‘Weird Worlds’ Retrospective 2: CONCurrent Lessons – GM Panel
After the ‘Marsh Ado About Nothing’ workshop, I was able to have a quick lunch with one of the GMs who attended my workshop (hey there, Kendrick! man, that McDo fried chicken lunch knocked me out…), and got ready for my second major activity of the day – I was representing Curious Chimeras in ‘CONCurrent Lessons’, a panel that’s the result of collaboration between the Chimeras, Gamers and GMs Philippines, Greasy Snitches Presents, and the Pathfinder/ Starfinder Society Philippines.
The objective of this panel was to gather our opinions and learn from our experiences as community organizers in the field of game organization, from running RPGs to mega-games. I appreciated the candid nature of our responses, as well as the very professional facilitation and moderation by Duane from the Greasy Snitches; it was a very masterful session, in all ways. Duane chose very good questions, and allowed for us to share many of our thoughts and ideas, and a very wide variety of responses emerged, which I think was very fruitful for people to gain better insights, and generated lots of material for further reflection.
Jay Mata, a good friend and talented cook who works with a games cafe and a catering business for games and other events, shared some his ideas on hosting mega-games and RPGs, and how to engage new players. The Pathfinder/ Starfinder Society and Greasy Snitches also shared many anecdotes and lessons about organized play, and the opportunities as well as the problems that emerged from the organized play format.
I learned a lot from the way these individuals and organizations handled door-to-door literal cold-calling and the enthusiasm and energy they threw into their community work; they taught gamers, they prepared materials, they cooked for people, they connected people, they conducted sessions, and the warmth, good cheer, and sheer kinetic energy was so inspiring! I shared what I could, from my perspective as a DM with Adventurers’ League games in Singapore, as well as my experiences in running games in more unusual, unorthodox settings (in flea markets, at playgrounds, etc). I provided, perhaps, somewhat more pessimistic opinions, as I presented examples of some situations that did not go well in my experience, but I suppose that was a useful juxtaposition for us all – to celebrate the highs, that can inspire us, as well as think of the lows, that we can learn from.
I believe, from this session, that the road ahead for the gaming community of RPGers in the Philippines and Singapore, as well as the general Southeast Asian region, can only grow from strength to strength. We’ve reached so many new players in just the last few years; I remember when it seemed almost unthinkable, for so many events to be present, for so many players I could meet and interact with. I’m a happy GM, I’m a happy Chimera – I believe we are slated for exciting, wonderful times ahead, and I’m determined to be in the thick of these things, as we move forward to learn and work with one another, for this session and many more ahead! Stay Curious, and oh, yes… remember… Staying Greasy makes setting monsters on fire Easy Peasy! Reach for the Stars, you’ll find them! 😀