An international network of researchers into all aspects of role-playing games
David Millians, Editor
Paideia School, 1509 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia 30307 USA
LETTER FROM THE CHAIR
Thank you so much for joining us on this month’s panel. Our attendance continues to rise so I’m appreciative of those of you who were able to take the time to join us. And if you missed it, you can catch up on YouTube.
As you may know, two of our by-laws advocate for kids engaging with gaming, directly and indirectly. Our first is about “promoting and supporting efforts to provide inclusive games and environments, online and offline. The CAR-PGa strongly supports diversity and inclusion in gaming. We believe gaming should be for everyone.” Our second includes “the promotion of role-playing games as recreation, curriculum, and therapy, including by getting role-playing games accepted as a teaching technique in the schools, and making known its uses in psychological or sociological therapy.” I mentioned these by-laws because two of our newest members are doing amazing work in the field.
Our March guest was new CAR-PGA member Mike Best of Kids Arcanum, who recently launched a new Kickstarter: Crafty Quest Boxes. Crafty Quest Boxes are adventures in a box with light RPG elements and fantasy crafts to help kids explore their creativity and find their inner hero with the Crafty Quest box. We covered a lot of dialogue ranging from what parents should do to get their kids excited about fantasy role-playing games to the number one thing you should focus on when launching your own Kickstarter.
Hawke advised us that meeting monthly would be our best bet if we plan to grow the CAR-PGA and he was right. We’ve already grown by seven members! In addition to Mike and Fenway, please give a warm welcome to Pookie, Tim Hutchings, John Reyst, Jared Nielsen, and Bill Bridges.
In other news, I’ve signed up to get my first vaccination shot in mid-April. I’m excited about the opportunity to game in-person again, something I have only done with my kids for the past year. With warm weather and more vaccines arriving, I’m hopeful we’ll be able to start reintegrating face-to-face gaming back into our lives.
But until then, please stay safe. I look forward to catching up next month.
Convention Report: Toylanta 2021
By Ted Skirvin
This convention started some years ago as an event called Joelanta. It was focused on the old 12-inch G.I. Joe action figures. In following years, they expanded with events and vendors that dealt with other figure and doll lines, such as Barbie. It has taken place at various hotels around the Atlanta area. This time it was a five-minute drive from my house, so I decided to go.
The con had various areas of interest. There were two large vendor rooms and several small rooms that also had vendors. There was a “retro gaming” room that had old 8-bit computer games. The con had a room for tabletop gaming. There was also a slate of discussion panels in one room. Lastly, there was a selection of action figure dioramas on display in various parts of the convention area.
Concerning the tabletop gaming, I need to mention the Boy Scouts of America. Apparently, the BSA has a program called Venturing Crews. This seems to be separate from the main scouting program. The Crews are of high school age and my impression is that they focus on an area of interest. The organizers of Toylanta apparently arranged to have one of these Crews handle tabletop gaming at the convention. I talked with the “adult advisor” of the Crew, and he mentioned that they are based at a game store near Gainesville, Georgia, called Meeple Madness. There seemed to be 3 boys and 2 girls of the Crew who were at the con to provide games for con-goers. The advisor informed me that the Crew is focused on tabletop gaming. One of the girls DMed three games of D&D 5th edition over the course of the con. They had also brought some board games for folks to play.
This is the convention for you if you are into G.I. Joe (with the KUNG FU GRIP). The dioramas were interesting and impressive. The discussion panels could be better organized. It would be good for them to add a video room that shows toy-based cartoons. As for demographics, I would say it was 95% white people and 5% black people with no other ethnicities present. The male/female ratio was roughly 90%/10%. Overall, the con could be better organized to make it appeal to a broader range of people. Lastly, I did a little web-searching and got an email address for the Crew’s advisor. I sent him an email about CAR-PGa with link to our website. I asked him to share the info with all members of the Crew in case they might want to join our group. It might be the first time in a long time that we get high school age members.
FROM DAVID MILLIANS
Appelcline, Shannon (2021 Mar 2) A Look at Paper Warriors. https://www.rpg.net/columns/advanced-designers-and-dragons/advanced-designers-and-dragons46.phtml. Exploration of Dave Nalle’s three magazine articles in 1979 and 1980 about the state of the hobby at that time.
Barber, Graeme (2021 Mar 23) What Happened? Writing for Wizards Part 1. https://pocgamer.com/2021/03/23/what-happened-writing-for-wizards-part-1. Overview of writing for Wizards of the Coast.
Barber, Graeme (2021 Mar 23) What Happened? Writing for Wizards Part 2. https://pocgamer.com/2021/03/23/what-happened-writing-for-wizards-part-2. Editors introduced colonialist language into manuscript.
Bradley, Adam (2021 Mar 24) The Black Nerds Redefining the Culture. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/24/t-magazine/black-nerds-culture.html. Nerds and Blerds consuming and making culture and revolution.
Girdwood, Andrew (2021 Mar 2) Brexit is making life harder for tabletop companies. https://www.geeknative.com/129191/brexit-is-making-life-harder-for-tabletop-companies. Shipping bottlenecks, VAT, and lots more paperwork and time.
Griepp, Milton (2021 Mar 25) Will Niebling Awarded Rick Loomis Service Award. https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/47939/will-niebling-awarded-rick-loomis-service-award. For his long service in the Game Manufacturers Association and the wider hobby.
Hadavas, Chloe (2021 Mar 13) All the World’s a Game. https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/03/13/foreign-policy-video-board-games-diplomacy. International politics affect games, and games affect thinking about international politics.
Hill, Amanda (2021 Mar 5) Expanding imagination through ‘Crafty Quest Boxes’. https://www.newscentermaine.com/article/news/local/207/207-maine-events/expanding-imagination-through-crafty-quest-boxes/97-0d801a09-dd61-49ea-8e09-2b73bc3d77fa. Interview with Mike Best, creator of activity adventures in a box.
ICv2 (2021 Mar 18) Top 5 Roleplaying Games—Fall 2020. https://icv2.com/articles/markets/view/47881/top-5-roleplaying-games-fall-2020. Ongoing sales reports.
Jones, Stephen Graham (2021 April) My Life with Conan the Barbarian. https://www.texasmonthly.com/arts-entertainment/my-life-withconan-the-barbarian. Stepping outside ourselves and the familiar.
Krieger, Liz (2021 Mar 22) How role-playing games can give your kid a mental health boost. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/family/article/role-playing-games-can-give-kids-a-mental-health-boost. Theater of the mind, safe space, mental health benefits, social skills, and identity development.
Malinsky, Gili (2021 Mar 16) How a mom of 4 makes $10,000 a month teaching Dungeons & Dragons on Outschool. https://grow-acorns-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/grow.acorns.com/amp/teaching-dungeons-and-dragons-on-outschool-as-side-hustle/?amp_js_v=a6&_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQFKAGwASA%3D&fbclid=IwAR3a1nSooBOkBhAfGNnbBE1bz9wb9N5KDQqqazm7COGufB4x5hmTjiEodF8#aoh=1616528749922. Megan Hardy builds business on education platform.
Meyer, Lynne (2021 Mar 7) Indie tabletop RPG designers reclaim the Witch. https://wildhunt.org/2021/03/indie-tabletop-rpg-designers-reclaim-the-witch.html. Neo-pagan examination of popular theme.
Morrissey, Russ (2021 Feb 28) Million Dollar TTRPG Kickstarters. https://www.enworld.org/threads/million-dollar-ttrpg-kickstarters.678540. Free League Publishing’s The One Ring joins a small group of high budget crowd-funded games.
Nelson, Jason (2021 Mar 18) Apologies. https://www.makeyourgamelegendary.com/apologies. Legendary Games responds to criticism of its Asian Spell Compendium release.
Paizo Community Blog (2021 Mar 31) International Transgender Day of Visibility. https://paizo.com/community/blog/v5748dyo6shmd?International-Transgender-Day-of-Visibility. Voices of creators and the power of imagination to empower the real world.
Petersen, Sandy (2021 Apr 1) Was Lovecraft Racist?. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLL037UiQhk. Short answer.
Prince, Chelsea (2021 Feb 28) Dekalb cops connect with teens through online gaming. The Atlanta-Journal Constitution. Gaming with a Cop virtual tournament in its second year.
Robichaud, Christopher (2017 Apr) How I used Dungeons & Dragons to teach ethics. https://www.ted.com/talks/christopher_robichaud_how_i_used_dungeons_dragons_to_teach_ethics. Ted Talk by professor at Kennedy School of Government.
Soloski, Alexis (2021 Mar 6) Escape Your Reality With Role-Playing Games. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/06/at-home/role-playing-games-online.html.Exploration. Exploration, connection, hope.
Trammell, Aaron (2021 Mar 28) “We Don’t Cut Corners”: Wendy’s Feast of Legends and the Subversion of Gamified Advertising. https://analoggamestudies.org/2021/03/we-dont-cut-corners-wendys-feast-of-legends-and-the-subversion-of-gamified-advertising. Building brand loyalty and the dangers of hacks.
Whisenhunt, Dan (2021 Mar 3) The March 3 Decaturish Twitch show discusses diversity in D&D and gaming. https://decaturish.com/2021/03/the-march-3-decaturish-twitch-show-discusses-diversity-in-dd-and-gaming. Local thinkers discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion in the hobby.
Whitten, Sarah (2021 Mar 13) Dungeons & Dragons has its biggest year ever as Covid forced the game off tables and onto the web. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/13/dungeons-dragons-had-its-biggest-year-despite-the-coronavirus.html. 33% sales growth in 2020.
FROM HAWKE ROBINSON
Robinson, Hawke (2021 Mar 15) Ongoing PBS Contract. https://www.hawkerobinson.com/news/ongoing-pbs-contract. Project expanding, especially in the areas of corporate culture and accessibility.
FROM MIKE TRESCA
Tresca, Mike (2021 Mar 29) Meet the Bodhana Group. https://www.enworld.org/threads/meet-the-bodhana-group.679031. Therapeutic tabletop gaming for youth.
© Copyright 2021 by the Committee for the Advancement of Role-Playing Games (CAR-PGa), ISSN 1071 7129. The CAR-PGa Newsletter is a monthly publication. For more information contact David Millians, Editor, Paideia School, 1509 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia 30307 USA, phone (404) 808-1070, fax (404) 377-3491, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Back issues are available. Contributions of material from the membership are urged, and the byline is responsible for content. Deadline is the last weekday of the month, email preferred. Permission is granted to copy anything in the Newsletter, provided we get a credit line in the publication copying it, and it doesn’t have someone else’s copyright on it. Information, including details on joining CAR-PGa, can be obtained on the Internet at car-pga.org.