Back in ye olde days of Gauntlet Houston (in the bygone year of 2015), an initiative named Mandatory Fun Club was started. These events were organized around a theme and usually involved playing an assortment of non-RPGs as an alternative to the otherwise RPG-centric community. Many laughs were had:
It’s not necessary to enroll in MFC in order to run games for Gauntlet Hangouts; the modus operandi is to simply play at least a few games with us to get a feel for our culture and procedures, then contact Lowell Francis to get started on creating events. However, MFC offers a unique and supportive environment for people new to running games online through Gauntlet Hangouts. There’s something unique about having a veteran alongside you each step of the way, but even more reassuring is the fact that you’re stepping into the fray with a bunch of folks who are just as nervous as you, and willing to support you through the entire ordeal.
I should know; I was a participant in Fowler’s first run of MFC. Not only had I never facilitated a game before, I was also new to gaming online. I have a lot of gratitude not only for Fowler’s guidance, but for my fellows-in-arms: Dylan, Christo, and Max. My first game was a train wreck, but the feedback I received was positive, considerate, and encouraging.
This year I’m returning the favor and moderating another round of Mandatory Fun Club. Be on the lookout for upcoming spotlight articles on our participants and the games they’re running for MFC! We have an interesting assortment of facilitators with a variety of experiences and voices to bring to Gauntlet Hangouts. If things go well, there will be more sessions of MFC in the future; if not by me, than perhaps by one of my “students.” And if you have a tabletop gaming group, even of only a few members, I recommend you try a series with a structure like MFC’s: you’ll all leave feeling more connected, supportive, and optimistic of games to come.