GaelCon33 Update

Gaelcon 33 is falling nicely into place for the October weekend. We’re taking on the feedback from last year with the goal of making the convention run smoother, but a lot of the core team will be the same. (It being fairly difficult to do the traditional recruitment tactic of cornering people in the pub and asking them to sell their soul.)

Headline news is that Brian Nisbet has agreed to lead the auction to new heights of taking your money (for charity), Graham Turner our quiz master again and Colm Lundberg will be running a new version of Radio Gaelcon with a surprise twist which we’re not releasing yet.

The call for RPGs is out, and if you have a game you want to run you can submit it here; https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfSOdFcgIw0W4v5DKx8jVXwLVn1A5TVOkXr0kVvxpDfUQhkGQ/viewform 

Isabella Storey-Cosgrave is RPGs Czar again, with two new assistants. New fresh RPGs are coming in through the submission form, and we are also happy to have people who simply would like to run games – games written by others, games from the archives, even published scenarios which you just fancy running for folks. People willing to run entry level games for new players are particularly welcome, as we would like to have some of those in the programme. If you have specific questions about RPG’s or LARPS you can always Email RPGs@gaelcon.com,

Rian Boyle is back leading special events – quiz, auction and panels – which all went excellently last year. Rian is also in charge of CCGs; we will run at least 1 tournament because while face to face CCGs may be back in many local game shops, not everyone will be able to get to those so online events will be important for people. Card games is an area where we also would welcome more hands:- people who can judge and can drive tournament running software well are going to be needed during the con so please do shout if you have those skills.

There are teams working on other areas like staff, trade and logistics – we’ll introduce them as we get closer to the convention. The call for staff for the weekend will come out in early September, but in the meantime folks who want to help out with any part of the con can give us a shout – email chair@iga.ie

In the lead up, some things are happening during August. Colleagues at Octocon have an online panel on writing RPGs on Wednesday 28th July which is obviously of interest to gamers. Gaelcon have two events coming up: Xander Cosgrave will lead a short session on writing a programme blurb for your convention game on August 5th and then we are working on a longer Gaelcon workshop on developing a full convention game on August 12th. Both will be on the IGA Discord. – links and more promo will appear closer to the event, but if you want to get in the IGA Community Discord right now, click here https://discord.gg/pXAx7zZRqZ

 

 

Gaelcon 33 will be online this year.

Our hopes for Gaelcon 33 changed as the news changed from week to week, but we have decided that we must have an online event. Various things influenced our decision:

  • The news about the pandemic and the vaccination rollout changes from week to week
  • We don’t know when we might have certainty about the numbers possible in the venue – we can’t predict when we might actually have solid information on which to base a plan for a physical convention.
  • Our intended venue is now part of the hotel quarantine system, and no one can predict when that might end. There is a plan for the civil service to have a team managing the process for 12 months, so that doesn’t bode well for us.
  • Given the rising cost of venues and the uncertainty about the pandemic and its aftermath, there is a significant financial risk if our numbers were to be limited – in fact, this cost is going to be an issue in the future, venue costs are the bulk of the cost of running Gaelcon, and and if they continue to spiral as they have, we may have to bump up the weekend price in future years
  • A hybrid event is technically possible, but in practice complex, and we weren’t willing to gamble the success of the convention and the enjoyment or accessibility of it trying to make major event of the year on making hybrid work successfully. That said, hybrid is the next challenge to overcome, and we might run some smaller, experimental hybrid events when we have enough people with the skills and time, without detracting effort from Gaelcon.
  • Several other events in the Fall have already opted to go online; the broad consensus seems to be that in-person events won’t be possible before December.

We have two main threads of ideas for themes, and we need to pick one soon, but I’m open to suggestions. Two strands were suggested: Resurrection/Rebirth/Renewal/Renaissance and Gaelcon with some sort of digital/online theme like Gaelcon-nected? Gaelcon Matrix, or Gaelcon Infinite. The VIP ticket holders lead on this choice, but your opinions and ideas are welcome.

I have some people already “volunteered” for the committee, and I will be approaching some other folks, but I am open to offers of help with preparing the con, whether on the committee, as writers or simply as staff. I have a form here for folks who’d like to get in the loop early, whether you want to help out form now, or just put a name down for helping on the weekend

In other news, the formal company registration to register the IGA as a Company Limited By Guarantee has been filed and accepted. Obviously, something which would in normal times have taken an hour in an office was stretched out over some time, and we have a few things to do yet like new bank accounts, but we will be able to have a genuinely open body with a wider membership. This wider membership means that we can move forward with more events and a broader range of things happening than we’ve been able to do in the past with our limited committee.

Finally, if you want to stay in touch with the IGA Community, don’t forget to Join our Discord

Mike Cosgrave

chair@iga.ie

 

Changing Course

The IGA needs a gamer friendly accountant  and solicitor to update our corporate structures.

As it currently stands, the IGA is officially constituted as an “Association unlimited by guarantee” like many other associations and clubs. However, this means that the liability of the members for any debts of the association is unlimited. In practice, while it is unlikely, if the IGA was the subject of a lawsuit which slipped past our insurance cover, the full cost could fall on the members. Understandably there are quite a few people who could and should be members who cannot sign up to that risk. It is a serious obstacle to expanding the membership and increasing our range of activities.

The limits flowing from the current structure have meant the burden of keeping the show on the road have fallen on a shrinking group whose goodwill has been worn out, while a great many people who have been active helpers aren’t members. People who weren’t formal members could be forgiven for feeling that the association was a sort of secret cabal with funny handshakes! Activities which should have been reviewed and kept fresh have become a little stale, or fell by the wayside.

The current committee are very much committed to changing this, most probably by converting to a “Company limited by guarantee”. There are many operations out there that will do this as an off the shelf setup. We have a few wrinkles which are slightly more complicated which we would like to get right. Therefore, we intend to take advice from someone who will do more than just a standard setup. We are also keen to get it done quickly.

This will not be without risk: it will certainly incur some annual fees, and we will need to find ways to meet those. We also face other challenges: convention venues are rising in cost, as is insurance. The association has a warchest, but without reviving our activities, we risk running into real problems in three or four years.

So we’d like suggestions from the community of suitable professionals who can do this. We are not looking for a freebie, but ‘mates rates’ would be nice. In any event, since we have to spend money on this, we’d prefer to spend it in our community. If you know someone, pop me an email to chair@iga.ie in confidence

Mike Cosgrave

Chair, IGA