RPG (Role-Playing Game) Research - RPG Community Center Status Update August 26th With Some More Insurance and Logistics Updates

Role-Playing Game Community Center Status Update and Some More Insurance and Logistics Updates - The challenges of opening an all-RPG community center for children, senior adults, neurodiverse, ...

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STATUS UPDATE 20220921

WE NEED TO RAISE $1,300 USD IN DONATIONS TO RE-OPEN PUBLIC ACCESS TO THE WORLD'S LARGEST FREE AND OPEN RESEARCH KNOWLEDGE BASE ARCHIVES OF 10,000+ CONTENT ITEMS ON THE EFFECTS OF ROLE-PLAYING GAMING.



We now have a quote of $1,300 as the minimum cyber liability premium we must pay in additional insurance in order to re-open the world's largest free and open research archives on the effects of role-playing gaming. This $1,300 is in addition to over $5,000 we have paid so far to open the community center to the public. Please help us re-open to the public this knowledgebase containing more than 10,000 content items. Donation options here: https://rpgresearch.com/donate Learn more about the challenges with insurance since we opened the Role-Playing Game Community Center here: https://rpgresearch.com/blog/blog-news-category/rpg-community-center-status-update-august-26th-with-some-more-insurance-and-logistics-updates



PREVIOUS UPDATE 20220826

Role-Playing Game Community Center Status Update and Some More Insurance and Logistics Updates - The challenges of opening an all-RPG community center for children, senior adults, neurodiverse, at-risk populations, and people with disabilities. t has been a lot of work over the past 6 months with insurance, scheduling volunteer staffing, facilities improvements, health and safety issues to address, etc., but we are now able to resume our regular weekly programs!


While direct participation is only possible if you happen to be in the greater Spokane area, or able to drop by some time, but after a very long hiatus mostly offline while being so busy getting all this in place, though folks here might find endeavor of interest. A lot of details included to share about the many challenges of such programs. I am working on some longer writings elaborating further (or at least multiple blog postings coming). If you have any questions about this significantly complicated undertaking, please ask away!


These are actually just the summary highlights of this massive undertaking.


The RPG Center is 1/16th city block (may soon expand to 3/8ths), with multiple buildings, and subsidiary supporting structures (trailers, bus, 5 storage sheds of various sizes, etc.).


"Update about the RPG Community Center and RPG Museum. Join the free role-playing games fun each week!

Weekly Fridays 4-8 pm, Saturdays 1-5 pm at 101 N. Stone St. Spokane, WA 99202.

https://rpgcc.org

https://rpgmuseum.org

RPG Research Phone/text: (509) 608-7630


We finally worked out all of the insurance issues an we can once again allow participation from all of the populations we previously served for decades but had to put on hold for six months while we went through significant challenges trying to get insurance to be able to open the RPG Center to the public. You can see a summary of those challenges here:

https://rpgresearch.com/blog/blog-news-category/good-news-approval-received-to-resume-access-for-younger-and-older-players


We can now allow as young as 4 years old on the properties (we have run research projects with as young as 2.5 years old neurotypical and ASD non-verbal toddlers, but our insurance won't allow younger than 4 years old for our community programs and in-the-field research).

Ages 4 to 12 must be constantly accompanied by an adult parent/guardian with requisite paperwork signing.


Ages 13-17 may attend without parental/guardian supervision if the parent/guardian signs the requisite paperwork, including the caveat "we are not a babysitting service" so it is critical they pick up their child before we close.


We are also allowed to resume serving the at-risk youth and adults population as long as there aren't any "incidents" (claims). We've been running such programs or decades without incidence, so hopefully that isn't going to change any time soon. :-)


18 through 65 were not an issue for the insurance.


We also can now once again allow senior adults 65+ years old on the properties as long as they do not need medical or other assistance from us. If they need assistance they must have a helper on-premise at all times while on the property and may need to sign some waivers of liability.

We also are once again allowed to allow people with disabilities on the property (I kid you not!). We had to negotiate special terms for coverage, but as long as the person does not need assistance from us, or has a helper of their own on the premise at all times if they have any such needs, and sign the requisite forms, they may once again be allowed on the properties.


To be clear, this is the insurance companies setting these restrictions. It was really, really painfully upsetting for me to have to tell the children, senior adults, and people with disabilities that we couldn't allow them to participate or even be on the property until we could get the insurance companies to agree to terms (that we have been providing RPG programs to for over 40 years!). But we finally worked out the details (and expensive!) and the many insurance riders and additional policies we had to add.


Today's game offerings:

  1. Call of Cthulhu
  2. Pathfinder
  3. D&D5e.


Tomorrow's game offerings:

  1. The One Ring 2nd Ed
  2. FATE.


Other weeks we may typically offer any combination of (not all-inclusive list):

  1. Doctor Who
  2. Firefly/Serenity
  3. No Thank You Evil and Kids on Bikes for kids
  4. Bubblegumshow (13+)
  5. Dresden Files
  6. Labyrinth
  7. Dark Crystal
  8. Critical Core
  9. Stargate
  10. Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game (BFRPG)
  11. Star Wars d6
  12. Dune
  13. Twilight 2000
  14. Cypher/Numenera
  15. Shadowrun
  16. Starfinder
  17. FATE Super Heroes
  18. and many more!


Offerings each week/day vary based on availability of our volunteer game masters and their schedules.


RPG Research is 100% volunteer-run 501(c) non-profit research and human services charitable organization providing community role-playing game programs. RPG Research Mission: https://rpgresearch.com/mission - Vision: https://rpgresearch.com/vision - Impact: https://rpgresearch.com/impact


We have multiple tables available each week. We currently have 10 trained GMs, with about 6 others in the queue, and another 10+ starting training soon. Any given week though, since all volunteers, we may only have a few available that week.


Right now we are down to just 3 tables in the main community common area room (Building B, Room 1, tables 1-3) (south entrance through fence gate).


We are working weekly on getting the other separate rooms/tables ready. And ramping up new GM trainees (takes 24 to 48 weeks (1 4-hour session free training per week) for them to get their diplomas).


We should have 2-3 more rooms in the next week or three ready (the RPG Trailer 1 (Vengeance), RPG Trailer 2 (Octane), and RPG Bus - total 6 tables concurrently).


Room/table 7 is a separate out-building and going to take more donations and work for us to finish the game room building (windows, insulation, sheet rock).


Rooms/Tables 8-12 are in Building A (rooms 1-4 of that building).


We need to get security bars added to Building A's doors and windows before we put anything of value in there, which depends on donations, so it will probably be October/November before those rooms are ready.


We are limited in how many tables we can staff with our volunteer game masters each week depending on the availability of our trained volunteers each week. We will be recruiting new trainees to join our free, rigorous, game master training program, starting next week. Courses for new trainees will begin in September.


All of our volunteer game masters have been through a minimum of 24-48+ weeks of intensive training, peer review, testing, labs, and community supervision, as well as all pass regular background checks.


The goal is for everyone is to be and feel safe and have fun. We are so happy that participants report "it is like coming home to a warm, safe, friendly, welcoming home, one I never had before"!


We hope to see you at the RPG Community Center soon!


Happy Gaming!


Hawke Robinson

A Washington State Department of Health Registered Recreational Therapist with a background in Therapeutic Recreation, computer science, neuroscience, cognitive neuropsychology, research psychology, nursing, play therapy, education, and role-playing gaming.
Hawke Robinson has been involved with role-playing games in community settings since 1977. Studying methods for optimizing the experience of role-playing games since 1979. A paid professional game master since 1982. Studying the effects of role-playing games upon participants since 1983. Providing role-playing games in educational settings and for educational goals since 1985. Working with incarcerated populations since 1989. Researching and using role-playing games to achieve therapeutic goals for a wide range of populations from 2 years old through senior adults since 2004.
Founder and CEO of the non-profit 501(c)3 charitable research and human services organization, RPG Research.
Founder and President of the for-profit <https://rpgtherapy.com">RPG Therapeutics LLC and RPG.LLC.
Author of the RPG Professional Workbook available on Amazon.
Creator of the wheelchair accessible RPG Mobile fleet.
Founder of the RPG Museum.

2 comments
Hawke September 22, 2022

Status Update 20220921 We now need an additional $1,300 USD (annually) to add the Cyber Liability insurance we need to re-open the knowledgebase research archives containing more than 10,000 content items on the effects and uses of role-playing games. We will need to start a fundraising effort to get this as soon as possible.

Administrator August 30, 2022

We have operated as an ad hoc non-profit organization since 1979, began sharing our research knowledgebase archives (now with 10,000+ content items and growing rapidly) online in the early 2000s, but only incorporated with a full board of directors and 501(c)3 status in 2017. We have always on a shoestring budget, and a rather "pot luck" approach (volunteers bring thing to loan that we needed for specific programs/events), with very few actual assets owned by the organization, and since we are 100% unpaid volunteers run, our administrative overhead is extremely low.


Until we acquired the RPG Community Center property, our annual operating expenses were only about $5,000 per year, because we "rode on the coat tails of others", meaning we operated (and still also continue to provide our services) in libraries, other community centers, schools, camps, parks, other people's houses, other facilities sometimes loan\ed to us for free for events, etc. about $1k of that $5k is required by various government agencies for us to exist as a legal entity (business licenses, city, state, county, and federal filings, etc.), the rest for books, paper, dice, printing character sheets, replacement folding tables/chairs, and other items when they wear out.


By 2012 demand was completely outstripping my ability to find sufficiently trained staff, so I had to develop a training program so that our Game Masters were prepared to work with the at-risk and people with disabilities and neurodifferences populations we regularly support. Because this was such a project/program oriented approach, each time we finished a program or event, when the next one came up, I would have to train a whole new batch (often in different geographic regions or with very different skills needed for the different populations being addressed for that program).


So finally in 2016 I started to standardize retaining and training volunteers and we incorporated. at our previous volunteer peak (before we had to temporarily suspend most of our global volunteers to address trying to get insurance for the community center, we had around 200 volunteers across 6 continents). The blog details all of the insurance challenges and what I had to do to become "compliant" to get the insurance in place to open the doors of the center.


As stated, we were always on a shoestring budget, and since we are 100% unpaid volunteers run (including all executive staff and board members), our administrative overhead is extremely low. Donations we get go directly to cover operating costs used to enable program delivery directly to the communities we serve.


Until we acquired the RPG Community Center property, our annual operating expenses were only about $5,000 per year (one year in 2020 we served more than 30,000 people and spent $10,000 USD that year). We were able to keep other operation costs down, because we "rode on the coat tails of others", meaning we operated (and still also continue to provide our services) in libraries, other community centers, schools, camps, parks, other people's houses, other facilities sometimes loan\ed to us for free for events, etc. Using their insurance coverage, facilities, etc. for free.


About $1k of that $5k of the budget is required by various government agencies for us to exist as a legal entity (business licenses, charity filings, city, state, county, and federal filings, etc.).

Now with the center, our operating costs have increased 10-fold, but hopefully we'll be able to serve exponentially more people now that we have a stable home base (and hope to have more in other locations over time, donations pending).


Here is the most recent summary of our operating costs: That is without any capital investment, without any improvements on the facility (paint, flooring, etc.), that is just "treading water" now. Over time I hope to write a detailed essay of the whole experience to help others be prepared for all the steps necessary for such an endeavor. Meanwhile I blog openly about it regularly to help share the trials, tribulations, and triumphs as we go.


https://rpgresearch.com/operating-costs

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