A Gamers' Gaming Getaway aims to:
- Provide a welcoming place where all who love games can have fun and learn together face-to-face
- Create connections within and between different gaming traditions
- Promote game creators, designers, publishers, organisers and artists from diverse backgrounds
- Be as inclusive and accessible as possible, while recognising that full accessibilty can be challenging.
Please let us know if there are things which you think we could improve.
We are providing simple accommodation with full or self-catering options in a pleasant environment with the aim of fostering a strong sense community at an affordable cost.
We have drawn inspiration from many excellent events that we have attended, such as UK Games Expo, Dragonmeet, AireCon, HandyCon, BGDevCon, KCON, The Smoke LARP Festival and others. Whilst we don't seek to fully replicate these, we have shamelessly borrowed ideas believing that plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery.
We welcome feedback and everyone's contributions to help make A Gamers' Gaming Getaway enjoyable and successful.
Ticketing & Logistics
Mark loves boardgames and wargames and has been live roleplaying since the hobby began at Peckforton Castle in the 1980s where he was one of the refs. He founded Heroquest LARP in 1986 and recently returned to running it and Herofest. He's run countless live roleplaying events at Blackwell's Adventure Centre over many years although this is the first games convention he's run.
Catherine is the Creative Producer and Games Master at Time Games . She's an experienced escape game designer, games master, speaker wrangler and convention volunteer. She's worked at WorldCons, EasterCon, DragonMeet, UK Games Expo and others. She produces/directs interactive films and experiences, including immersive game-making for the corporate training market.
Trader & Media Liaison
Dave's an award-winning boardgame designer who runs GGG Games and coordinates PlaytestUK's Gloucestershire Gaming Group. He grew up playing D&D until he was seduced by live roleplaying. He plays a LARP character who designs games and runs The Guild of Good Games which publishes games in-character. Dave loves games conventions and regularly volunteers at UK Games Expo.
Escape Games Lead
Game Discussions Lead
Chamber LARP Liason
Liz is a Senior Lecturer in Digital Narratives and Transmedia Production at Leeds Trinity University, and is researching a PhD on Escape Games in Education, She's been designing educational escape games since 2015, and wrote Unlocking the Potential of Puzzle-based learning
In 1988 she founded The Adventurers Guild national LARP society, and has run several massive multiplayer campaigns over 30 years.
Tabletop RPG Lead
Alan's been living games since the early 80s, back when there was no internet, and only fanzines. He's managed game shops, made LARP weapons, and ran commercial PBMs for 20 years. Wargames and RPGs were always for fun, and so more important. Alan's an award-winning writer who now works in psychiatric support (mainly, but not exclusively, in autism), where gaming will soon play a part.
Robert is the founder and CEO of Physical Gaming that is bringing intuitive, physical games to the World. He believes there is a growing need for non-digital ways of social entertainment to break the ice between people and brings friends closer together. His latest game is KATAK ARENA.
Hassan is the Head of Entertainment at Physical Gaming. He is a final year PhD engineering student at Cambridge University. As a spirituality-inspired person, he practices mindfulness through daily meditation and yoga. He loves salsa and bachata dancing, is a poet and romantic, and teaches mindful dating.
Games in Education
Sally is a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Cambridge. Her research project, wellPlaying, is addressing student wellbeing problems be using games to empower teachers with the tools necessary to prevent student wellbeing problems and enhance student learning outcomes.
General Approach to November 2021 event
The physical and emotional wellbeing of all who attend A Gamers' Gaming Getaway is important.
We have measures and policies in place to help ensure this but ultimately safety policies are no use without safety culture – and that has to come from you, the participants. We ask for your support in this.
While children and young adults are welcome to attend A Gamers Gaming Getaway, this event is not aimed at them.
If you do bring children under 16, you are responsible for ensuring they are supervised appropriately. The organisers are unable to take any specific child safety responsibilities.
Alan Morgan, one of the organisers, will be present for immediate first aid and is a mental health professional. Please speak to him if you need assistance, and let him know if you need to use any of Blackwell Court's first aid equipment. There will also be other first aiders present if required.
If you have food allergies and are using the catering provided, please ensure that Chris Lab, our catering, is aware of them in good time so that he can take your requirements into account when buying and preparing food.
Content Warnings: advice for running Role Playing events
Roleplaying events, whether live or tabletop, that run at A Gamers' Gaming Getaway should use content warnings, so that prospective participants can form a good idea of whether or not the LARP or TTRPG will be suitable for them. Content warnings should cover any material that may be upsetting to participants.
Content that might require warning could be something described in a character’s past (eg. they once had an abortion), or something that may happen or may be played on during the LARP/TTRPG (eg. they are currently pregnant); and it could be relevant to all characters (eg. all are under sentence of death) or only to some of them (eg. one of them has a terminal illness). These different possibilities may affect participants differently. Please make your warnings clear about which of these are applicable. Even if this content is secret from other characters within your LARP/TTRPG in general, please still be absolutely transparent in warning about it, so that participants are giving fully informed consent. (If you do have content that will be relevant only for some characters, then you must give participants the chance to opt away from those characters, either in advance, with a casting questionnaire; or during if you are using a workshop when characters will be created.)
Please also use warnings about structural elements of LARPs which some players may find difficult, eg. “this LARP will involve loud noises and flashing lights”, “this LARP will require you to go on a simulated date iwith a fellow-participant”. Please also be clear about general accessibility requirements for LARPs so that prospective participants are clear whether it may be suitable.
Here’s an example of the kind of content warning used for an event run at The Smoke LARP Festival (whose guidance we have adapted).
We will not tolerate harassment at A Gamers' Gaming Getaway. We do not expect harrassment to be an issue but believe it's vital to make it crystal clear what we expect of all attendees.
We are dedicated to providing a safe and fun experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnic origin or religion. Everyone attending is expected to treat other attendees, volunteers, organisers and Blackwell's staff with respect.
Physical or verbal harassment or assault will not be tolerated. If an attendee engages in harassing behaviour, the organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expelling them from the event with no refund.
What should you do if you are being harassed/witness someone else being harassed?
In some cases you may find the harassment stops if you clearly say ‘no’ or ‘leave me alone’, or simply walk away. We would appreciate it if one of the organisers is informed to help us identify any repeat offenders. If you continue to be harassed or notice someone else being harassed, please notify the organisers so we can take action.
Some examples of harassment include:
- offensive verbal comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, ethic origin, race or religion
- explicit sexual images
- deliberate intimidation or unwanted stalking or following
- harassing photography or unwanted recording of people
- deliverate disruption of talks or other events
- inappropriate physical contact
- unwelcome attention, including sexual remarks, jokes, or taunting, leering, prolonged intimidating staring or suggestive gestures
Please note this list is not exhaustive. Participants asked to stop any harassing behaviour are expected to comply immediately.
Thank you for helping us to make A Gamers' Gaming Getaway a safe and inclusive event that everyone can enjoy.
We have exclusive use of the venue but still ask that everyone stays alert about your own security and of each other's possessions. You must wear your attendee's lanyard and pass throughout the event (except when in bed, in the shower or when live roleplaying).
The Chivalry & Sorcery Group Room and the Herofest Wooden Cabin will be locked overnight. We expect that most other areas will remain accessible overnight. Please keep any valuables with you or locked in a car as we are unable to take responsibility for them.
A Gamers' Gaming Getaway believes in raising charitable funds to support good causes. In 2021 we donated:
£1125 to The Honeypot Children's Charity
£187.50 to the Chrysalis Youth Enterprise Network
£100 to enable children from an Internally Displaced Persons camp to attend the African Boardgames Convention (AB Con)
Our main charity in 2021 was The Honeypot Children's Charity who are the UK's national young carers’ charity. Their countryside respite breaks, and range of support services give young carers, with responsibilities beyond their years, the chance to be a child again – because you only get one chance of a happy, fulfilling childhood.
Many thanks to our Gold Sponsors Brittannia Game Designs for nominating the charity and also donating 10% of their sales at A Gamers Gaming Getaway to The Honeypot.
We also supported the Chrysalis Youth Enterprise Network (CYEN) in Uganda. Their Butterfly Project is about developing young social entrepreneurs to be gamechangers in their communities. LARP and boardgames such as Alhambra and Power Grid have played a key part in this over the years - you can read about that here. This led to Ugandan Village Boardgame Conventions being run in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Here's an account by Oloya Elvis of the 2019 Convention which included a LARP about Global Warming and a lengthy game of Twilight Imperium.
CYEN recently ran a Boardgame Lockdown Bootcamp and also hope to run another Village Boardgames Convention in 2022.
In November 2021 they brought children together from rural areas all over Uganda for the Platinum League Kids Athletics, which they founded in 2018. Funds from A Gamers' Gaming Getaway will help them with that and other events.
2021 fundraising also supported Honeypot, the UK's national young carers’ charity.
Many of us like puzzles and challenges, so here's a game to try before the event.
There's lots of symbology and many hidden meanings within our logo. See how many you can come up with (here are some hints if you need help to get started), and then compare with our 21 hidden meanings.
Please let us know if you find ones we've not noticed. If you come up with twice as many, you'll be a 'Geeky Geek Gamer' and win a prize for getting a geek goal!
If you're a Geeky Geek Gamer then you may be interested in trying to find hidden within our logo a Clue to The Answer to The Ultimate Question.
The hexagonal image with 3 four-sided dice next to this is a hint to the clue. The hint itself is pretty obscure, but then so is life, the universe and everything.
If you think you know The Clue, or have puzzled and can't find it, or just can't be bothered to solve silly puzzle games, then here's our answer to The Clue to The Answer to The Ultimate Question (with a diversion into the elusive mathematical 'three cubes problem') which perhaps shows that God does play dice in the Gamers' Gaming Getaway universe.
Whilst we're on the subject of logos, please click on those of our Sponsors and Supporters to find out more about what they do