DM moving to the U.S.


Gamer Life General Discussion

1 to 50 of 103 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Scarab Sages

Hey all, I've been DMing in Australia since 1988 and have been lucky enough to have two long term groups over the years in a country where the gaming community is kind of small.

Next February I'm moving to the U.S. At the moment I'm researching which city I want to move to and I thought why not ask the Paizo community members who live in the U.S.

So what's it like living in your city/state?

Is there work available?

What's the cost of living?

How big is the gaming community in your area?

Suggestions appreciated.
Reebo


It might be helpful to get an idea of what kind of work you are looking for.

Shadow Lodge

Yep. The answer to your questions - especially the one about work availability - can vary widely even in the same location between two different fields.


Reebo Kesh wrote:


So what's it like living in your city/state?

Is there work available?

What's the cost of living?

How big is the gaming community in your area?

Suggestions appreciated.
Reebo

I am from Northern NJ...

It is okay...we are close to NY City....we have lots of malls...and dinners.

Depends on what type of work you do....

Well in Bergan Country it is stupid high...other counties not too bad.

There is a very healthy gamer community...I play with two different groups...run a game for another group...and at least know of a couple of other groups around.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The American Midwest is a strange grab-bag of enlightened and backwoods with occasional glimpses of neat stuff.

While it is a neat idea to suggest that you head to greater Chicagoland, Illinois is an exceptionally dysfunctional mess and I cannot in good conscience recommend it to anyone at this time.

Wisconsin is a little bit better, as is Indiana on some points, but definitely research social situations as well, imo.

Indiana has Gen Con for the next five years or so, and Ohio has Origins (another large gaming convention).

There are a bunch of gaming groups in the Midwest, in varying degrees of fanaticism.

Liberty's Edge

Stay out of Illinois. It is the worst state in the Union.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Go to Paizo City

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Um, yeah...

The US is almost a million square miles larger than Australia and has more than ten times the population.

Knowing what field your looking in, where you're coming from, what sort of climate (environmental, social, etc) you want or can tolerate, etc would be helpful.

Also, have you lined up the proper visa and work permits? I admit I'm not quite sure of everything involved, but I understand there can be quite a wait time.


Depends on what you like in gaming. I'll list my opinion of active gaming areas, cheaper places to live, and what may be a fair balance.

San Francisco is absolutely an Awesome place for gaming. Wide range of gamers, games, and areas to buy them.

On the otherhand, it is possibly one of the most expensive areas to live in the US. You can spend 100K a year on a studio apartment.

------------

Salt Lake City seems to be fantasy central (those Mormons seem to have something to do with loving Fantasy). It's FAR smaller than SF, but seems to have a lot of gamers in droves there. There are NOT as many shops however that I know of, but it is FAAAAR cheaper to live than SF. It is probably one of the cheaper places to live.

------------

New York City has it's fair share of gaming, but not quite as open or nice as San Francisco. It's also up there in price, but probably easier to find a place that's slightly cheaper than San Francisco.

-------------

Atlanta Georgia has a decent size gaming group, but you also seem to have many who are actually rather anti-gamer as well (an oddity, but there are those who still equate RPGs with Devil worship that I've actually run into). It IS FAR cheaper than NYC or SF.

-------------

Those are areas where I travelled to regularly. I also went to Las Vegas, but I normally didn't have time to look into the gaming scene there much.

It seems that the places I was at sort of went to the extremes in costs and or gaming in some ways...I'm certain there are other places which have a better middle ground.


Being Western Canadian, I'm a little curious. What's messed up with Illionois?


I live in Arkansas, which is in the mid southern states. It's a beautiful state with a lot of natural scenery still left, but the job opportunities can be kind of limiting, with it being one of the poorer states in the Union. Still, you'd be welcome at my table if you showed up!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Trigger Loaded wrote:
Being Western Canadian, I'm a little curious. What's messed up with Illionois?

Everything.


I'm in Northern California, and we have a few Aussies here. Cost of living is high in California; that's arguably statewide. That said, this close to Oregon, everything else is fairly cheap, and a strong gaming community, for such a relatively unpopulated area. Not much to do in other than game, I suppose.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
captain yesterday wrote:
Everything.

That's descriptive. So Godzilla is stomping around in Chicago while the Illuminati wage a shadow war on the zombie apocalypse and politicians are kidnapping babies to serve as supersoldiers for Pentex that has set an absolute monopoly in place?

The Exchange

I live in Central Florida in Celebration (30 mins from Orlando, 15 mins from Disney) and when I first got here there was no real gaming community and it was hard to find games. I found one 45 mins away and decided to start looking more locally and started a RPG/Boardgame club for our town with 2 other guys I found in town. We now have 3 different groups running games and roughly 22 regulars in town who attend those groups.
Cost of living in Celebration is highish but just outside our lil' town is much cheaper.
Work is available in many varieties but I don't know about if they pay good in the area or not...I assume it depends on the field.
If you do come our way I can set you up with a game in town or help direct you to anything within around 45 minutes of me. Just let me know.

The Exchange

Trigger Loaded wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
Everything.
That's descriptive. So Godzilla is stomping around in Chicago while the Illuminati wage a shadow war on the zombie apocalypse and politicians are kidnapping babies to serve as supersoldiers for Pentex that has set an absolute monopoly in place?

No he meant that it is a whole lot like Canada.....lol.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Trigger Loaded wrote:


That's descriptive. So Godzilla is stomping around in Chicago while the Illuminati wage a shadow war on the zombie apocalypse and politicians are kidnapping babies to serve as supersoldiers for Pentex that has set an absolute monopoly in place?

Actually... I think given how things have been going lately the above would be an *improvement* At least it'd be 'cooler'?

Without going too deep into it, the politicians (of all stripes) are consuming the state faster than the Devourer Wyrm could eat itself, and any effort at forward progress ends up with three additional steps backwards.

Shadow Lodge

The expanded Dayton area has several local stores that support PFS, work isn't too bad depending on your job skills, and my home group will be looking for a new GM. :D

Scarab Sages

Thanks for the response. Yeah I should have mentioned what I do for work.

I'm a graphic designer/artist by trade with IT knowledge.
I won the Green Card lottery so work and VISA covered.

As for population, we have 22 million. You have 300+ million people. So, so many more gamers!

I would love to work in NYC as I fell in love with it after attending New York Comic Con last year.


Alternately, the greater Seattle area. Very artistic, very techy, should be less expensive than NYC, and it's close to Paizo's offices. XD So there's PaizoCon, too.

The city itself is somewhat expensive, but there's lots of affordable areas around it that are close to the freeway.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Central New York State here. Rochester, specifically. Just to set the record straight, that's about a 6 hour drive, by highway, from New York City. Central and Western NY has some beautiful, rural areas, and some absolutely fantastic glacier carved lakes and gorges. Great wine industry, and lots of things to do on weekends. Rochester has a very healthy theatre community.

Cost of Living - It's New York. I believe we are the highest taxed state in the country, and Monroe county I believe has the third highest property taxes in the country.

Work....depends on what you are looking for.

Gaming, yes, very healthy gaming community. Two large universities, both of which have yearly Cons, and another one a short distance away.

Liberty's Edge

NYC is a festering hell mouth.

I hate to be a downer, but I'd probably be focusing more on lining up a potential job or three before worrying about finding a gaming group. I mean, sure, considering the local gaming community once you have an idea where you'll be able to find work is fine, but the other way around seems sort of backwards.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Reebo Kesh wrote:
Next February I'm moving to the U.S.

Did they warn you about the ebola?

But you need to be more specific about your questions. Such as what kind of work you're looking for. And your preferred environment. And yes, generally the better places are going to be rather painful in rents.

I live in the Hudson County, NJ area, one walk and a Path ride to the City.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I would suggest Madison, Wi. But if you're considering New York you're not going to be very happy with our liberal cow town. Tho it does have a large University and it's very internationally friendly.


Krensky wrote:

NYC is a festering hell mouth.

I hate to be a downer, but I'd probably be focusing more on lining up a potential job or three before worrying about finding a gaming group. I mean, sure, considering the local gaming community once you have an idea where you'll be able to find work is fine, but the other way around seems sort of backwards.

Smile when you say that....


I live in Brooklyn, NY, which is currently experiencing a bit of a renaissance due to hipsters who feel nyc is too expensive and don't mind living in neighborhoods with questionable histories. The Renaissance may be ending, as hipsters leave due to the downside of the gentrification they caused begins to affect them as well as their neighbors, but it's turning less into a white flight and more of a musical (chairs) neighborhoods as some cash is spread around, new construction creates places for people to live in addition to raising rents all around, and there is limited economic mobility as some companies come to brooklyn to pay less rent than in manhattantown.


Madison is a lovely city. The used bookstores there are heaven.

Silver Crusade

Reebo Kesh wrote:

Thanks for the response. Yeah I should have mentioned what I do for work.

I'm a graphic designer/artist by trade with IT knowledge.
I won the Green Card lottery so work and VISA covered.

I live in the S.F. Bay Area and you should have no issues finding work in the tech sector. Depending upon your experience you should be able to make a decent amount of GP. Which you will need to do, the average price of a home in the "Silicon Valley' is around 900K.

There are much worse places you could live than here as far as weather, scenery, activities. From my home the ocean is about an hour away and the mountains are about three, easy for daytrips or an overnighter.

Shadow Lodge

For a career in graphic design and IT, I'd recommend concentrating your job search in the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and NYC. Austin, Texas is a distant fourth, but with a much lower cost of living than the other three.

San Francisco and New York, however, have the highest cost of living in the nation. Expect to live with roommates in those markets. Seattle is more livable, but with a smaller job market.

I highly recommend looking around for companies and professional blogs that do the sort of work you're looking for, and find out where they live. Focus on your job search there. I assure you that wherever you end up, if it's in/around a city with a good graphic design base, will have a good gamer community.

Where in Australia are you from?


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I should also point out, no matter where you move, someone somewhere will ask you to say "G'day mate!"

Crocodile Dundee burrowed deep into America.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

You can also find the IT and graphic design work in New England if you want to focus on the medical world. Plus you have great gaming people lots of choices and ocean and mountains at your back door. Cost of living is on the higher side but so is the pay. You get four seasons so not sure how you are with snow.
Boston is a great city and very family friendly a lot of institutions of higher learning around so you generally find lots of gamers. The economy is pretty good here for the most part.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

On this list, Minneapolis is the best city to live in the US.

The job market is good. Wages are above national average. Housing prices are at national average (meaning you can make enough to afford your own place here).

We are home to Fantasy Flight Games.

Our oldest gaming store, The Source, is an excellent place to purchase all your nerdly goods. It's fallen behind a little, but a couple times has been voted best gaming store in the country.

It's home to a surprising number of immigrants, for not being on a coast. We have a lot of NGO's who call Minnesota home and they help refugees gain entry to the US and they end up coming here, since that's where there's more support. For example, we have the second largest Hmong population in the country by state, but St. Paul has the largest Hmong population in the country by city.

Having large numbers of immigrants from nearly every continent gives the city a very worldly feel. It also means that people are used to meeting and interacting with people from other countries.

We have a thriving arts community. Per capita, we have the second highest number of theater seats in the country. There are lots of spaces for various other physical arts (sculpture/painting). The music scene is pretty dead though (which is why you don't see us ranked high generally for artists).

Minneapolis/St. Paul has the best city park system in the country.

The weather does get cold in winter. But at the same time, we don't have earthquakes, mudslides or forest fires.

We have zero poisonous creatures. Okay, there are three, two species of snake and one spider, but they're all so rare that I've never even heard of anyone being killed by one. Ever.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Irontruth wrote:
We have zero poisonous creatures. Okay, there are three, two species of snake and one spider, but they're all so rare that I've never even heard of anyone being killed by one. Ever.

Because no one lived to tell the tale.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

I'd very, very strongly recommend finding a good job first, then worrying about the rest. You can't enjoy the climate and leisure activities if you can't eat. The U.S. doesn't have the social safety net of most other developed nations, so gainful employment with good benefits (health insurance, etc.) is your key objective. Plan on going wherever the work is, not looking for work where you go.

Because of the size of the country, it's typically not financially viable to move somewhere, look for a job, and then have to finance a move across the country when you finally find one. Most especially if you have bills to pay in the meantime, and get locked into a year lease for a place to live and then realize you have no income with which to pay the rent.

Some other notes:

  • Be aware that when job salaries are listed in the U.S., they mean before taxes. Expect to actually have maybe half or 2/3 left once you've paid those, and paid into your health insurance plans and so on.
  • Be aware that the cost of living can vary by as much as a factor of three, but that salaries typically won't. You can live very well in Houston for the same salary that makes you a pauper, unable to make ends meet, in San Francisco. So always check the cost of living index before you evaluate a salary.

  • Liberty's Edge

    Because you need to get a job.

    Once you get the job, then we can get the khaki’s, and then you get the chicks gaming group.

    Liberty's Edge

    DungeonmasterCal wrote:
    Irontruth wrote:
    We have zero poisonous creatures. Okay, there are three, two species of snake and one spider, but they're all so rare that I've never even heard of anyone being killed by one. Ever.
    Because no one lived to tell the tale.

    You do have bears! But as I have been in Minnesota several times and I have a few friends that live there, it is safe to say that the state is solid.

    Liberty's Edge

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Trigger Loaded wrote:
    captain yesterday wrote:
    Everything.
    That's descriptive. So Godzilla is stomping around in Chicago while the Illuminati wage a shadow war on the zombie apocalypse and politicians are kidnapping babies to serve as supersoldiers for Pentex that has set an absolute monopoly in place?

    Godzilla would be an improvement.

    I do not feel I need to type anything specific about how horrific of a state Illinois is, but rather direct you towards the multitude of links provided by Google. Search crime, schools, work, fraud, politicians, bleah, bleah, you name it.

    Everything was the right answer. Let's move on.


    Lots of these people are crazy. They are suggesting that you live someplace where water doesn't stay in it useful liquid form. While ice may be pleasant in a refreshing beverage, treating humans that way is cruel.

    I live in Orange County, California. When you look at the county it's sort of like a big city, just decentralized. I hear that weather is similar to the northern coast of Australia.

    There's lots of companies here, and lots of gamers. I game IRL Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and there's games I would join if only I could be in two places at once.

    Liberty's Edge

    If you want a good gaming community, find a city with at least an FCS school that is located in the northern or at least central US while avoiding Illinois (parts of Texas are probably okay too).


    DungeonmasterCal wrote:
    Irontruth wrote:
    We have zero poisonous creatures. Okay, there are three, two species of snake and one spider, but they're all so rare that I've never even heard of anyone being killed by one. Ever.
    Because no one lived to tell the tale.

    Just looked it up, the last known fatality from a snake bite in Minnesota was 1868.

    Since 1996, a total of three people have been bit, but all survived.

    Much safer than Australia, where even the trees are poisonous.

    As for bears, 3 people in the US have died from black bears since 2010, none of them in Minnesota.

    Liberty's Edge

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Dying from a bear attack is less painful than surviving one :)


    Tin Foil Yamakah wrote:
    Reebo Kesh wrote:

    Thanks for the response. Yeah I should have mentioned what I do for work.

    I'm a graphic designer/artist by trade with IT knowledge.
    I won the Green Card lottery so work and VISA covered.

    I live in the S.F. Bay Area and you should have no issues finding work in the tech sector. Depending upon your experience you should be able to make a decent amount of GP. Which you will need to do, the average price of a home in the "Silicon Valley' is around 900K.

    There are much worse places you could live than here as far as weather, scenery, activities. From my home the ocean is about an hour away and the mountains are about three, easy for daytrips or an overnighter.

    SF is pretty good. Great gaming community. SF itself is pretty pricy, I was going to ask where you found a "NICE" place (rather than a condemned dump about to be torn down) for 900K, but then noticed you included the entirety of Silicon Valley.

    extending out, some areas of the actual valley you could probably get some decent places for under 500K.

    It has some GREAT year round weather. IF SF itself were more affordable I might actually try to live there. For affordable housing though, I'd have to commute at least an hour (or two depending on traffic) a day...OR do the same (hour or two by rail) on public transport. Hate that type of commute.

    But great for gaming and other things!

    Freehold DM wrote:
    Krensky wrote:

    NYC is a festering hell mouth.

    I hate to be a downer, but I'd probably be focusing more on lining up a potential job or three before worrying about finding a gaming group. I mean, sure, considering the local gaming community once you have an idea where you'll be able to find work is fine, but the other way around seems sort of backwards.

    Smile when you say that....

    NYC is awesome! Well, as long as you don't go to the bad areas, but overall it's a GREAT PlACE! If you don't like NYC, well...

    Of course, I'm counting the surrounding places like Brooklyn, so I guess my opinion could be variable due to that.

    [reason not to do that for SF is that Oakland is right next to SF...and I'm one that tries to stay out of Oakland].
    Cheaper than SF though.


    I visited NYC once. It's very shiny when seen from a distance, but pretty normal once you actually get there. XD The first thing to understand is that a fairly significant part of the area - especially on the island - is a tourist trap. It's priced accordingly. You have to understand the place like a local if you want to pay a reasonable price for, well, anything.


    Rednal wrote:
    The first thing to understand is that a fairly significant part of the area - especially on the island - is a tourist trap. It's priced accordingly. You have to understand the place like a local if you want to pay a reasonable price for, well, anything.

    Sounds like Reykjavik, only cheaper!

    Sovereign Court

    Irontruth summed up why the Twin Cities are pretty great. As a MPLS Nordeaster I agree even if im a little biased. The midwest is pretty great I mean listen to what rappers have to say about it!


    5 people marked this as a favorite.
    Philo Pharynx wrote:

    Lots of these people are crazy. They are suggesting that you live someplace where water doesn't stay in it useful liquid form. While ice may be pleasant in a refreshing beverage, treating humans that way is cruel.

    I live in Orange County, California. When you look at the county it's sort of like a big city, just decentralized. I hear that weather is similar to the northern coast of Australia.

    There's lots of companies here, and lots of gamers. I game IRL Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and there's games I would join if only I could be in two places at once.

    Yes, our water turns to ice for part of the year. I know this, because we still have water.

    Oh, on the gaming front, I was part of an inaugural con this year, MinnLoCo (Minneapolis Long Con). It was great. Unlike a normal convention, where you hop from game to game, we organized games that took the entire weekend. You had the same group, same GM, same characters (mostly) and got to play a longer format, but in a very condensed time frame. Was a ton of fun and I'm hoping we get more people next year. We had about 25 people in 4 different games.

    RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

    Irontruth wrote:
    Philo Pharynx wrote:

    Lots of these people are crazy. They are suggesting that you live someplace where water doesn't stay in it useful liquid form. While ice may be pleasant in a refreshing beverage, treating humans that way is cruel.

    I live in Orange County, California. When you look at the county it's sort of like a big city, just decentralized. I hear that weather is similar to the northern coast of Australia.

    There's lots of companies here, and lots of gamers. I game IRL Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and there's games I would join if only I could be in two places at once.

    Yes, our water turns to ice for part of the year. I know this, because we still have water.

    Ooh! Apply some cold water to that bu- Wait. Nevermind.


    I live in New Jersey, and have all my life, and as much as I will probably spend the rest of my days there, I don't recommend moving here. There are other states in the U.S. that have lower taxes, better job opportunities, and rich, vibrant gaming communities. Good luck in your new endeavor, I hope you do well.

    Liberty's Edge

    Well, in fairness, Reebo's coming from Australia, so they're used to decades long droughts.

    They may be traumatised by precipitation in wetter parts of the country.

    Scarab Sages

    InVinoVeritas wrote:

    For a career in graphic design and IT, I'd recommend concentrating your job search in the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and NYC. Austin, Texas is a distant fourth, but with a much lower cost of living than the other three.

    San Francisco and New York, however, have the highest cost of living in the nation. Expect to live with roommates in those markets. Seattle is more livable, but with a smaller job market.

    I highly recommend looking around for companies and professional blogs that do the sort of work you're looking for, and find out where they live. Focus on your job search there. I assure you that wherever you end up, if it's in/around a city with a good graphic design base, will have a good gamer community.

    Where in Australia are you from?

    Great advice there InVinoVertis, I will take it on board.

    NYC would be ideal but I'm realistic, all I want to do is live in the U.S. a quick plane trip will get me to the gaming and comic conventions around the country, as apposed to the 20+ hours flight I have to do to get anywhere from Australia.

    I live in Sydney which is basically the only place in all Australia that is worth living accordoing to Sydney siders while the rest of the country looks on like a jealous sibling. However compared to the other cities the cost of living is getting beyond ridiculous and property prizes are soaring.

    Why am I moving? I have no family here anymore, my folks moved back to their home country because they couldn't afford it here; the population is too small so niche groups like gamers are very small; I love to travel, I don't like 20+ hour flights, I'm into gaming (RPGs and video), TV shows and movies, comics and love big cities.
    There's nothing in Australia I'm remotely interested in.
    Yeah immigrated to the wrong country I did ;-)

    1 to 50 of 103 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
    Community / Forums / Gamer Life / General Discussion / DM moving to the U.S. All Messageboards

    Want to post a reply? Sign in.