|Please don't exclude our educators, GAMA!|
However, this change comes at the expense of a massive segment of the gaming population. The project dates of the next two Origins Game Fairs run concurrent with the last week of school for Dayton Public Schools, Cincinnati City Schools, the Ohio State University, and many other institutions throughout the Ohio Valley. Columbus Public Schools, in fact, will still be in session until June 14th, 2012.
This shift in date prevents educators, librarians, administrators, and pretty much anyone who works in the education field from attending the next two Origins Game Fairs. With only limited time off during the year, educators are outright unable to use personal or professional days to take time off during the end of the year. Further, families with school-age children will be unable to attend, as students are discouraged from missing end-of-year activities like commencement ceremonies, final exams and more.
The date change flies in the face of an amicable relationship between the community of educators and GAMA, as Origins has always held a special track of events specifically to cater to educators. Similarly, this move is a slap to parents of school-age children, who have previously been among Origins' target audience, complete with "family friendly" tracks and a "kids-only room" run in conjunction with Mayfair Games.
It is my belief that Origins will face a sizable and crippling drop in attendence, as the communities of educators and of school-age families are unable to attend. I value Origins as a convention--it's been, by far, my favorite gaming convention since I began attending. Frankly, it both disappoints and even frightens me to think that this may be my last Origins Game Fair, simply because of my profession. Even if you are not an educator, even if you do not have school-age children, this change affects you: how many of your GMs or fellow players were teachers? How many volunteers and vendors have school-aged children?
If you feel as I do, please sign the petition that I've created, hosted here: PetitionOnline--Origins Date Change.
Nothing changes unless we, as a gaming community, speak up!