Many of you probably saw that your Directors went on a retreat last month. For the few, the bold, the coffee-and-whiskey driven that went, it was an eye-opening and unifying experience. I’ve participated in a lot of LARPs and LARP organizations over the year, and it’s rare that I left a meeting with my peers feeling as refreshed and empowered as I did having spent my time in the company of your Directors.
There’s a lot of rhetoric that you’ve likely heard in DR over and over again, the biggest of which was ask your Director. I’ve seen people repeat it so much that it might as well be carved into their faces. I imagine a lot of folks picture DR like a triangle-based hierarchy, in which the “National team” is at the top, with the directors right below them, and finally you the players. What became clear and unified is that that description simply didn’t work and was not true.
So let’s start with what the National team really is.
The “National team” are resource providers to the Directors. They create guidelines, source texts, and media for both Directors and players. These materials are then given to the Directors, who work with each other and occasional clarifying input from the resource providers before sharing and explaining the applicable resources to the playerbase. When someone tells you to ask your Director, it’s likely because you’re asking the resource providers something that they cannot answer. The best comparison I have is that if this was a classroom setting, the “national team” would be the textbook, and the Director would be the teacher. You wouldn’t ask your textbook a question after you’ve searched through it for answers, you’d ask the teacher. That teacher might speak with their peers, or reference a teacher’s version of the textbook, but they’re the ones they’re to guide you. Not “National.”
There are some resources that you, the players, receive separately from what your Directors provide in order to hold us accountable or seek help – the Crisis Line and the National Feedback Form. Those help ensure that you have a voice if your Director is doing something you’re unsure about, in the same way you’d see a Principal if you were worried about a teacher. If the teacher is saying 2+2=5 when the textbook clearly says otherwise, you can reach out to the National Feedback Form to make sure that this is accounted for.
All this requires some rethinking in terms of who and what is National and what words we use to describe it and each other.
National is your Directors. They provide you answers, feedback, and support. When a Director answers something for you, there is no “going to National” afterwards because that person is National. Anything that warrants a discussion will be done so with the rest of the National team.
Dystopia Rising LLC is a resource provider who supplies rules and materials to both players and Directors. They won’t be able to answer your questions and they will refer you to National, which is your local Director. We want to make sure Dystopia Rising LLC isn’t getting bogged down with questions they can’t answer – every email they have to address or forward or parse through to the National Team is less time that they’re able to produce cool resources for us.
And let me tell you, there are some really, really cool resources coming down the pipe now that they have the space to do so.
Any questions about this? Just make sure ……. to ask your director. ;}