A well-known friendly-local-game-store in Québec, Chez Geeks, was recently targeted by the Québec Board of the French Language, whose role is to keep Québec’s French heritage alive. The store was targeted primarily for its advertising and selling of English-only board games and an English-only website.
Jared Miller of Tabletop Gaming News interviewed one of the co-owners of Chez Geeks, Giancarlo Caltabiano, and discussed the issue at length. In the interview, Caltabiano briefly describes the store and the services they offer, encouraging gamers to check it out both online and in person.
He then goes on to explain Québec’s Bill 101, the Charter of the French Language, its purpose and how it has been used to target his store, specifically with Article 54: “English only board games that do not have a French equivalent ‘that require non-french vocabulary for their operation are prohibited in the Quebec market.’” Also notably discussed in the fact that video games have been excused from this law.
“I do understand that [the Québec Board of the French Language] want to protect their language, heritage, and the Quebec people, and I’m all for it, UNLESS these laws actually HARM us in the guise of protection. Article 54 was last amended in 1997. Since then, online sales and commerce has increased…Article 54 would, in fact, inadvertently close my store down, and Quebecers would STILL get the English only games online, effectively giving our money to another province or country. So, in my views, Article 54 (along with many others like it prohibiting English only ads of English only board games) not only DOESN’T protect Quebecers, it’s downright detrimental to them.”
To read this article in full, visit TGN’s website here.