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Avonelle Wing (Avie)
Works at Double Exposure, Inc
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Avonelle Wing (Avie)

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Hey, DREAMATION IGX folks -

This is your periodic gentle reminder that nothing is set in stone until the schedule goes live on the DE website.

We might have to make adjustments to avoid scheduling multiple games in the same or similar systems against each other, or because the GMs have realized some sort of conflict.

We work hard to create seamless con experiences, so bear with us. You can use the current IGX schedule available in places online (+Kathryn Miller? link?) to formulate some ideas of how you're registering, but only as a guideline, not a promise. 
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As Avie said the purpose of the preschedule is to check for errors, generate excitement, and allow for gms to make changes up until the IgX gets handed over to Double Exposures Registration team. The schedule is subject to change until it gets posted on the Double exposure site.
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Avonelle Wing (Avie)

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Just updated the IGX schedule: http://ipressgames.com/igx-update/

We are at 77 events and could use more! Events at Friday 8pm and Saturday 8pm are sorely needed.

Deadline to register for events is January 15. Running two events will get you free admission to the convention! To register, fill out this form: https://goo.gl/forms/WuDzgoQLFy1MES0s2

Please reshare!
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Are you still looking for larp help?
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Avonelle Wing (Avie)

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I'm excited to read this interview w/ Chris Spivey of Darker Hues Studios about his current project! 
 
Five or So Questions with Chris Spivey on Harlem Unbound
Hi all! Today I have an interview with Chris Spivey on his new Cthulhu RPG Sourcebook, Harlem Unbound . It's currently on Kickstarter and sounds really amazing, so I wanted to share his thoughts about the game with you. Make sure to check out the Kickstarte...
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Avonelle Wing (Avie)

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saving to read later. this sounds huge.
 
A brain region that integrates emotions and actions appears to undergo accelerated maturation in adolescent girls with PTSD, but not in boys with the condition, a Stanford study has found.
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Dymphna C.'s profile photoAvonelle Wing (Avie)'s profile photo
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I'm reaching out to see if I can get a copy of the study document.
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Avonelle Wing (Avie)

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OK. I was starting to say this on twitter, but it really ought to be a long-form post.
Content warning: assault, violence, bigotry, yes.

By validating hate, and demonstrating that a man who says HORRIBLE THINGS and openly admits to assaulting women, power has shifted, and the only way to take it back is to know what's coming.

I'm assuming that many of the people who voted for T instead of HRC have never been "the vulnerable one" for whatever measure that is.

What happens when a Really Big Bully gets validated instead of punished for the punching and other terrible things is that smaller downline bullies start testing the limits.

First, they say something hideous to strangers. If nobody calls them on it, they say something even more hideous. I'm not talking vulgarity - I'm talking things that take away the power, agency and personhood of the person being spoken to.

Then, when that doesn't get them punched in the face or scolded or reprimanded by somebody with the authority to do so, they escalate.

This is how abuse starts too. The abuser tries a thing. it works. they try again, testing the edges of your compliance and then, they start working to take apart your personhood. At least, in situations I've experienced and seen.

So, if you can, call out the little transgressions. Make them uncomfortable. Create or help maintain a culture where those transgressions are not supported - not by silence, not by complicity, not by tacit approval.

Once your boundaries are worn down, there's an escalation. IF YOU CAN DO SO SAFELY, call out bullying. or ask somebody with status - social, systemic (like HR) or otherwise - to call out the type of hateful, bigoted bullying we're going to see increase.

By knowing what the patterns are for this shit, we can protect ourselves and the folks who are most vulnerable.
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This is really good to have laid out like this.
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Avonelle Wing (Avie)

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Folks,

DREAMATION usually hosts the winners from the VikingCon scenario-writing contest.

This year, the winners have asked to postpone their visit to another time.

VikingCon has offered to share some new nordic larp scenarios to us, if somebody wants to run them.

Anybody interested?

+Jacob Nielsen, +Asbjørn Olsen
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Ah! I can't promise to run tgem at Dreamation... So no rush for me. If I run them in Toronto they can come anytime. :) 
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Avonelle Wing (Avie)

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Some very talented danish boardgame-designers have made this little masterpiece. Help them publics this game if you like intrigue with nobels. 
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/amongmeeples/among-nobles-a-bloodline-building-board-game?ref=hero_thanks
Establish the most powerful and prestigious family dynasty through marriage alliances, warfare and intrigue in feudal Europe.
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Avonelle Wing (Avie)

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This has been a very clarifying year for me.

Shortly after +Living Games Conference, I was in a conference with a fellow key-noter where the phrase "tending our mad mystics" got stuck in my head. and it stayed there.

I've been rolling the idea around and around in my head.

Along with my sudden burst of motion where hygiene boxes at our conventions are concerned, I've been sorting out what parts of our community I consider the most vital, the most vulnerable, the most in need of my energy and protection.

I had a conversation with +Mark Diaz Truman before Gen Con, right after The Post, where he infuriated me by dividing my world into "my constituency" and "his constituency". but again, he forced me to clarify my position, and to rethink my actions, my position, my purpose. (Mark and I have fought viciously a couple of times since The Post. Our current peace has been hard-won and isn't because I think he has made right on the fallout of The Post, so please don't misinterpret me acknowledging his pushing me to be better as anything other than that.)

Then, I went to Hive (hive.org) - while it was nothing like I thought it would be, it was also clarifying and galvanizing.

Before Hive, I told +darren watts that one of my panels for this year's Metatopia would be "Tending Our Mad Mystics..." and Vinny said "WHAT DOES THAT MEAN???"

after wrangling back and forth, I was able to state clearly that our community excommunicates people with big, messy, inconvenient or uncomfortable emotion, with a disproportionate burden placed on women to keep their reactions tidy.

And if our community is going to be truly intersectional and to support all gamers (game designers, game artists, game professionals, game verbers), that we had better start building better responses and developing better mechanisms for coping and redirecting the damage inflicted by a mad mystic, and fast.

At Hive, I was able to state clearly that my life's work is to redistribute entrenched, toxic power structures to protect the most vulnerable and most under-served of our community. That includes our mad mystics especially.

In an earlier post tonight, I mentioned that I saw an online community burned to the ground - it went down in flames because there wasn't anybody who was prepared to catch and redirect the energy behind the fury, and to help us navigate the field of hurt feelings, backlash, *shame* and conflict that happened during and after that scorching. We weren't any good at tending our mad mystics.

Since then, I've been able to help ease at least one community through the fraught early days and to sidestep the "BUT MY FEELINGS ARE BIG AND THEY HURT!!" test to validate the feelings and put responsibility back onto the person feeling them. It's terribly important for us to learn how to support somebody who is emotionally compromised, and to help them interact with the world in a way that protects them and the possible recipients of that energy.

Treating our mad mystics like damaged goods and pushing them out the door abandons our most vulnerable community members, and that isn't acceptable to me. It sets a precedent for punishment over rehabilitation, for excommunication over reconciliation. That is not acceptable.

What does a mystic do? They connect to the divine. They see the world in ways the rest of us don't. They're unbridled joy and enthusiasm when they aren't a whirling vortex of other emotions. They test us and push us to do better, to be better, to be more patient and more thoughtful. They bring an intrinsic value to my world, and the idea of them being shut out by the community because we're not willing to learn how to work with them devastates me.

(This thread WILL be tightly moderated. No picking fights with me. I'm not in the mood for anybody unloading their baggage onto me.)

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Rowan Cota's profile photoBlair Fitzpatrick's profile photoTobias Strauss's profile photoAvonelle Wing (Avie)'s profile photo
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Also, I leave for a con tmw. So I'm closing comments until I'm back and can moderate responsibly. 

Avonelle Wing (Avie)

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I've been reflecting quietly since Metatopia - first because I was too tired to do more than lay around and think.
second because the election results flattened me.
then because I'm heartsick over how people are presently treating each other.

A couple of years ago, I was involved in a conversation where I supported the idea of social exile as a solution for predators. I'm seeing that expanded to punish a wide variety of transgressions, and used to forestall the messy work of learning to work with people who have hurt us and people we disagree with.

Here's a truth - if everybody who has ever transgressed (by over-stepping, over-stating, getting worked up, flailing while emotional, overthinking oneself into a knot or simply not thinking something through enough) were exiled, like 70% of the folks who attended Metatopia would be somewhere else, including me.

This world is so fucking hard. and each one of you has something precious and irreplaceable to offer.

The idea that there is active fear tearing through the people I work so hard to support that they might misstep and get excommunicated - cast out of the community - by silent fiat has me sick to my stomach. This is not a better solution than what came before.

look - I'm learning how to talk about things with vulnerability and directness. I'm still figuring out how to pick a path through the murky swamp of conflicting priorities, hurt feelings, betrayal, confusion and miscommunication that lay at the heart of any conflict big enough to affect a community. I'm not good at it, but I'm in there pitching.

After watching a community absolutely dissolve itself during a conflict in 2012, I've learned a lot about listening to people who are in distress, in pain, acting in fear or passion/anger.

The entire rest of the damned country is losing its mind. We don't need to follow that path. We need each other to get through what comes next for our world; fracturing into factions is toxic and defeating.

Having active strife, fear and fury as well as blacklisting, boycotting and other social engineering in my backyard, affecting people I love is one thing too many.

If you're hurting, I'm here to listen. If you're trying to exile somebody by force of will, I don't agree with your tactics, and we need to chat.

(I'm disabling reshares and comments because I really cannot handle this blowing up right now. I'm about to fly to BGGcon, because my day job is "in games" too. I don't get to check out; I just get to dive in deeper. If you want to find me, I'm avonelle@dexposure.com)



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Avonelle Wing (Avie)

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I support +Avery Alder and Monsterhearts 2. *

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/averyalder/monsterhearts-2

If you want to have a conversation with me about what has gone into my decision, please feel free to reach out. Most people who care know how to find me.

Withholding support from a highly visible transwoman making art that teaches us to be better about talking about sex, desire and our darkest selves in order to punish her stretch-goal contributors doesn't seem fair, just or appropriate.

It compounds a transgression by MDT that should be addressed by the community, but not by punishing Avery.

This is a situation that I've spent literal hours of my life sitting with, before poor Avery stepped right into the middle of a hornets' nest and right up through this week. My work hasn't and won't stop on that front, but punishing Avery and withholding your support because of MDT/Magpie's transgression confuses the hell out of me.

*(I'm not currently pledging to KS campaigns because being self-employed doesn't leave a lot of free cash for RPGs, so you won't find me in her contributors.) 
A tabletop game about the messy lives of teenage monsters, now entering its second edition. Evocative, groundbreaking, and queer.
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Avonelle Wing (Avie)

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Here's A secret to the mess that comes next, friends -
Bullies have been validated. Bigots have been given power.

When you can do so safely, stand up to them.

Come to those of us who have status to share and ask us to stand up to them.

But, more important, talk about the situation. Talk to your friends about the experience of saying "It's not ok to say terrible things about gays." It's fucking TERRIFYING to be THE PERSON saying something. Being one person of ten or fifteen or 100 saying somethings in different places at the same time?
less scary.

I've been a lone activist in a potentially violent setting. I've also been one voice with a hundred other voices backing me up.
It is easier to have backup. Back each other up.

and fuck the phrase "slack-tivism". Fucking talk to each other. that way when one of us is too vulnerable in a moment to stand up, we KNOW that we didn't miss our only chance to make it better. Talk. To. Each. Other.

When your words stick like glue in your throat, come tell us so we can love you and promise that your safety is more important than challenging one bigot. or worse, one asshole trying bigotry on for practice, to remember how it feels.

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This. 
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Avonelle Wing (Avie)

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I wanted to share this specifically from the feed of the woman of color I first saw share it. But her feed was, reasonably, a private one.

So, instead, I share it without attribution:
https://www.splcenter.org/20100216/ten-ways-fight-hate-community-response-guide
This guide sets out 10 principles for fighting hate, along with a collection of inspiring stories of people who worked to push hate out of their communities.
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  • Double Exposure, Inc
    Senior Vice President, 1997 - present
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Senior Vice President
Double Exposure, Inc.
"Gaming the way it was Meant to Be!"
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DEXCON, DREAMATION, METATOPIA and Double Exposure's The Avatar System.
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Avie