scheduling of Parire Games eXpo? (confilct with FRAG Games Day)

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celticgriffon

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Hi everyone,

I know this post is going to cause controversy.  But my parents told me when I was young that I should never be afraid to stand for the things I believe in. 

Why is the Prariegame eXpo being scheduled (yet again) on the same day as the monthly FRAG Games Day at Imperial School?

If we are to build a community of strong gamers the different organizations and groups need to truly work together.  Regina is much too small of a gaming community to have events which conflict.  In my opinion there is absolutely no reason for this and it truly frustrates me.

I am aware of the various PUBLIC events as follows (and all play nice together on different evenings):
Mon night - Wok Box south
Tue night - BP's north
Wed night - German Club
Thur night (used to be German Club but it recently moved to Wed)
monthly  - Strat Saturday
Quarterly? - Prarie Game eXpo
Yearly - FRAG Convention

I am sure there are other events I am not aware of.  I love the fact that people who play games in Regina have so much choice. 

It seems the Prarie Game eXpo has gained a lot of momentum.  I think that is wonderful.

But truly the conflicting schedule can no longer be a co-incidence, unfortunately.  The organizers of Prarie Game eXpo are quite aware of the schedule for the monthly FRAG Games Day (ongoing as the last Saturdday of each month).

Saskgames website states three objectives in its mission      1) a mission to organize a gaming calendar of events
                                                                                                2) assist people to connect with similar interests
                                                                                                3) easier way to locate stores and events

The double scheduling seems to violate aspects of this mission (in my opinion).

I have friends who attend the Prarie Game eXpo.  I have friends who attend the FRAG Games Day at Imperial School.  But now my gaming friends need to choose one or the other.  It is as if they were given a choice to attend two weddings on the same night.  This does not sit well with me.  It seems this is an indication of a financial and/or political motivation which is not trying to build a better community but instead fragmenting it.

I would love to have an open and candid discussion about such things and I think the best way to do that is on this forum.

Sincerely,
Michael Becker
I wonder if you could be anyone would you be yourself? - yup it's mine..

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ChadBoudreau

Re: scheduling of Parire Games eXpo? (confilct with FRAG Games Day)
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2014, 01:13:29 PM »
Prairie Game Expo is a gaming initiative of ComicReaders.

The dates chosen are chosen for two main reasons:
- Availability of the Core Ritchie Community Centre
- Availability of its two organizers, Chad Boudreau and Dana Tillusz, who attend the full 12 hours (plus set-up and tear down)

The June 28 date was chosen because of those two reasons.

ComicReaders had asked Core Ritchie Community Centre for June 21, which would fall between Strategy Saturday on June 14 and FRAG's event on June 28. The only available date was June 28.

ComicReaders ran its first Prairie Game Expo in January 2014. We were unable to run an event in April as we had hoped because Core Ritchie Community Centre was not available. We did not want to seek out another venue because we were pleased with everything Core Ritchie Community Centre had to offer.

Here is a list of future Prairie Game Expo dates:

September 20, 2014
January 17, 2015
April 18, 2015
September 19, 2015

Here is a list of Future FRAG dates (as posted on reginagamers.com):

July 26, 2014
August 23, 2014
September 27, 2014
October 25, 2014
November 29, 2014
December 20, 2014

Here is a list of future FRAG dates (assumed by ComicReaders because events are typically held the last Saturday of the month):

January 31, 2015
February 28, 2015
March 28, 2015
April 25, 2015
May 30, 2015
June 27, 2015
July 25, 2015
August 29, 2015
September 26, 2015

If anyone has any further questions about Prairie Game Expo or ComicReaders' activities in the gaming community please do not hesitate to post on this forum or contact me at the downtown store at readers2@sasktel.net or 306-779-0900.

Chad Boudreau @ ComicReaders Downtown

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celticgriffon

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Re: scheduling of Parire Games eXpo? (confilct with FRAG Games Day)
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2014, 02:57:16 PM »
Hi Chad,

Thank you for your detailed and thorough reply.

As a former game event organizer I can appreciate the work involved to run an event such as this.
As the future event dates are now tentatively known I look forward to minimal if no scheduling conflicts for these “major” events. 

This way (in my mind) players will have an opportunity to attend as many events as their time and schedule allow. 
It will also allow a critical mass of participants in all activities which I feel is very important for a tiny gaming community such as Regina.

Sincerely,
Michael Becker
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Dana_Tillusz

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Re: scheduling of Parire Games eXpo? (confilct with FRAG Games Day)
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2014, 07:35:11 PM »
I am now archiving this thread. If there are any questions, controversies, or conspiracy theories that might arise in the future the conversation can continue here (and I'll active the thread again for public view) or anyone can contact us directly. We are pretty easy to track down and always available for friendly or frank discussions.
Snikt!

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celticgriffon

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Re: scheduling of Parire Games eXpo? (confilct with FRAG Games Day)
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2014, 10:32:58 AM »

Hi Dana,

Hope you are well.  I can appreciate your sense of humour.  I don't feel I am a "conspirator" even if I am passively labeled as such.

This thread was archived very quickly.  I am not sure if others wanted or had a chance to comment.  If possible could it be un-archived?  Also, if the thread would be better placed in a different section of the boards/forums I am fine as long as a link is provided.

I think there are many things which still need to be discussed.  Perhaps this needs to be done in a more closed environment or maybe it should be public?  That I am not sure about. 

I feel more than ever a rift in the gaming community in Regina.  Someone once mentioned I was part of the "Old Guard".  That may be true.  I have been involved in the gaming scene since I moved here from Alberta back in 1996. 

There are great things happening in Regina.  Some of those things are saskgames, Prairie Game eXpo, Chewsday Challenge, STRAT Saturday, Mount Olive meetups, monthly FRAG Games Days and the annual FRAG convention. 

I would say most members of FRAG (perhaps this is the "Old Guard") have actively participated in all of these events.  As we should.  All of these locations provide more opportunities for everyone to participate in a hobby we love.  But FRAG has never been in competition with any of these activities.  It has always tried to grow the community with active involvement through participation.

Different events can have different structures.  Some are highly organized (scheduled events) and others loosely organized (bring what you will).  It doesn't make it better or worse just different.  Some of us may prefer a way of doing things and that is absolutely fine.

I want to see all of these events succeed. I want to see FRAG (which has put in a huge amount of work over the past 10+ years to sustain hobby gaming) grow.  I want to see everyone helping each other. 

There is no reason the annual FRAG con shouldn't have 300 participants.  If another annual event is formed it should be just as successful.  There is no reason both FRAG Games days and Prairie Game eXpo shouldn't hit a critical mass of attendees.

We need to build bridges instead of breaking them down. 

At events over the past few years I have heard people make statements such as, "I haven't been to a FRAG event in x years."  The comment is worn like a badge of honour.  Comments like this blow me away.  If something caused offence take the steps to allow reconciliation. If you dislike how something is being run talk about it instead of keeping a grudge.  Be active and help instead of hinder.

A true friend and gaming colleague once said to me, "Being angry is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die."

Gaming events in this city shouldn't be in competition.  If they are there what is truly the agenda and motive?  It makes me sad to be honest.  Let's encourage cross pollination of segmented groups and get rid of past grievances.

Sincerely,
Michael Becker
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ChadBoudreau

Re: scheduling of Parire Games eXpo? (confilct with FRAG Games Day)
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2014, 04:27:56 PM »
You want a public discussion, Mike? Here is a public statement from me: I now have no interest in building bridges with FRAG and, in my opinion, your posts on this forum is indicative of everything I think FRAG does wrong in the gaming community of Regina.

Dana can respond as he likes and so can SaskGames, but the above is my public statement. You and FRAG want to talk more with me, you come meet me in person and we'll have a chat. SaskGames.com is not the place for this horseshit.

I will comment on this matter no more on this forum.

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Dana_Tillusz

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Re: scheduling of Parire Games eXpo? (confilct with FRAG Games Day)
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2014, 08:19:46 PM »
Michael,

The thread was un-archived at my request and moved to a high traffic area of SaskGames by the site administrator. I archived it because I thought Chad answered your questions and you seemed pleased with them. I thought we were moving on so we could build up this gaming community instead of displaying anger and resentment in a public arena. I invite others to comment or chime in if they like, positive or negative.

I am a bit confused about this whole affair though. Do you speak for FRAG or just as a concerned member of the gaming “community?”If feels like the conversation you've started here about ComicReaders and PGX has reached a midway point, but I'm only getting invited into it now. A lot of the things you mention in your third post need more context. Are you saying we are ruining the gaming community in Regina but hosting our own events?

You talk about rifts, grudges, and breaking down bridges. None of these come from me.

It's true, the first two PGX events did land on FRAG games days, and we explained why this was the case. We did not intentionally pick those dates to go head-to-head with FRAG. It was either take-it-or-leave-it from the venue, and as an event planner we had to work with what was available so we could get Prairie Game eXpo off the ground. Chad posted the list of all future PGX events into 2015 and you can see that there is no more conflict. Though we just found out our September event runs the same weekend as ToonCon, which is very unfortunate.

We started ChewsDay Challenge and PGX because we saw a demand within Regina that wasn't being filled. Our game plan wasn't and isn't to cannibalize or fragment other gaming groups and organizations. Our strategy was to mobilize the casual gamer and introduce new people to the hobby, while providing a friendly environment for all gamers. We work hard to make our events successful, and when you break it down, people just what to have fun and play games. So I understand why Chad had a small meltdown, which caught me by surprise btw, because you're dragging him and everyone attached to this site, our community, and our supporters into a toxic political landscape that doesn't need to be.

Dana.
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celticgriffon

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Re: scheduling of Parire Games eXpo? (confilct with FRAG Games Day)
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2014, 11:29:57 AM »
Hi everyone,

First of all I want to make it clear that any comments I make are mine alone and not that of FRAG and its members current or past. 

I am not currently on the FRAG board but I do have had long standing friendships with many of the past and present members.  These friendships go beyond playing a game at a table and for that I am eternally grateful.  Anything I have said should not paint FRAG in any way.  If it has I owe FRAG a huge apology.

Chad, I was extremely pleased with your initial response to my concern.  It was extremely well written.  And I was very pleased to learn there will be no further scheduling conflicts.

The finality in your second note (quote: "I now have no interest in building bridges with FRAG and, in my opinion, your posts on this forum is indicative of everything I think FRAG does wrong in the gaming community of Regina"), however, confirms the attitude and tension and toxicity that I am trying to resolve.  I can understand getting caught in passion.  I am to blame for that often.

Chad, to my knowledge you have never attended a FRAG Games Day, the FRAG convention, or a meetup at the German Club (which isn't a FRAG event although it is a long standing event in Regina).  Many of the best ambassadors of gaming in Regina such as Weng L, Barry E., Mark M, and Cory H among others, regularly attend Chewsday.  They also have been attending FRAG events for as long as I have known them. 

I would like to think that anyone who attends a FRAG event would be greeted with open arms and a friendly atmosphere not only from the above individuals but by everyone in attendance.  We are all volunteers who love games and are passionate about our hobby. 

I have considered joining the Warhammer Escalation league.  A while back I provided Robert P with all of my material I had created for the Warhammer league I around 2010 - 2011.  I have also asked you about the presence of younger kids at the Prairie Game eXpo.  I live close to the Al Ritchie and popping over for a game or two with my boys was something I was considering.  I would like to hope my comments would not prevent me or my boys from attending a Readers Magic event (my 11 yr old and his school friends are hooked).  I hope it would not prevent me from attending Chewsday Challenge and Prairie Game eXpo if my time allows.  Many attendees of Chewsday such as Mac G, Derek C, Chris M, Tyler P, etc have all participated in some of my leagues or in other games I have facilitated and I truly enjoy your friendship.

I have done a million things wrong in my life.  I will make mistakes daily.  But I truly want to build things and not destroy them.  I hate the tension which I feel.  I am not alone in saying it is real.   So I am going to publicly make a few declarations:

To Chad: If we ever have the opportunity to sit down at a table and play a game I would hope it will be an opportunity for us to get to know each other on a more personal basis.  I have been a customer at your store often and you have always been friendly, welcoming and engaging.  Perhaps if one things comes of this discussion someone in this community can facilitate discussions between you (and others if needed) and any members of FRAG so we can finally resolve things.

To Dana:  I have known you for almost 20 years but I hardly know you.  When I was part of Matt's Formula De league I entered it only really having played games with Colin D and Jason D.  It was a great league environment and you were partly responsible for the great experience I had.  If you would like me to further clarify my reasons for anything I have posted on this forum I will do so in private (perhaps over a beer) or public if that will help end the tension.

To Matt R:  Not very long ago I started a Wings of War league.  I know you have a large Wings of War collection and were very active on the Wings of War forums.  In order to avoid tension I chose sides.  You had graciously invited me to your events and leagues and I can only image the betrayal which you felt at that moment.  I am truly sorry for this.  Your game events were a lot of fun.  It was an opportunity for me to get to know some great players I had not previously met, such as, Logan, Greg R, Bryce, Matt's amazing wife Kathy, Greg V, John K, Jason M, and many others.  I have fond thoughts of some of those times (especially the epic Formula De crashes).  I feel sorry for anyone who was randomly placed on my team over the two years of participation.  I am quite possibly the worlds worst Formula De driver in existence.

Also, Matt, your efforts of Saskgames have been nothing shy of amazing.  Thank you.

To Colin and Alex D: One year at BixCon Alex was explaining a dungeon game late on a Friday night.  I was aloof and goofy and this led to me being disruptive during the explanation of the rules.  I have never had an opportunity to apologize.  Recently one of my friends did something similar and it was like a light bulb flashed before me.   I am sorry Alex.  Your explanation of the game was awesome and as you continue to mature they will only get better.

To the FRAG board and other members of the gaming community:  It has been stated my comments are perhaps responsible for further divisions inside this community.  You have my most sincere apologies.  Everyone in this community should be able to partake in events regardless of the associations and friendships we have.  A lot of hard work goes into every event which is hosted in a public venue.  Dana said it well - we just want a fun place to play games.

I truly want all of these gaming events to succeed and prosper.

I have one more apology to make and it is probably the most important of all.

To Chris H.: A while ago some regular attendees of one of the regular Regina events invited you to attend.  You were hesitant to attend for your own reasons.  I was not there that night.  While you were playing a game with some of these friends you were taken aside and asked to leave the public facility.  I cannot imagine the humiliation you would have faced at that moment.  At times you are gruff.  When I first met you I judged you based on this rough(ish) exterior.  But as I have gotten to know you better over the years I know that you have a heart which only wants to grow the gaming community.  You put tireless effort into the monthly FRAG events.  Many would become bitter and angry or vindictive.  You refused to do that.  Instead you held your head high.  You have continued to support everything in your own capacity and way.  You have never let that moment change your character.  I know you have wanted to participate in that event despite all that has happened.  I am sorry for not having your back until now and I hope someday you can be welcomed instead of vetted.

Michael Becker
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Matt Robertson

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Re: scheduling of Parire Games eXpo? (confilct with FRAG Games Day)
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2014, 05:11:01 PM »

I guess we had an airing of the grievances. Frank Costanza would be proud.  :)

In all seriousness, I have been reluctant to get involved or post but with items mentioned, I now feel compelled to do so.
First of all, when I created the SaskGames site and started the community in 2010, it was with a vision that all game clubs, all game stores, all game conventions would have a place to post their events. The site is non-partisan and provides tools and assistance to all entities wanting to engage in the gaming community. Furthermore, I committed to countless hours of community building, administration, and to paying for all the website and hosting costs out of my pocket. This commitment also involved making sure the site was ad-free and free to use for everyone. Those principles and guidelines are still in place today. 

Over the last five years, I have contacted numerous members of the gaming community with offers to collaborate and assist in growing the community. This has included regular offers to FRAG board members. My phone never rings, my inbox is empty. Offers to meet or collaborate have largely fallen on deaf ears. That is fine; SaskGames is merely a tool for engaging the community. Use it or not. I do have to admit though, that I am somewhat perplexed at why offers to collaborate, build a community, and construct a centralized calendar of events have been met with such resistance. I have done everything I can; others need to put some skin in the game. It is unfortunate that you feel this is a competition Mike. That is in the minds of those who have not seen this for what it really is: an opportunity for collaboration.

At this point, I need to get direct. I find it somewhat offensive that you would bring names of people into this conversation, especially referring to events surrounding the removal of a person from a public game event. Those decisions are never made lightly, and actions taken were done so with good reason; reasons that will not be divulged publicly out of respect the people involved. I have always believed conflicts should be resolved privately between the individuals involved. It is never our intent to humiliate or disparage anyone. The mature thing to do is for people to discuss and settle their differences over a coffee or beer and not use a public forum to air dirty laundry. There are multiple sides to any story, make sure you understand things more holistically before you wear the mantle of judge, jury, and executioner. I invite anyone with questions or concerns to contact me directly. Let’s move towards a drama-free Saskatchewan gaming community.

I want to end my message on a more positive note, so let me shift gears with these words.

The gaming community, as any community, is full of a large variety of people with diverse backgrounds, diverse personalities, and diverse behaviours. There is no right or wrong, there is only a large group of people who share a love of a fantastic hobby. With any community that grows to a certain size, you will get different views and varying styles of behaviour. The wonderful thing is that we have such a large number of public events in Regina, there is something for everyone. There are events of various styles, of various social flavours, and of varying degrees of competitiveness. It is reasonable to think that everyone will find an event that suits their liking. It is not reasonable to assume, however, that all events will be appealing to all people. Our hobby is diverse, much like the constituent members that make up the community. We are lucky to live in a city with so many events and so much choice.

There are various people, clubs, and stores who are stewards of the hobby and community. It is apparent that there is not a desire to work on a unified strategy or vision, so there are multiple divergent efforts. This is a hobby activity and none of us are getting paid for our efforts, so there is no need to fret or stress about it. It really is too bad there is a divisive stance in this, but that is the reality for this particular time & place. No biggie. Let’s leave those bugbears alone. We will continue with our efforts on the SaskGames site and series of events. We have our hands full and are pleased with how things are developing; it does not leave any time or energy for turf wars. We will encourage all groups to post and share their events on the site. They can be as active or as dormant as they like. SaskGames has proven itself as an effective tool to help grow the hobby and community. It is free to use for all game clubs, game stores, and gaming events. I feel quite confident that the model that SaskGames has brought forward over the last few years is one that is achieving success.
•   We are closing in on 700 members.
•   We are getting over 100,000 page views each month.
•   We are constantly bringing new people into the hobby.
•   We have a weekly public game night that is averaging around 50 attendees.
•   We are proud to see a move towards gender parity in attendance for events.
•   We have a very successful annual boardgame charity event that raises a lot of money for those in need.
•   We have started a successful monthly SaskGames News Bulletin as a further outreach tool.

We are always looking for ways to improve or further advance our mission. The recent formation of a SaskGames Leadership Team is another step in that journey. The Leadership Team is chartered with helping SaskGames navigate the next phase of growth and we are excited with what we see ahead of us. So, as a final thought, to those of you who may still view this as a competition, I gently and humbly ask you to shift your views and focus to one of collaboration instead. After all, we are just a bunch of people who love to play games.

Sincerely,
Matt Robertson
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Colin Dearborn

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Re: scheduling of Parire Games eXpo? (confilct with FRAG Games Day)
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2014, 03:24:32 AM »
Not sure why my son and I where mentioned in the above post. I have no affiliation with Prairie Game Expo, and haven't been a Frag member for a couple of years. I do moderate a little on the forums here, but am only loosely affiliated with any of the organizations. I play and enjoy teaching games.




I also give no weight to a public apology from an event 3 years ago when it is obviously part of some other agenda.