Just before bed last night, I opened an email with this statement. It outlines Gary Con's mask requirements for next year's convention in March.
Having just suffered under Dane county's mask mandate with GameHole Con last weekend, my series of Gamehole blog posts starts here, I'm not about to put myself in a similar situation. From experience, I can tell you that masked gaming conventions are a bad idea. Especially, if the convention already forces attendees to be fully vaccinated!
Aside from the discomfort, hassle, and increased noise, we human beings use our faces to communicate with each other. While it's vital for Game Masters to be heard, emote, and comfortably breathe during games, it's just as important for our PLAYERS to do the same - we need their full participation, which can't happen if their faces are covered.
Covid-19, thanks to the Chinese Communist Party and their gain-of-function research, stole many gaming opportunities from us over the last 18 months. If it wasn't virtual, it probably wasn't happening. This past summer, there were a few bright spots I was looking forward to, that kept me going when times got tough. Those were GameHole Con and Gary Con.
I wanted to "sleep on it" before making a decision. Well, it's the morning and I've made my decision. I can't go through that again. What I experienced with masking at GameHole has soured me on masked conventions for all time. The frustration outweighs my love for running games publicly for friends old and new. So, I'm forced to say never again!
If Gary Con continues its current mask policy, then please cancel my games. I'm out. It's just not worth it. To anyone reading this, the decision is yours, but my recommendation would be to NOT attend any tabletop gaming convention requiring masks.
If we don't fight back, this won't end. It'll continue to happen under the guise of "the new normal" as we, yet again, keep lowering our expectations. Our freedom will dwindle away a little bit at a time until we have nothing left, except for impotent compliance. The time to start fighting back was months ago. 15 days to flatten the curve is turning into 2 years of authoritarian control.
Individuals who feel the same are welcome to join me as we collectively oppose these draconian mask mandates. Stay strong, hoss!
Venger As'Nas Satanis
High Priest of Kort'thalis Publishing
p.s. I'd be remiss for not mentioning my own old-school, OSR, and traditional RPG convention happening in Madison, WI next Summer (July 2022). Details right here. Gamers have asked and I've told them straight-up that I will do everything in my power to prevent both proof of vaccination and mask requirements at VENGER CON, even if that means civil disobedience!