The RPGrrl's Blog











{October 2, 2010}   Read an RPG in Public Week
Being Seen

Public RPG reading

This week, as I discovered on The Escapist‘s blog was 2010’s third “Read an RPG Book in Public Week.”  There are three of them per year to give you plenty of chances to remember to participate, and they are based around three important dates per year.  The first week surrounds (starting on the Sunday on or before and ending on the Saturday on or after) March 4th, GM’s Day (and also the anniversary of Gary Gygax’s death); July 27th, the anniversary of Gary Gygax’s birthday; and October 1st, the anniversary of D&D co-creator Dave Ameson’s birthday.

As this was the very first “Read an RPG Book in Public Week” I’d ever heard of, I was excited to participate.  I tried to figure out all the public places I was going to be this week, which turned out to be a sadly short list.  I really only had two places I was “out” this week: the doctor’s office and a special regional food producers’ Market Day at the Old Fire Hall here in town.  I took the same book with me both times: the Pathfinder Core Rule Book.  Ironically, I was called into the doctor’s office almost immediately upon arriving at the clinic, and therefore didn’t actually get the chance to read in public.  I was also too busy to get through more than 3 paragraphs today at the Market Day, but I did manage to spend more time with my book open and visible, and I did get chatted up about it!

The person who took interest in the book was a woman, of retirement age, who was also volunteering at the Market Day.  She asked what I was reading, and I explained that it was basically the rules to a game I play, and had been invited to run for a group of girls starting next week.

“That whole thing is a game?” she asked, a little incredulously.

“In effect, yes,” I responded.  “The player makes up a character they want to portray in the game, and the Game Master leads all the players through adventures where they beat monsters, solve puzzles, collect treasure… that sort of thing.”

We were then interrupted by a customer.  Afterward, though, she asked what it was I did that I should be playing this game.  I wasn’t sure I understood the question, but then I realized she thought that it was probably somehow related to my volunteer work with a board or NGO.  “It’s a hobby I’ve had for about 12 years,” I answered.  “Just a game that we play for fun.”

She seemed satisfied with that answer, and did not pursue the line of questioning any further, but I was pleased that I got some real outside-of-the-geek-world interaction in, talking about RPGs.  I had succeeded in the goal of Read an RPG Book in Public Week: make the hobby more visible.

All in all, it was a fun idea, and a fun event to participate in.  Already I’m looking forward to March, and my next chance to officially participate in the event, though I will probably be found reading RPG rule books in public on dates other than these specified weeks.  It was cold out today, for October 2nd, and the wind was up.  Maybe for the July date the weather will be sunny and calm, and I will be able to convince my group to take a little picnic to the park and play an RPG in public, and see what kind of reaction we get.  A crowd of 5 women laughing and having fun ought to catch someone’s attention, don’t you think?

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I found out about your blog, via The Escapist Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Read-an-RPG-Book-in-Public-Week/316050748718

I think that five woman playing an RPG in public would catch some attention. And it would certainly make role players look more varied than the nerdy teen guy that is the stereotype.

Good luck with that!



I’m hoping my group will be willing to stage a public game during the next “Read” week. (Though, as I understand it, the PiP campaign doesn’t have a set date for participation.)



It is the 15th Anniversary of The Escapist this year, so maybe they will announce a Play in Public event for that. (Anyhoo, thanks for an interesting story.)



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