In the past couple of months discussions popped up on Twitter and elsewhere about finding ways to eliminate barriers for folks wanting to participate in gaming. That sparked a conversation in our community spaces about how we might support that. We’ve come up with a first step intended to help marginalized gamers and/or those dealing with financial hardship a way to play online with The Gauntlet Hangouts.
What is Gauntlet Hangouts?
It is an online gaming community which provides space for reliable online play supported by an app and supported by mandatory use of safety tools. GMs & Event Creators post sessions on our calendar at least with a good lead time. Players sign up for events there and each has a waitlist. You can see our site here.
Supporters of our Patreon get priority RSVP access. After the first week of a game posting, anyone can sign up. The Gauntlet has an open table policy, so for most games players can drop in for a session or sign up for a whole series. Gauntlet Gameway is a new program to give gamers from marginalized communities or in a financial pinch early access to the event calendar.
We’re setting aside 25 Gauntlet Calendar membership slots. These will be offered free of charge to members of marginalized communities or those suffering financial hardship. You can define that and we won’t ask for an explanation or details. This also gives access to our Slack if you want. If you’re interested or have questions, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Why Game with Gauntlet Hangouts?
- We have a gaming calendar filled with a wide-range of indie, storygame, OSR, and other kinds of rpgs.
- We’re glad to help new players get set up: walking you through the technical side of things.
- GMs teach the rules of games and you don’t have to buy materials.
- Our online calendar app means you can see what’s coming up and most sessions actually happen.
- We require that all games be run with safety tools. We ask all GMs to explain and use the safety tool(s) of their choice: Script Change, Lines & Veils, X-Card, etc., Open Door
- We have players and GMs across different time zones. Community members try to work with requests for particular times or games.
- The community’s supportive of trying out new hacks and playtesting new games.
We want to provide an online gaming option for people who might find the joining the Patreon for RSVP access a barrier for money, commitment, or other reasons. We also want to make sure the power of choice and authority rests with them. The Gauntlet Calendar and our play culture mean add reliability to sessions. Finally the use and discussion of safety tools is a priority.
What commitment is there?
We ask that all community members abide by our Community Code of Conduct. We also ask that everyone follow our best practices for sign ups. If you try it out and find it isn’t for you, you may quit at any time. In this case, we ask that you contact us so we can free the slot up for someone else.
How long does this membership last?
Your RSVP priority access will last for six full calendar months. At the end of that time, we’ll check in with you to see if you want to continue. If you do, we’ll set you up for another six months, and so on.
What do I need to play?
A computer with a decent internet connection and a microphone. A camera is useful, but not absolutely required. GMs teach the rules and make materials available so you won’t have to buy anything.
I’m more of a GM than a player, can I GM?
We ask that community members play with us a few times before we set them up to create events. This gives potential GMs a feeling for our play culture. It also shows us that someone can commit to attendance and scheduling. We also occasionally run Gauntlet Facilitator Camps, where three new GMs workshop with a veteran about all kinds of issues from recording sessions to managing safety tools to pacing.
If I don’t want to do this but I want to play in a session, can I do that?
Yes. After the first week of priority access, anyone can sign up for sessions. You’ll see a time listed on events showing when they open up. You’ll have to register at the site. Many events end up pulling from the waitlist, so signing up is a good gamble.
Are you going to advertise or broadcast who signs up for this?
No. We might mention the number of people enrolled in the program, but that’s it.
Who do I contact if I’m interested?
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com if you’d like to participate or if you have questions.
This doesn’t eliminate all barriers. Money, time, and accessibility all still create roadblocks. But we hope it’s a decent first step. We’d love to have designers from these communities join, play, and then have a good place to run their own games. If someone tries it out and then migrates to another online group, that’s still a win. We want to share our expertise and help bring more players into the community.