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Gamestorm Day 4

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VANCOUVER, WA — Last day of the show. From a guest’s point of view it felt smoothly run and free of angst. Thanks and congratulations to my hosts for a successful con. Attendance grew again this year and attendees seemed to be getting the gaming they wanted.

The noon “Why does gaming appeal mostly to guys?” seminar began with a thorough rejection of the premise and moved on to a justifiably optimistic take on the hobby’s slow yet inexorable march toward gender parity. This was one of those panels where if anything there were too many good points being made by too many interesting people. My take on the gender and gaming issue is, in a nutshell, that we’re seeing a massive cultural shift where the geeks are inheriting the earth, and that the population of gaming-ready girls and women is growing as nerdly activities become ever more mainstream. Overall response from the audience provided perhaps the most hopeful take on the subject than I’ve seen at any con—including Finland, where they’ve pretty much achieved gender parity. This allowed the group to move on to the thornier topic of ethnic and class divisions in America, and what gaming could to do bring in the groups in those categories it currently has little truck with.



I'd hoped that this entry would consist mostly of a description of the Trail Of Cthulhu Live event, with a list of the top bids and their corresponding story events. Unfortunately we drew only three prospective participants out of a minimum of twenty. Undoubtedly the late Sunday slot didn’t help, but overall this result confirms my past experience that the actual demand for GOH-run roleplaying games is much less than organizers tend to imagine. I think the event could still work in another context. Perhaps a European con with a clear social center and freely flowing alcohol would better enable its resolution by charitable donation mechanism. And the scenario has a killer premise which I’d love to unfurl someday. (Where did the navy take all those captured Innsmouth residents, anyway? Could it have been a certain obscure base on a Caribbean island?)

I’m grateful for the chance to meet up with longstanding friends, and to make new ones. Cons are about community, the factor that makes our hobby more than the sum of its parts.

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