6 Aug 2016

potatodialogues: (Default)
"The most amazing thing a game group did for their community?"

My regular tabletop group are mostly committee members and volunteers for Gamers & GMs, a small group in the local community that does frequent tabletop events to provide a safe space for community building and sharing experiences with one another. I'm the logistics officer for it, whose primary duties are in the back end and running of the events themselves.

Our typical event format has talks and workshops early in the afternoon, which flows into individual tabletop games mid-evening. We just had our latest one last July 31, 2016, running on the theme of Animated Adventures. Apart from that, the members also run smaller events in other parts of the city, and we're currently trying to build up an online presence with video uploads and other community-related activity.

I'd like to think that we contribute to community building and provide a space that is as safe as it can feasibly be for all the participants involved. Part of the credo of the group is that while we don't judge or restrict others on what they find fun, it's a requirement for our events that the GMs and players respect each other and foster a space in which people will feel welcome -- we don't tolerate sexist behaviour, for example, or people who dictate how other people should play a game.

As personal efforts, the smaller group of our regular table has also become more involved with a local boardgame cafe's tabletop-related events, either as participants or in helping hash out event details. The place has become a regular hangout for a lot of tabletop groups in recent months for a lot of people we have become friends or acquaintances with, which I feel has done a lot in further fostering an atmosphere of community for local players. It's nice when you go to a place just to hang out, and see that people are playing RPGs!

On the other hand, I'm trying to help out in Mahar's latest project, LGBTabletop. It's still underway so I won't talk about it in detail, but it is a project that I am very excited by, especially now that I've officially come out and can contribute openly! This blog is largely an exercise to see if my writing is still sufficient, in the case that I want to be a writing contributor to that project instead of just back end logistics.

I used to help run local conventions in my youth, and had many prior experiences as a moderator for online community activities, so it was natural to offer logistical assistance where it was needed. It's one of those very few moments where I can marry my work and BA/MA degree to my hobby, actually, which I feel has made the former have more meaning in the sense that they are useful outside of generating income. Don't get me wrong, income is great! But being able to use it for personal goals is nice.