Category Archives: community

Swancon 41

To give the reader some context about the following post I will begin with some information. Normally for conventions like Swancon & Worldcon (World Science Fiction Convention) there is a two year process in which a group of people who are interested in running one of these events would bid to run the event in two years time. For example people looking to run Swancon in 2017 would submit their bid in 2015.

With that being said at the 2014 Swancon there was no active bid to run the 2016 Swancon. As a result of this WASFF (Western Australian Science Fiction Foundation) took action to seek members of the community who would be interested in coming together and running Swancon 2016.

Out of the darkness some awesome people emerged to form the committee for Swancon 2016 (who I will thank at the end of this post).

Fast forward to the 24th of March 2016 at the Pan Pacific hotel and Swancon 41 comes to life with a wonderful opening ceremony, which included an introduction of all the committee and the guests. Plus a fantastic Welcome To Country by Professor Len Collard. After the opening the people of Swancon were unleased upon the program that had been prepared.

Speaking of the program I have a couple of points to cover regarding it. Firstly as a person who was on several program items I found the flow of information from the program coordinator Frames to be quite excellent. There were many updates and I felt very much informed and in the loop about program related things.

Secondly I found the program to be very balanced and well rounded with lots of diverse items on it covering a range of subjects. A complement to an excellent programmer.

I sadly did not get to spend much time in the gaming room as I was busy doing other things but it looked like the gaming room very well run again.

My only real point that I would raise is I felt the guests were not marketed to their fullest potential. However as the committee did not have a dedicated marketing coordinator I feel the committee did the best job they could with the resources they had.

Once again the venue at the Pan Pacific was first class with all the convention space on one level of the hotel. Once additional thing that was implemented was improved accessibility around the convention.

Unlike Swancon 2015 this year our budget did not allow us to stay at the convention hotel. This year we stayed at the nearby Good Earth Hotel and shared accommodation with a friend. Being very close by made it easy to get to the convention everyday.

Swancon 2016 was my 11th Swancon and I found it very enjoyable and relaxing (despite being rather busy preparing to launch as I am on the 2017 committee). A convention is truly rated by how you feel after the event is over. I came away from Swancon 41 with a very good feeling.

My thanks goes to the awesome team that put together Swancon 41 there were so many of you if I try to name you all I will probably forget someone. Also thank you to guests who gave us their time to be with us.

Swancon 41 was a good convention I am looking forward to the next time I see the members of that community and also for Swancon 42 (for which I am the lead programmer)


JAFWA 25th Anniversay celebration

Last Saturday (The 12th of December 2015) my wife & I attended the end of year marathon screening at JAFWA. The end of year screening also doubled as the 25th anniversary celebration for JAFWA.


As a way of information and background JAFWA stands for Japanese Animation Fan of Western Australia. I first started attended from around 2000-2004. In which time I saw some rather excellent anime and formed some awesome friendships. My now wife Cathy was also in attendance at that time and used to sit directly in front of me, however we never spoke to each other.

At the 25th anniversary they screened some awesome retro anime including Read or Die, Tenchi Moyo, El-Hazard, Neon Genesis Evangelion, GTO, Card Captor Sakura & Full Metal Panic! it was great to see these and other titles which are much loved by the anime community.

It was also great catching up with friend who were in attendance of the screening, some of whom I have not seen in quite a long time.

While the continued rise of the internet and streaming services have in some way caused diminished numbers at clubs like JAFWA. I still feel that clubs like this serve as an invaluable service to the community because it brings fans together.

My thanks to the committee of JAFWA for putting on an awesome event. it has rekindled my love of anime and I may very well may make JAFWA a regular fixture on my calendar again.

For more details on JAFWA please visit:

The fear of RPG players

Reciently I have been watching the RPG series on Geek & Sundry run by Wil Wheaton called Titans Grave: The Ashes of Valkana.


It can be found here if you are interested in watching the series

It was at episode 7 & 8 that I noticed something interesting which got me thinking regarding the relationship between the GM, the game & the players.

In episode 7 of the series a character was introduced called Runcible (pictured below). When he was introduced one of the party reacted with great suspicion to his presence and took action to be prepared for a possible combat situation… I will let you guys watch episodes 7 & 8 to see the results of scenario….


As someone who has both been a player & a game master for more than a decade I find it a very interesting case that RPG players are wary of anything even it might be benign and non threatening. I wish to pose the question… Have GM’s of RPG games over the years instilled into players an automatic fear that when something enters a game without the players knowing it’s intent?

I think the answer is yes… so the next time your GM introduces an npc into your RPG perhaps your strategy should be to talk to the npc first and perhaps not pull our your longbow or blaster.

Board Game Afternoons

Some of you may have seen my recent post of Facebook about the board gaming tutoring at the Armadale Library. I thought I would provide some more information in the way of a post on my blog

Firstly here is the promotions flyer which is doing the rounds.


This provides all the basic info but I thought some more in-depth knowledge would be good.

Obviously I am doing the games over a 6 week period in September and October from 1pm onwards on those days.

Below is a list of what games will be featured and the days they will be on

12th of September – Ticket To Ride

26th of September – Timeline/Cardline

3rd of October – King of Tokyo

10th of October – Qwirkle

24th of October – Formula D

31st of October – Stuff & Nonsense


It will be an exciting experience and I am looking forward to introducing board gaming to a wider community.

Catch you all on Wednesday for the first Doctor Who blog in the lead up to the launch of series 9