An Unclear Future
- Well - I've been reflecting a bit over the past week about Unity
Games. In the two weeks since it's formation we have mostly had
traffic for South Shore Gamers meetings. The list continues to grow
and tonight I got another gamer looking for a group. As many of you
know I've been dealing with expansion issues for the SSG since the
spring - it's not easy to accommodate new players. Also, the
chemistry of the small group has been seriously altered - some good
and some not as good. The small group feel that I fell in love with
has somewhat disappeared with the appearance of more players and split
tables. I've gone to several meetings where I didn't get a chance to
game with some people I really enjoy due to the multi-table splits.
I'm concerned that as more people enter our ranks it could inevitably
collapse (I can almost hear Pete thinking how paranoid I am!) to the
point where I'm not having much fun. If I can't have fun at my own
group, I can't see the point of going to it anymore.
The discussion today about the mega-game-group once a month seemed
like a good idea - the logical conclusion to the growth. On second
thoughts I've realized it's making me more nervous and the future of
the SSG is very unclear. I should have stopped taking in new people
when we hit 7 or 8 gamers (where 3-6 typically showed per session).
That's not to say that the 6 or 7 new people who have been to a
session aren't great - they are fine people but someday (with
continued growth) there will be conflict (I've talked with Ken Howe on
the phone when I started my group and he had some stories to tell) and
I never want to go to my own group and feel uncomfortable. At the
Gathering (and elsewhere) I've heard other visible game groups in the
country talk about this need for restriction - I felt this was
ridiculous. Now I can see where they are coming from. Size, in this
case, is not always better. I miss the small sessions where everyone
sat at one table and we knew ahead of time what we would play.
I hoped the formation of the Unity Games would take some of the
pressure off as there would be several other groups for people to game
with. As it stands, Mark's group is completely closed. Walter has
not posted a request for games to his group which has met for two
weeks now. One other group (who I will not name for their sake) that
I invited has declined on the basis that they do not want additional
players. Another would be happy to have his group published in Unity
Games (Greater Hudson Area Gamers run by Joe Huber) but as completely
Closed/Private which somewhat defeats the purpose of having them
listed. I feel the SSG will take on the brunt of new gamers as they
join the list. My limiting of the SSG at my place of work to 9
players was a first step.
This is the next step:
As of now, I am closing new invites to the Unity Games list. I had a
list of about a dozen or so potential invites.
I am withdrawing support for the once per month game effort. I think
the intentions are good, but the effort/cost/maintence and headaches
will be more than I personally want to deal with. I know Mark and
Bill will do a bang-up job should they wish to organize it and I will
try to attend but without heavy commitment or sacrificing anything
I've built with the South Shore Gamers.
There will be no new players to the South Shore Gamers sessions. This
means the normal Saturday sessions (or whatever day we might move them
to). Barnes and Nobles sessions are open game nights so those are
outside my realm of control. SSG sessions will be invite only.
This leaves me with one last question - is this list necessary? Seems
a shame to abandon it after such a short time. With the SSG moving to
a closed status (like the GSG and GHAG), will there be enough traffic
to warrant continuing it? Anyone have a suggestion for what we want
to do with the list - if anything? I'm happy to just close the doors
with the click of a button and dismiss the ragtag band we've
assembled. If someone wants to take serious control of the list for
continuation of a pool of interested gamers in the area - that's fine.
But with only one open group, I suspect there will be some serious
effort involved in keeping things interesting.
If we want to keep the list to inform each other of various open
gaming or other game related events in the area, that's fine.
http://www.gis.net/~dber (South Shore Gamers)