#RPGaDay 2017 Restrospective

#RPGaDay is over for another year. As usual, it is a bit of a mystery if it will return next year, and in what form, but that anticipation is becoming a part of what is shaping up to be the tradition of the event. The year 2017 was the biggest, yet and it will be weeks or months until I am satisfied that I have surveyed them all. G+, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, forums, and YouTube lit up with a tremendous number of responses over the course of August, with what strikes me as a higher rate of interaction over and sharing of those responses.

RPG Brigade

The hosting organization this year, the RPG Brigade, is an amorphous and widely distributed autonomous collective whose principle of being an organization is not dissimilar to a watery sprite handing out swords. In other words, those with the ability and time to help did so – out of appreciation of this event or in hopes of creating a positive synergistic effect for the Brigade’s other group project, the primary purpose of which is to raise funds for the Child’s Play Charity.

This year, we were glad to have the return of Will Brooks to design the infographic. We were also happy to retain the response-collection aid of Glenn Welser’s RPGaDay.com. The event is made much easier to participate in and share with the assistance of these two gentlemen.

On the Brigade front, help primarily entailed the translation of questions. That all by itself enabled #RPGaDay to reach far more people than ever before. For an event intended to spread positive discourse and commentary about our hobby far and wide, that contribution cannot be underestimated.

Thanks to this year’s translators!

  • Sébastien Allard (French translation)
  • Francois Letarte (French introduction video)
  • Michael Jaegers (German translation)
  • Felipe Holzmann (Portuguese translation)
  • Niilo Lehner (Italian translation)
  • Roberto Micheri (Spanish translation)

The questions, this year on the theme of ‘the games we play,’ were developed by me as the host, and then modified to fit into the infographic. Response to this theme was generally more positive than to last year’s theme of ‘Actual Play.’ The reasons for that seem obvious and so are worth studying, I suspect. Surprises often lurk behind assumptions.

Participation

In addition to there being more individuals posting this year, there was more evidence of respondents staying in it for the long haul, more often posting collections of responses in order to catch up rather than giving up. That was very good to see. Sharing of experience and positive experiences is the primary goal of the event, but seeing people being able to sail on through 31 days of questions in such a variety of formats is a positive experience in itself. That David Chapman‘s vision of a month-long Social Media carnival on RPGs has made it through 4 years of growth is fantastic. That it has grown enough to require my aid and that of interested members of the RPG Brigade is inspiring. That participation throughout the event has also grown, not to mention a slowing of the drop off in the number of respondents throughout the event, is very rewarding.

This year has been a very good year.

Benefits

On the surface, #RPGaDay can seem to be a transient affair which disappears like ripples on water, but it is not the case. The responses are ‘out there’ and can be read and reread from now until whenever. While personal in nature when taken individually, when taken in as a whole, interesting patterns begin to emerge. Our influences, biases, chains of communication and interaction are revealed; the spread of awareness about games, about history, or about cultural shifts becomes more visible; the usage of terms, the usage of tools and techniques, the attitudes toward playing all shine through in response after response – and even in chatter about responding. All of this has a lasting benefit beyond the inherent positivity and the game information responses contain. Gamers and the people who make games can benefit from this widespread outpouring of commentary about games, gaming, and gamers to do what they do with a greater understanding of all the people who do it to and the myriad ways that they do it.

 

Permanence of Impermanence

Our games have by nature been impermanent. The groups endure but the sessions by and large get lost in time and preserved only in memory and the telling of fragments of tales to interested others. Now, with recording actual play sessions on video or audio for broadcast, more and more of what we play and how we play it is getting preserved and taking on a more permanent aspect… but the attitudes, and our foundations of thought and preference remain mostly opaque. Some do not even recognize that gamers of different regions, ages, and game choices speak what amounts to different languages, and completely fail in understanding each other in even basic assumptions of play.

With organized events like #RPGaDay, this barrier of perception, experience, and preference can be exposed for what it is and – for those who are interested – overcome. More tools and skills for play can be recognized and made available, more innovation can be sparked, greater awareness of how to get what you want from games can be gleaned, and most importantly, we can further open lines of communication within the hobby.

That is why I have twice now undertaken the challenge of hosting this event.

Thank you all for participating in it along with me~

 

Comments
5 Responses to “#RPGaDay 2017 Restrospective”
  1. As always a pleasure to participate in #RPGaDay 2017–even if tend to fall behind a bit at the end because of LARP events–and I look forward to doing so next year. I very much enjoy seeing other gamers’ slants on different aspects of the hobby and often find the responses highlights viewpoints that I had not considered.

    Here’s to another RPGaDay in 2018 🙂

  2. Batjutsu says:

    My thanks to you and the crew and Mr Chapman 🙂

  3. Thank you, Anthony. A spectacular run this year. Always a pleasure to soldier through it. I tend to learn a lot, not just through following others posts, but from the nature of my own responses.

  4. Sunglar says:

    Thank you very much for hosting and sharing so much awesomeness all through the month! It was a pleasure to participate, from translating the questions, to posting, to making videos. I also discovered many gamers I did not have the pleasure of knowing and made many new connections. Here’s hoping we get to do this, or something similar, again soon.

    Greetings all!

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