Gaming

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Note: This section covers board, card, rpg, and other tabletop gaming. For video gaming see: Video Gaming


Contents

Planning

Planning the gaming stream need not be difficult, if there is a convention theme, you may wish to think about tournament or featured games that fit the theme.

While there is a certain tendency to just build it and they will come, it's a bit more inclusive to dedicate tables to teach con-goers new games, and all will benefit.


Ensure that you discuss the handling of volunteers well in advance with the rest of the committee. Over the years different committees have had different views of managing this.

It is also good to stimulate interest with a mix of gaming. Invite roleplaying groups to guest GM - Western Australian examples are the Gamer's Guild or Final Frontiers. LARPing groups are fun for participants and observers alike!

People or clubs that play with miniatures because of the visual element, they are always of great interest.

Board gaming clubs - the Western Australian Boardgaming Association is one, and are of great assistance whenever they can help can provide structured teaching sessions and dedicated personnel.

Meet with the rest of the concom to discuss the gaming space. Note that past experience has shown that gaming in a through-way is not viable, nor should the gaming space be far removed from the main con spaces. The ideal gaming space is located adjacent to (but separate from) the main thoroughfare, is securable, and has a smaller separate adjacent space for RPGs. Space for at least 7 tables is needed for a local con, and 10 for a NatCon. More is better. 12-14 is suitable in the Goldsworthy Room at the Pan Pacific in Perth.

Pre Convention

Seek out help! One (or even two) will find it difficult to run the gaming room(s) alone.


If possible, ensure you can provide a visible means of identifying on-duty volunteers (the 'Meeple-Angel' vests, for example. These were hi-vis vests that official gaming volunteers wore - if they were floor walking, they wore them, greeting and seating, if they were sitting down teaching or playing, they draped them on the back of a chair so they could be identified quickly for queries. This worked really well.).

Also seek out donations of and/or funding for prizes for tournaments, although you should coordinate this with the rest of the committee to ensure that you do not approach the same donors twice.

Consider con-wide/long events as well - the 2015 Gaming Room Bingo Cards were very successful in encouraging people to try games they normally wouldn't, to give an example.

Also consider gaming-related panel items - and look for presenters and panelists for those. Your aim should be to try to attract non-gamers to the gaming room and attract gamers to the panel rooms.

Ensure the Programming Coordinator knows what events you have planned, and work with them on scheduling.

Find out if the GoH and/or FGoH have any gaming interests, and ensure at least one event reflects that interest - if it exists.

During Convention

Ensure there is sufficient gap between tables to allow for wheelchair access.

Ensure there are at least two double-sized tables - there are some games that need a lot of space.

Have some means of marking tables that are looking for something - either players, teachers, or even teachers looking for players.

Make sure you have at least one person in the gaming room keeping an eye on things - they should welcome people in, help them get into a game, and ensure that no-one is disrupting the rest of the room.

When tournaments are due to occur, announce (or have the duty volunteer announce) the fact 30 and 15 minutes ahead of time.

Make sure that tournament players and invited demonstrators, GMs, etc are thanked at the end of the events, and at the closing ceremony.

Consider having a system that allows for table space to be reserved, so that people can plan to play a game at a given time.

Post Convention

If you are aware of photographers that have been active, see if you can obtain any of their photos, and have them posted to the Swancon page and/or social media accounts. Remember that not everyone is on Facebook/Twitter/Google+/Pinterest/etc, and that nothing beats a link from the actual convention page.

Send emails (or, better still, letters) to the sponsor and volunteer organisations.

Talk with the rest of the committee to gather feedback.

Update this wiki with more detailed and revised information based on the events and feedback, and ensure that the incoming gaming coordinator(s) are aware of it.

Resources

A table marking system: [1] (from Swancon 2015)

A suggested volunteer briefing: [2] (from Swancon 2015)

A bingo card generator: [3]

Sample table booking sheets: [4]

The Mikey Award

The Mikey Award is to commemorate the fantastic work Michael O’Brien did encouraging fans in and out of the gaming rooms at Swancon. This award is for making the gaming experience enjoyable for others. Any member of Swancon that shows the same attitudes in the gaming room may be nominated.

  • The Award is for making the gaming experience enjoyable for others.
  • The voting is run in the gaming room.
  • This is an award that might not get awarded every year, on the strength of the nominations and votes. There should be clear evidence that the nominee has put in a significant effort into making the gaming experience enjoyable for others.
  • The nomination period runs from the beginning of the convention until Saturday dinner break; a name and comment/explanation should be written on the slip.
  • On Saturday night, the coordinator reviews these and shortlists 3-5 most deserving, based on the comments, the number of nominations, and their own observations then creates voting slips.
  • The voting slips are placed in the room, and votes are collected through Sunday morning – Monday Lunch.
  • At Monday lunchtime votes get counted by the coordinator. Ties are broken by nomination, commentary, evaluation and the coordinator's observations.
  • It is awarded in the closing ceremony, by Bec Handcock and/or a person of her choosing.
  • Attendees may nominate as many people as they feel are deserving, But they may only vote once.
  • Once someone wins the award, they cannot be awarded again.
  • Mikey awards can be coordinated by the Awards Coordinator, Gaming coordinator, or someone else in the community assigned to the role.
  • Feedback from previous awardees can be an invaluable resource in most stages of the process. They know the gamers best.
  • The award initially had a plaque with the words "The Mikey / in memory of / Michael O'Brien / Swancon 2013" but subsequent awards have "[swancon logo] Mikey Award [year]"

Previous creators of the Mikey award are:

  • 2012 -
  • 2013 -
  • 2014 - John Parker
  • 2015 - John Parker
  • 2016 - Commercially made
  • 2017 - Doug Burbidge

Previous winners of the Mikey award are:

  • 2012 - Mark Sander
  • 2013 - Alicia Smith
  • 2014 - Rob Masters
  • 2015 - John Samuel
  • 2016 - Terry Chilvers


Mikey

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