Stoking the Fires of a Gaming Community

It's 2021 and we're still not all back playing games [don't worry: this is an optimistic post!]. This is - of course - very tricky for everyone in the hobby: naturally we feel too keenly the lack of games, and for all the opportunity some of us have gained to finally get some paint on our toys, ultimately, we all miss the chance to roll dice and move toy soldiers around. But it's more than that too, isn't it? After all, I don't just miss gaming - I miss the clubnights too. I miss the people and the in-jokes and the victory dances and the sore losers and the unhealthy snacks and the rules queries and the rules lawyers and the smacktalk and the sudden guffaws and the wails of despair and the beautiful paint jobs and the improbable dice rolls and the sarcasm and the smells and the spectacle. I miss old church halls with badminton courts marked out on the floor and community centres buzzing with the deafening cacophony of youth-clubs and freezing in winter and mismatched tables and passive-aggressive little signs in kitchenettes. And the chats. And the friendships. And the friends. And so, it's important that when we start to emerge blinking from the bunkers we have clubs to go back to. [As an aside, the photos illustrating this post were chosen not because of their pretty minis, but because in the background they show the floors, walls, and makeshift terrain (oh - and the players!) that make up our club night gaming experiences...] I'm lucky. After almost a decade of living in a very rural area with no-one to game regularly alongside, I eventually found two really good clubs only an hour away from home, and since then I've never looked back. Now David - the fellow who runs one of them - is asking for volunteers to help him get the club up-and-running again in a post-lockdown future. He needs members to help with set-up, to liaise with other users of the space, and to be on a committee. Why a committee? - Well, because there will be government grants available to help community groups get back to running again. And grants need applications. And applications need committees. So of course I've said yes to being on a committee. It'll mean a few meetings each year and dealing with a bunch of inpenetrable paperwork that no-one really understands, but it's almost the least I can do, right? - after all, even the very best of gaming clubs don't run themselves, and as the world hopes to return to a new normal, we might just need this gaming-based social interaction more than we ever have before...   - Chris

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