Public Statement and Apology Living Games 2018
Public Statement Please Read Fully:
Dear Living Games Conference 2018 attendees, programming presenters, volunteers, sponsors, partners and all members of the Living Games Community,
Thank you for participating in making Living Games happen this May. I am writing to thank you for taking part, to report on what your participation made possible and to publicly apologize on behalf of the core organizers for key failures in providing an inclusive atmosphere for our attendees.
This year was an incredible year of growth. With over 200 people registered for Week in Boston, the edularp mini-conference and Living Games proper, we hosted 199 attendees at the hotel in Peabody and got to hear 61 talks and play 23 games. We were lucky enough to be joined by many repeat attendees who helped carry the torch for creating this community and share even more of their experiences, knowledge and talents. In addition, we had over 150 new people from near and very far, who brought incredible richness to our community: new ideas, new connections, deep insights and experience as well as new energy to collaborate and take on challenges we had only imagined before.
As staff, we are incredibly grateful for all that the participants and supporters brought to the event. From initial feedback, it appears that for many people this was a positive, even transformative experience. However, we staff fell far short for our attendees and members of the larger community. Logistical and program planning made for roadblocks, unsupported experiences and placing of undue burdens on attendees and potential participants. A significant number of people, particularly people of color, have reported feeling excluded, erased and unwelcome. We organizers of the event take full responsibility for causing these experiences. We thank the participants, supporters and volunteers who stepped up despite the flaws in our planning. We have failed to achieve the core mission of LGC, which is to create an inclusive space for connection and dialogue for the whole community. We regret deeply the effects of this failure. We apologize for letting our attendees and the larger community down.
To address these issues, our goal is to listen to the participants’ feedback, take any needed immediate actions and communicate critical information about what caused these problems to future teams. We take this situation very seriously and are taking steps to determine how this occurred and how such breakdowns can be avoided in the future.
Our steps at this time are the following:
- Feedback is being gathered by Dave Kapell and Clio Davis who have posted on public forums where they are accepting confidential, informal feedback by email, direct message and calls upon request. You may contact Dave Kapell directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and Clio Davis at email@example.com.
- Formal feedback will be gathered during June 2018. This effort is being led by researchers and professionals Kat Jones, Diana Leonard and Julia Bond Ellingboe. Feedback will be taken in multiple formats. Feedback will be confidential and private, summarized in aggregate without names attached.
- Diana and Julia will analyze the feedback survey data, the informal more narrative feedback given to Dave and Clio, and LGC’s policies and procedures. They will develop a report of findings and provide recommendations for how to address and remedy what happened.
- Findings and recommendations are to be shared with the organizing team and community in July 2018.
- Current LGC organizing team will act on recommendations for present actions and recommendations will be provided to teams creating future events for changes to event and organizational structure.
If you have questions about the feedback process, please contact Avonelle Wing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are grateful for the feedback that people take the time to give, making it possible for future organizing teams to be able to create an inclusive, welcoming conference for larp designers, academics and players from all walks of life.
Emily Care Boss, Con Chair
Steering Committee Members
David Kapell, Registrar and Safety, email@example.com
Evan Torner, Programming and Games, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lizzie Stark, Week in Boston, email@example.com
Sarah Lynne Bowman, Programming and Documentation, firstname.lastname@example.org