[Artemisia] Event Thoughts

Bruce Padget bapadget at yahoo.com
Wed Dec 8 10:11:59 CST 2004

For a little over a year, I've been talking to folks -
dozens of them - about the so-called "magic" moments
at events.  You know, the moments that keep you coming
back despite the crap.  By no means a scientific
survey, but the answers showed me sufficiently
consistent patterns to draw some conclusions.

The vast majority said that their magic times happened
well after dark.  A minority said they had had such
times very early in the morning.  A smaller minority
said they had such times in the afternoon, when they
hit the tired-but-not-yet-exhausted phase of fighting.

The vast majority (at least 95%) said that magic times
*only* occured in unplanned, unscheduled happenings at
events. No one said that magic happens only or chiefly
during planned happenings.

All agreed that there is no predicting when magic will

My conclusions:

First, magic is random.  My dad taught me a lot about
probability.  (He is fairly knowledgable in advanced
physics, but most of his probability lessons seemed to
involve cards and chips :D)  He said the main thing to
know about probability is that, no matter how small
the probability of occurence x, given enough trials,
occurence x becomes a virtual certainty.  (Hence the
maxim in astrophysics that anything not forbidden is
mandatory. :D)

In event terms, this means the more events there are,
and the more you go to, the more likely there is to be

Second, magic tends to happen at the start and end of
the day.  I've noted a trend -- not entirely imposed
by site owners -- of Artemisian events starting later
in the day and ending earlier.  By limiting the
chances for magic in this way, events seem more like
chores, and the cycle becomes self-reinforcing.  

Third, embrace chaos.  At my favorite events, the
event steward doesn't see his job as planning an
event.  Instead, his job is arrange time and space for
an event to happen.  As one clear example, if you get
a dozen fighters in the same general area, do you
*really* think they won't think of anything to do if
you don't plan melees and tourneys for them?  

I've heard a little talk of a malaise in Artemisia. 
Three solutions that strike me as pretty clear -- more
events, longer events, less structured events.

Abbastanza Buon Non E Abbastanza Buono
bapadget at yahoo.com

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