That’s me, Mr. Organizer

I haven’t been posting as much, partly because I’ve been engaging in bad behavior for a good cause.  As some of your know, I spent about 12 years as a community organizer before realizing that I missed school.  So after getting my doctorate, what did I do?  I went back to community organizing – with a twist.

See, when I moved to Madison last August, I discovered that the fabled UW Dungeon Masters Association had disappeared as a student group, leaving me without a venue for finding other old school-minded gamers.  I was a bit disconcerted; I had spent a lot of my youth in university gaming clubs, so the fact that the legendary DMA had up and vanished was a blow to my plans for world domination having fun gaming.  I looked around at local game stores, but found that they weren’t always welcoming to old school gaming, if only because a lot of the games were out of print.

So what’s a community organizer to do?  Set up a Meetup group, that’s what.

I started things off with a get-together “just to talk” back in September.  This was only partly successful, but it was a decent jog to my memory about how to do this sort of thing.  So I printed up posters, and put them up around town at different game stores, libraries, and coffeehouses.  I also chatted up the staff at the game stores, and asked for some help in steering gamers towards the group.  By the end of September, there were about ten members.

I had a stroke of luck with Madison Games Day 2, which turned out to be a real success in building more awareness for Old School Goodness.  In November and December, the group met twice at a local branch library – Madison Public Library meeting rooms were (and are) free, and this fitted in with my plans to take advantage of the growing connection between libraries and gaming.

  • In November, I ran an Empire of the Petal Throne adventure – going into the Jakallan Underworld, while another referee then ran a Chill game.
  • In December, there was a Harnmaster game, followed by “Losing Air” – an introductory adventure I designed for Classic Traveller.

It’s early days yet, but at the end of the year, Madison Traditional Gaming could muster 30 members, and three successful meetups.  There’s clearly room for growth, as evidenced by the Milwaukee D&D Meetup, which has over 200 members and 51 meetups to its credit.  We’ll see what 2010 has to bring, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to involve more gaming.

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