Dragonmeet-logo-square-300x257By Paco Garcia Jaen

When Chris Birch told me he had taken over the organising of Dragonmeet and asked me if I’d like to organise the panels I jumped in right away. I love panels, what can I say?

But why do I like them so much? While some people consider panels a waste of valuable time, and to each their own, I personally consider panels the perfect opportunity to learn and understand not just the games I play, but also the people behind the games and issues that surround games.

From the way the rules are created, to the thinking behind those rules and the genesis of the setting where they’ll go. All those aspects of gaming that are less discussed and less talked about than the rules and the setting themselves, are the things that make me tick and help me become a better player and a better GM.

So for me to be able to help organise panels that can bring a new layer of knowledge and understanding to some gamers who find it useful is an opportunity I can’t let pass me by.

One of the beauties of organising panels for Dragonmeet is that everyone is always willing to help. Ideas are proposed, people step forward to be part of the panels, ideas are thrown away after discussions and basically, it becomes a team effort to make sure there is variety and diversity all over the place.

And this is another reason I like organising panels and I feel panels are important. They give a voice to creators and gamers that otherwise would never be heard. Indie game developers and publishers, less well-known writers and artists in other media would never be heard. And that matters a lot.

Diversity, not just in gender, sexuality, ethnic and cultural background, but in level of exposure and expertise is a vital and integral part of what keeps the gaming hobby fresh and developing new ideas constantly. And it cannot be stressed enough how important that is.

Without diversity in our games and in our games creators pool, we would all end up playing in the same old setting. We would all be eating the same candy with a different wrapping. And let me assure you that is really, really bad.

So that’s my philosophy when I start to organise panels: Diversity. Diversity of games, diversity of panellists, diversity of topics.

In other words, richness.

So if you want to attend a bunch of panels that will certain have something to offer to the most curious minds, head to Dragonmeet this December, sit back and enjoy.