CAR-PGa NEWSLETTER Vol. 29, No. 1, January 2020

David Millians, Editor

Paideia School, 1509 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia 30307 USA

millians.david@paideiaschool.org

LETTER FROM THE CHAIR

Hello Everyone,

It’s hard to believe a year has already passed and we’re now at the date that planning committees everywhere used as their deadline: 2020. A lot has changed in the tabletop gaming world, so I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on how far we’ve come.

Tabletop games are doing better than ever. Dungeons & Dragons has had double-digit growth for the past five years, bolstered by live-play streaming shows like Critical Role. Luxury items have sprung up that no one could have dreamed of and the hobby regularly gets coverage by major news outlets. As a result of this popularity, the gaming population has become more diverse too, with 38% of the population identifying as female and rising. This is historic for many reasons, not the least of which being that just ten years ago, mentioning you played D&D was something that would guarantee you wouldn’t get a date…or even a job.

But it’s not all good news. We previously discussed an initiative to ban used books in prisons that emphasized a shift to electronic reading…at a cost to the prisoner. The fact that the director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) in charge of the initiative was also a former general manager at JPay, a business that produces electronic books, seemed like an obvious bias. This has a direct impact on role-playing games and the opportunity to rehabilitate prisoners, an experience our membership has personal experience with. Sure enough, West Virginia launched an initiative with Global Tel Link (GTL) to offer tablets to prisoners at a cost of five cents per minute. To put this price in context, prisoners can make as low as four cents per hour — less than a minute to read a book online. Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, and New York all attempted to ban book donations but relented under public pressure, which reinforces the importance of advocacy work and the existence of the CAR-PGA.

The CAR-PGA has made important strides in reaching out to the community. Our newsletters our now digitally archived and available for all to read. We have a stronger Facebook (60 followers) and LinkedIn (51 members) presence and, of course, our Google Group. We also updated the CAR-PGA web page to include a Best Practices section. The entire site is better indexed with an updated Join Us section. Despite all these improvements, we only managed to add one additional member. If the CAR-PGA is going to thrive in 2020, we need to do better. Any help you can provide in spreading the word about our organization and sharing the Join link would be greatly appreciated: http://www.car-pga.org/join-us.

It’s become clear in the past year that the vulnerable members of the game community are increasingly at risk, with many gamers just one health crisis away from bankruptcy. To that end, I’d like to propose a new section of our site for Gamers in Need. It would link to the RPG Creators Relief Fund (RCRF). I encourage any gamers in need to apply to the RCRF first but recognize not everyone may qualify, so we would also include the myriad crowdfunding pages for individual game designers as well. I’m not aware of any other organization that is currently collecting these efforts into one place, and I think the CAR-PGA is uniquely suited to raise awareness about the topic. Please let me know what you think by email or on our Google group.

If you can take the time for yourself, please do — really take the time to relax while it’s still quiet before we start it all over again in 2020. I’m grateful for all of your support and look forward to a productive year for the CAR-PGA.

Thank you for all you do to promote tabletop gaming and Happy New Year!

Sincerely,

Mike Tresca

Committee Chair

NEW MATERIAL

FROM DAVID MILLIANS

Gault, Matthew (2019 Nov 26) Queer Erasure in ‘Magic: The Gathering’ Book Infuriated Fans, Drew Apology. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/xwebkk/queer-erasure-in-magic-the-gathering-book-infuriated-fans-drew-apology. Clumsy handling of representation in the MTG universe of media.

Gerber, Meredith (2019 Dec 9) DriveThruRPG.com Bands Publisher for Slander. https://oneblogshelf.blogspot.com/2019/12/drivethrurpgcom-bans-publisher-for.html. Publisher Transfelinism removed from online store for game Police Procedure for hate speech against police.

Hamon, Amanda (2019 ) Starfinder to Land on Amazon Alexa!. https://paizo.com/community/blog/v5748dyo6sh18?STARFINDER-TO-LAND-ON-AMAZON-ALEXA. Paizo partners with Amazon for Alexa-based sci fi adventure.

Hollid, Zach (2019 Dec 28) Report Finds that Half of China’s 600+ Million Gamers are Now Female. https://radiichina.com/report-finds-that-half-of-chinas-600-million-gamers-are-now-female/. Role-playing is the overall most popular type of game.

inuyasharuls (2019 October) Character Sheets for people with dyslexia. https://www.reddit.com/r/DnD/comments/d4s0rw/character_sheets_for_people_with_dyslexia/. Fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons support.

Kickstarter United (2019 Dec 11) Exciting News!. https://twitter.com/ksr_united/status/1204896571835461633. Kickstarter and new union sign agreement.

Kuntz, Rob (2019 December 9) GENCON IX: When Many Sought Adventure. https://www.enworld.org/threads/gencon-ix-when-many-sought-adventure.669026/. Celebrating adventure.

O’Brien, Michael (2019 Dec 12) The Semester if over and Taylor U students’ Call of Cthulhu scenario ‘Refractions of Glasston’ is now out!. https://www.chaosium.com/blogthe-semester-is-over-and-taylor-u-students-call-of-cthulhu-scenario-refractions-of-glasston-is-now-out/. Collaborative creation discussed and available for free.

Penner, Patrick (2019 Dec 21) Abbotsford woman wins legal battle over board game in reality T.V.’s “The People’s Court”. https://www.abbynews.com/news/abbotsford-woman-wins-legal-battle-over-board-game-on-reality-t-v-s-the-peoples-court/. Game designer wins back her IP.

Stenross, Jaakko (2019 Dec 23) Queer While Larping: Community, Identity, and Affective Labor in Nordic Live Action Role-Playing. http://analoggamestudies.org/2019/12/queer-while-larping-community-identity-and-affective-labor-in-nordic-live-action-role-playing/. Community and individual self-advocacy labor in the queer Larping community.

Tess (2019) The RPG Podcast Industry. http://rpgcasts.com/news/rpg-podcast-industry/. Statistics and details concerning current podcasts, podcasters, and content.

Tweet, Jonathan (2019 December 5) Diversity in D&D Third Edition. https://www.enworld.org/threads/diversity-in-d-d-third-edition.668462/. Shifting the visuals.

Vaughn, Emily (2019 Dec 11) A Video Game About Conflict Resolution Helps Develop Empathy for Refugees. https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/55031/a-video-game-about-conflict-resolution-helps-develop-empathy-for-refugees. Perspective sharing through video game and making the world a better place through empathy.

Ward, James (2019 Dec 20) April 4th, 1984: TSR’s 3rd Purge. https://www.enworld.org/threads/april-4th-1984-tsrs-3rd-purge.668704/. Business and nepotism in bad times.

Webber, Nick (2019 Dec 23) Archives of Role-Playing’s Personal Past. http://analoggamestudies.org/2019/12/archives-of-role-playings-personal-pasts/. The character sheet’s role in role playing.

White, William (2019 Dec 23) Actual Play and the Laws of Media. http://analoggamestudies.org/2019/12/actual-play-and-the-laws-of-media/. Using McLuhan’s ideas to contrast the emergence of TTRP from wargaming with the development of Actual Play within TTRP.

Zagal, José (2019 Dec 23) An Analysis of Early 1980s English Language Commercial TRPG Definitions. http://analoggamestudies.org/2019/12/an-analysis-of-early-1980s-english-language-commercial-trpg-definitions/. Terminology and language choice in early TRPG rule texts.

FROM HAWKE ROBINSON

Robinson, Hawke (2019 Dec 19) Breaking Down The High Barriers to Entry of Role-Playing Games With BFRPG & RPG Research. https://w3.rpgresearch.com/blog/breaking-down-the-rpg-barriers-to-entry-with-bfrpg. Looking beyond the Mentor Model of new game learning.

Robinson, Hawke (2019 Dec 30) RPG Research 2019 Year in Review. https://w3.rpgresearch.com/blog/rpg-research-2019-year-in-review. Many projects and much growth.

FROM M. ALAN THOMAS

David, Adam (2019 Dec 18) Victoria’s Story on Extra Credits: Because Games Matter. https://gametogrow.org/2019/12/18/victorias-story-on-extra-credits-because-games-matter/. Dungeons and Dragons for personal growth.

Extra Credits (2019 Dec 18) Because Games Matter – Victoria’s Story – Extra Credits. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPMkgb3kMws. The animated video story of one person becoming more confident, creative, and socially capable by playing D&D.

FROM MIKE TRESCA

Tresca, Mike (2019 Dec 23) Pay What You Want (But Please Pay Something!). https://www.enworld.org/threads/pay-what-you-want-but-please-pay-something.668493/. When this sales strategy works and when it doesn’t.

CONVENTIONS

New listings this month were provided by Paul Cardwell, others are urged to submit information. If you attend a convention, be sure and check the conventions table and let us have a copy of the fliers (or at very least the when, what, where, and contact information) for upcoming conventions available there. CAR-PGa is international, so this includes anywhere in the world.

Dates, precise venue, contacts’ URLs or phone numbers, and other information, where missing from this list, would be particularly appreciated.

“[LARP]” means only LARP events as many RPG cons include at least some LARP, as likewise applies to the mention of specific game systems. The same bracketed information applies as well to game systems when the con will have only those games present.

In an attempt to get more face-to-face meetings of the membership, we list who will be going to what convention, if they will tell us. Get this type of information in at least two months before the convention itself, so we can run it at least once. Support your local cons by helping in the staff. It is a good way to promote RPG and you generally get in free for the brief time spent helping.

A review of any attended convention afterwards for the Newsletter would be appreciated too. These reviews should include demographic data such as attendance, percentage male/female, white/ethnic minorities (or what- ever is the majority/white/others), games in addition to tabletop RPG, and more subjective matters such as unusual events, quality of games and dealers’ room, encouragement of new gamers, and whatever seems worth reporting. We need to work to restore CAR-PGa’s reputation as the media’s go-to on gamer demographics, especially since the media are still citing a study that cut off all those over 35 – at a time when that was the median age of gamers – it is closer to 40 now – which indicates we also need to work on recruiting younger players, although some increase in college age players at conventions has been noted.

Conventions are currently being compiled by archivist Paul Cardwell, 1127 Cedar, Bonham, TX 75418 or plcardwell@gmail.com, so send them there.

27 Nations represented in the listings for 2019.

January 2020

February 2020

March 2020

April 2020

May 2020

© Copyright 2020 by the Committee for the Advancement of Role-Playing Games (CAR-PGa), ISSN 1071 7129. The CAR-PGa Newsletter is a monthly publication. For more information contact David Millians, Editor, Paideia School, 1509 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia 30307 USA, phone (404) 808-1070, fax (404) 377-3491, e-mail millians.david@paideiaschool.org. Back issues are available. Contributions of material from the membership are urged, and the byline is responsible for content. Deadline is the last weekday of the month, email preferred. Permission is granted to copy anything in the Newsletter, provided we get a credit line in the publication copying it, and it doesn’t have someone else’s copyright on it. Information, including details on joining CAR-PGa, can be obtained on the Internet at car-pga.org.