Primary Aim:
– Improve how Scottish gamers and role-players interact by bringing these hobbyists together through an integrated social network that encapsulates their creative and professional interests beyond Facebook, Googleplus or Twitter since none of these primary social networks facilitate all the tools for gamers to get together and organise gaming in a focussed way that captures the majority of gamers’ attention.
Secondary Aim:
– Bring gamers and role-players further into the accepted mainstream in Scotland working to the benefit of their local communities and themselves.

Method:
Note: Naturally there is some bleed in between these steps and they don’t necessarily need to follow one another precisely as some of the plans may occur slowly or more quickly than others.

1. Research
– Research and discover the larger role-playing and gaming groups and shops across the central belt of Scotland. Do this via Facebook by creating the social group Scottish Central Belt Pick-Up Gamers. This Facebook group has two aims. First it will record gaming groups, conventions, developers, podcasts, businesses and take ideas on good practice for gaming and gamers. Secondly it will act as a point where gamers can interact and “pick-up game” with strangers – thus bringing different gaming communities together through links of a handful of players from each gaming group.

2. Engage and Meet
– Meet as many gaming groups as possible and use those opportunities to promote other nearby gaming groups.
– Discover their needs, gaming preferences and if applicable, their future desires with regards to gaming so as to further understand any potential problems or opportunities in the future with regards to developing the gaming community.
– Put them in touch with one another via the Central Belt Pick-Up Gamers project, which will begin as an Internet-based forum, Twitter or Facebook network to put gamers and roleplayers in touch with one another to advertise their games to one another as suggested in the research phase. Feed these groups help with marketing for their games as much as possible through this fresh, new network.

3. Create An Internet Hub of Activity (to be named) to replace the Central Belt Pick-Up Gamers Project and spread beyond the Scottish central belt
– Create a website, which in the first instance, advertises all of the gaming groups collected from the research step in one place.

– In return for promoting their websites and groups, ask and encourage these different groups to advertise this central online hub as a way to meet new gamers, discuss best practice and as a go-to place for finding out about gaming in general in Scotland.

– Create events for all of these groups to come together in one place, from small events to large conventions. Use these opportunities to advertise the individual communities across the Scottish central belt. as well as the Internet hub website itself.

– Use the hub website to bring the best skills out of individual gamers and allow them to share their expertise amongst one another. For example, burgeoning roleplaying publishers often require artists for roleplaying books. Use the community and hub site to bring these people together. This differs from normal gaming community forums in that often only gaming itself is discussed. The hub would be less focussed on gaming content discussion and more about facilitating gamers to get their game on.

– Once the hub has established itself in areas around Glasgow and Edinburgh, expand these out to Dundee, Dumfries and Galloway, Aberdeen and Inverness to encompass all of Scotland.

4. Make Gaming More Professional and Attractive

– Begin actively meeting with other DIY and volunteer groups to meet their needs through those members of the gaming subculture who need their help. For example, music gig organisers in Glasgow would be introduced to musicians in the gaming hub; community drama groups would introduce their members to LARPs and so on, English teachers for non-native gamers and so on. Gamers could potentially advertise jobs at their workplaces to other gamers they know and have befriended already.
– Spread these stories of good work throughout the online community – the positive cycle of the hub’s work should theoretically spiral upwards from there, giving its members a chance to make something of themselves, make more friends and increase the number of gamers and role-players in general.

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