteric business practices, like selling products at a loss in hopes of
making it up in volume. Anyone who could combine a noun and a verb into
a company name was a genius during these times. These practices are not
generally recommended when spending your own money.
While working in IT, Gary enjoyed running elaborate Dungeons &
Dragons games, usually requiring obscure gaming supplies that Bay Area
game stores neither stocked nor could successfully special order due to
their general lack of competence. This got him thinking, and combined
with a general hatred of the IT field, one which most of his IT peers
shared, he took up a vow of poverty in hopes of running a better game
store. Astonishingly, it worked.
Since starting the store, Gary has dabbled in Euro board games, enjoys
playing Warhammer 40K (Imperial Guard Tallarns FTW), and of course,
engages in his true gaming love, Dungeons & Dragons -- currently
Pathfinder. He played Magic: The Gathering, back in the day and has
dabbled in other RPGs, but it's that love of D&D and those esoteric
accessories that excite him.
Gary is also married with a six your old son named Rocco who's obsessed with Hot Wheels
and time travel. When not working, painting miniatures, planning a
D&D game, or writing in the third person, his priority is family