NOTE: You may disregard this message if you're not local to Knoxville /
actively play at Organized Play. :)
The past couple of months, we've had an attendee at the games who has, to
many of us, demonstrated a significant shortfall in table manners and
understanding of table etiquette. Don't worry, if you see this message,
you're not that person. But I'm pretty sure we all know who's being
discussed here. In short, that person has been indefinitely banned from the
grounds of Organized Play.
I'd like to briefly discuss some of the issues at hand here. When I opened
up the store nearly two years ago, I did so with the desire to provide a
safe and accepting place, particularly for RPG gamers, who I felt had
largely been disenfranchised from local game store play. While we've changed
in many ways, and in location, I still believe a great deal in this core
mission. Part of that mission means understanding, tolerance and celebration
of people who do not share my social values. As such, it may seem at times
like I do not take a hand, or care, what goes on outside of what's happening
with my cash drawer. That can't be further from the truth.
I am aware that several people opted to not come to events or play the store
because of this person's at-table behavior. I accepted that because when I
was younger, I was similar in the sense that I had no real sense of what
civil society social values were. RPGs, particularly D&D, were instrumental
in teaching me cooperative social behavior and acceptable social etiquette.
While I understand that several of you likely wish I had acted sooner, I
stand by acting when I did, because it is my fervent hope that Organized
Play can serve as a similar teaching tool to those of us who, like myself,
have shortcomings in socialization skills.
*However*, while we may be a 'clinic' for social skills, though, we are not
a 'nursing home,' and I have exactly zero tolerance for issues of blatant
gender-based harassment. I spoke with the offending person yesterday at
length concerning his on- and off-table behavior, and after later learning
of gender-based harassment on his part yesterday afternoon, promptly banned
him indefinitely from the store grounds, actionable by law enforcement. I
had previously offered the person an opportunity to change his behavior
after discussing it in specifics with him, but to me, gender-based
harassment is the proverbial 'noxious weed' in game stores across the
country that has to be immediately removed if we ever want to see RPGs, and
games in general, considered anything other than hostile to anyone who's not
white, pasty and male.
*If you EVER feel harassed because of a personal characteristic, PLEASE
notify me immediately. *Despite what you may think, I'm often the last in
the loop to know about on-table issues, because it feels like 'tattling'.
Believe it or not, the owner is often the least-informed person about what
people actually think of his/her establishment! Keep me in the loop, folks.
If I got the volume of complaints about this person that I have in the past
couple of days after I've started mentioning the issues to people, I would
have taken action considerably sooner. Please don't wait for me to prompt
you! You can also feel free to talk to Jay if that's more
Lastly, I want to thank all of you - so much - for making my store a great
experience for others, and a sustainable enterprise for myself. Without the
LFR crowd's support, I truly feel this space would be much less of a
success, both socially and economically. I truly consider you all not just
customers, but friends, in a city where, to be honest, is nowhere near my
home or social support base.
Owner, Organized Play
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