Reinventing the Game

So this past weekend was Birka, a fairly large event for us in the northeast. 1,500 friends and acquaintances from all over the East Kingdom. It’s shopping, fighting, fencing, and court until you drop.

It’s one of the events that you almost always come home feeling more tired  than when you left to go. At least for me. The event is a lot of fun and a number of great things happened including a couple of my friends receiving some well deserved awards.

Apparently this year was also a fairly rough year for some. I had a more than a couple of conversations with people about this game that we play and how it wasn’t the dream that they had begun with. In some cases their support base has totally disappeared or broken down and in others a lack of basic courtesy is slowly driving them away.


My son and I at Pennsic before taking my break from the SCA.

Honestly, some of the stories I heard are appalling and the behavior exhibited by some of the members of our society less than stellar. Disappointing, to be sure, but we all are only human after all.

This has happened to me as well. I ended up taking a break for a while and simply dealing with the things going on in my mundane life, but that was an extreme situation.


So when the Knowne World falls down around you what do you do?

Re-Evaluate Your Priorities

Easier said than done, right? It can be hard to turn a seriously critical eye to your hobby and get some answers. Go back to the beginning. Why did you join the Society in the first place?


A fairly recent hobby, Viking wire weaving.

Some people have specific goals: reaching a level of competence in a guild, learning an art form, etcetra. What are your goals? Do have any? They aren’t necessary this is a game after all. It is a hobby for recreation and if that is simply hanging out with some cool friends, so be it. Once you have your priorities it’s time to take a look at your game.

Are Your Interests Being Supported?

What I am about to say is considered heresy in some circles but it’s what I believe and since this is my blog I’m going to state it.

If your interests are no longer being supported by your current support group (be it household, laurel, pelican, or knight) for whatever reason it may be time to look for someone or people who can. Like I said, heresy right? Wrong! This is your hobby, your game. It’s supposed to be fun. If it isn’t it defeats the point of the game.

The sad thing is when I asked people why they stayed where they were when they aren’t being supported the answer I got was, “Well, it’s just not done.” Why not? I hate to sound like my mother but “Because” is not an answer.

The fact that this is the mentality of so many is not good or healthy. Nobody wants you to be unhappy or unsupported. People change and so do their interests. I’ve been in the society off and on (more on than off) for twenty years. I’ve changed a lot in that time. Likewise the people around you and their interests change. We cannot, as a society, make it taboo for people to find support in their desired field. I could rant on about this particular bit but I’ll stop here.

The End Result

Long story short: people change, their involvement with and within the Society changes and sometimes having honest conversations with those around us isn’t easy but it is necessary. We all have to remember that this is a hobby. We do this to have fun. If it’s not fun anymore than something has to change. The what is up to the individual but it’s important to know that change is OKAY, good even. Make this the game you want to play.





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