Moving Geas On-Line for Semester 1

Greetings Adventurers!

(In this email: migrating Geas to Discord for the new semester, survey on the challenges to moving on-line)

The Eusa Societies Team has been in touch with us, and they are advising societies that cannot social distance at their events to move their activities on-line for the first semester. As there is still uncertainty as to what the University will look like in the forthcoming semester, and how Eusa venues like Teviot or Pleasance will be running, we have decided to move Geas on-line for the first semester of the forthcoming academic year. In the coming weeks, we will be making preparations to transition our activities on-line. We will monitor the situation going forward and see whether or not it will be feasible for us to return to meeting in person from the second semester based on the guidance from the University, as well as any relevant government restrictions or guidelines.

Migrating to Discord

What this means is that for the first semester, all Geas events will be held on-line on our Discord server. We have run a number of events on our Discord server, and we have subsequently moved our summer games on-line. We are confident that this should be viable, although we appreciate that the experience will be very different, and there will be a number of challenges to this. We would appreciate any feedback or suggestions our members will have.

For our Discord, this is what we are currently planning:

  1. Having designated public channels that will be open to everyone, as well as sections of the server which will be for paid Geas members only.
  2. Having server bots that will make the moderation and management of the server easier
  3. Running our regular weekly Wednesday and Sunday gaming slots on our Discord server at the usual times, with Committee members present to help if there are any issues.
  4. Having dedicated text and voice channels for all games run at Geas, along with dice bots so people can run their games on the Geas Discord without having to buy personal subscriptions for platforms like Zoom.
  5. Creating a system by which we can host our game pitches and sign-ups on-line in real time
  6. Hosting events like one-shots and/or socials, on our Discord.
  7. Custom commands for members to raise concerns or issues of their safety on the server or in their games.

You can join the Geas Discord here: https://discord.gg/9QCrnK6

Our plan is to make sure the Geas discord is as close a simulation to our regular, in-person activities as possible by moving our pitches, games and other events on to Discord. As with our usual events, we will have all of our Discord server open until after the first couple of weeks of term, when we will start enforcing membership and restrict the members’ only sections. We will also ensure that the on-line spaces on Discord will be a safe and welcoming environment, especially considering that for most people this might be the only interaction they have with Geas and other members. This will mean some revamping of our Discord and the way we run it, as well as some formalising of rules for the server to ensure consistency with our Society policies as well as Eusa’s guidelines.

We are planning to revamp the Discord server in two weeks’ time on 20 July. During this revamp, we will be closing down access to the Discord server for a couple of days while we rebuild all the channels, roles, and permissions for the server. If you are running your summer game on the Geas Discord, please be aware that this might cause some disruptions.

We welcome any feedback or concerns our members may have, as well as input on what features they would like to see implemented in the Discord.

Challenges of Moving On-Line

We acknowledge that playing games on-line won’t be the same as meeting in-person. Not only is it a different environment, but can be especially challenging for people with cognitive or sensory difficulties. Further to our preparations of migrating Geas activities on-line, we are also going to survey our members about their experiences of on-line gaming over the summer so that we can identify any challenges our members might face during this transition and support our members in addressing these concerns.

We will use information from this survey to plan how we organise our on-line events, as well as what adjustments we would need to make in order to make sure that they are as inclusive and accessible as possible.

You can find the survey here: http://geas.org.uk/onlinesurvey

Moving Forward

While we acknowledge that moving Geas on-line is far from ideal, we believe it is the best option that we have in the current circumstances and avoiding risks to our members’ health. Moreover, this also gives us an opportunity for members of Geas who have moved away from Edinburgh to get involved with the Society’s events once again, and to participate in our weekly games or one-shots. We understand that there will be challenges to this, and hopefully we will all be able to deal with any such challenges proactively.

Any Questions?

If you have any questions, concerns, or feedback, you are welcome to email us and a member of the Committee will get back to you.

You want games? We’ll give you games!
Vivek Santayana
Equality and Wellbeing Officer, 2020-21.

17 June, 2020 17:52

Greetings, Grand Adventurers!

I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy during lockdown! Just wanted to let you all know that we will be holding two events in the coming weeks: a TTRPG themed pub social, and a digital attempt at our usual summer social.

The pub social is on Friday, June 26 at 1800 (6pm).

The summer social is on Friday, July 3 at 1900 (7pm).

Both events will be hosted via the GEAS Discord, which you can join with the link below:

https://discord.gg/FgWUPwH

If you’d like to be reminded of the events, you can follow the events on the GEAS Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/geasedinburgh.

For the glory of GEAS!
Stella Segar
Socials Coordinator

Dealing with ‘Zoom Fatigue’ and Other Challenges of Gaming Virtually

As summer games begin and our gaming moves on-line, we face challenges of adapting to new, virtual environments. In a previous post, I discussed a few tips on adapting our game safety tools for on-line play. In this post, we’ll look at some challenges to accessibility that video conferencing may pose. We hope that this will be a starting point for all players and GMs to think about issues that might arise while gaming on-line, so we can be mindful of this going forward and accommodate people’s needs. (more…)

Summer Games Deadline and Charity Event

Hey adventurers!

Just a quick reminder that signups for summer games close at 12pm tomorrow. You can find a full list of the GMs running games at the link below, along with instructions on how to sign up:

http://geas.org.uk/2020/05/23/geas-summer-games-2020/

Also one of our members, Milo van Mesdag, will be running a 24 hour gaming event in aid of the British Red Cross’ COVID-19 response. You can find more information about his livestream and support his efforts at his fundraising page:

https://tiltify.com/@milo_mesdag/24-hour-games-mastering

Keep safe out there,
Sophie Hine
GEAS Secretary

Virus-free. www.avast.com

Geas Summer Games 2020

Every summer, as we close for the academic year, Geas endeavours to provide GMs a forum where they can invite players to participate in their home games over the summer. This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are having to move everything on-line. This post is a listing of the various summer games for which GMs are recruiting players. (more…)

Game Safety in On-Line Play

When we game in person, it is usually straightforward to adopt safety tools in play: placing a T-Card at the centre of the table, reading through a safety checklist together at session 0, et cetera. When gaming online, though, reading the room and having these mechanisms in place might take a little forethought.

For more info on game safety tools, look up this resource that we’ve got compiled on our Google Drive: http://geas.org.uk/tools

You can find a copy of the Geas T-Card here: http://geas.org.uk/tcard

We at Geas want everyone to be safe and have fun when playing their games. This is more so the case now, as games have moved on-line. These are some tips for GMs running games on-line on how to ensure game safety even in these changed environments. We hope you find this useful! (more…)

Pub Quiz

Hey there adventurers,
Just a reminder that we’re holding a pub quiz this Saturday evening to celebrate the end of term. It’ll be held on Discord at 6pm on the 23rd May, you can join the quiz server via the link below:

https://discord.gg/hx6BGCf

So come join us for a bit of fun, banter and the chance to come away with a prize.

Keep rolling,
Sophie Hine
GEAS Secretary

Virus-free. www.avast.com

Summer Games and Pub Quiz

Hello adventurers!
As we’re moving into summer and the end of term, we thought it was time to update you on what’s happening within the society and how you can take part in summer games. Hopefully, we can provide a bit of fun as lockdown continues.

Quaransteams & Pub Quiz
Since the start of April, the committee have been uploading Quaranstreams to the GEAS Facebook page on Wednesdays. Our current and former Presidents, Robyn and Emily, have run a couple of livestreams together to give us all a bit of a light-hearted break from the current situation. Meanwhile, Vivek has interviewed members of the society and wider gaming community to produce a podcast exploring remote gaming and the history of GEAS. These are all available to enjoy on the Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/geasedinburgh.

To end off the summer term and in lieu of our usual social, we’ll be hosting a pub quiz on the 23rd May. The quiz will be run via Discord and will be TTRPG themed (obviously). More details will be released closer to the time, including team sign ups and possible prizes!

Summer Games
The society normally helps GMs find players for their games outside of term time with an end of term social; but owing to current circumstances this isn’t possible this year. Instead, we’ll helping GMs find players for their games online.

GMs will have until the 20th May to submit a game via this form: http://geas.org.uk/gmsub. Once we have a list of games, we’ll advertise them from the 23rd to 27th May, players will then be able to sign up for the games they’re interested in. We’ll be in touch with more details on allocations later on.

Keep on rolling,
Sophie Hine
GEAS Secretary

Results of the 2020 Annual General Meeting On-Line Ballot

Dear Adventurers,

I am pleased to announce the results of the on-line ballot for our 2020 Annual General Meeting. Thank you to all our members who voted, and to all those who put themselves forward for Committee positions for next year. We appreciate the dedication and commitment our members show in the running of the Society, and the way this is reflected when they participate in our AGM.

The following are the results of the AGM ballot:

A. Motions for the General Meeting:

Motion 1: Carried. Advisory committee positions will need to be ratified annually from now on.
Motion 2: Carried. The Game Safety Policy has been adopted with immediate effect.
Motion 3: Carried. The Anti-Harassment Policy and Complaints Procedure have been updated.
Motion 4: Carried. The Constitution has been amended.
Motion 5: Carried. Conpulsion 2020 has been suspended.
Motion 6: Carried. The existing advisory positions have been ratified.

B. Office-Bearers for 2020-21:

President: Robyn Higgins
Secretary: Sophie Hine
Treasurer: Amy McMonagle
Events Organiser: Emma MacKay
Socials Coordinator: Stella Segar
Conpulsion Liaison: Charlie Kelly
Webmaster: Alan Jackson
Equality and Wellbeing Officer: Vivek Santayana
Legacy Advisor: Emily Booth

Congratulations to the newly elected office-bearers. We wish them a fruitful tenure.

We would also like to express our sincere and heartfelt gratitude to last year’s committee, especially the out-going members Logan, Angus, Jason, Calum, and Judith, for all their hard work and leadership in making the Society grow.

Detailed results of the ballot can be found at the updated link http://geas.org.uk/agm

I am also really pleased that our experiment of moving the AGM to an on-line ballot given Covid-19 has worked well. Meanwhile, we hope all our members are healthy and safe in these tumultuous times. Take care.

Of Geas, by Geas, and for Geas,
Vivek Santayana
Equality and Wellbeing Officer

Reminder: AGM Ballot Closes 5 pm on Sunday!

Dear Adventurers,

This is a quick reminder that the on-line ballot for the AGM closes at 5 pm tomorrow (i.e. Sunday 29 March). The matters being voted on include the office-bearers for next year, as well as a number of matters like cancelling Conpulsion 2020, and changes to Geas policy and the Constitution.

Thank you to those of you who have already voted since the opening of the ballot. For those of you who haven’t yet gotten the chance to vote, this is your chance to have a say in the running of the Society.

The agenda for the AGM, including the full text of all motions, can be found at http://geas.org.uk/agm
The instructions for the on-line ballot, as well as the candidates’ statements for the office-bearer elections, can be found at http://geas.org.uk/election

And once you’ve finished reading the above, you can find the ballot at http://geas.org.uk/ballot

Owing to EUSA regulations, only student members are permitted to vote in our AGM ballot. This is why all members will need to authenticate with their University of Edinburgh Office365 log-in in order to vote in the ballot. If you have any trouble doing so, or if there are any problems with your ballot, please let us know.

In the Name of Geas and by the Will of the Dice,

Vivek Santayana

Equality and Wellbeing Officer