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Alan Moon's Gathering of Friends
This guy is so popular that his friends have to pay to see him...
- and he still has to limit the number of friends on the invitation list !

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Links to reports on other sites

It all began when Bill Cleary made the suggestion that they should organize a game weekend. Bill also explained how he wasn't cut out for administrative duties and that Alan R. Moon would be the logical person to do it. Alan was reluctant at first, being well aware of the work involved, but several months later he decided to take plunge.
That first year, 1990, saw 23 gamers from the Boston, Baltimore and Vermont areas gathered in two converted hotel rooms, one across the hall from the other. It was a great succes, and when Alan drove home was he already looking forward to the next year. And that is the way he has felt ever since.
The following years grew the attendance to 34, 40, 45 and then 70, and every time would Alan worry that more people would change the spirit of the event. That hasn't happended. It has now passed 200 attendees and it still has the same intimate feeling.

This is most likely due to the strict policy Alan use on his invitation list. This is not a stuffy event just for the elite, but it still a place for Alan to meet friends from all over the world, and for it to be a joyful event even for Alan, must it have a managable size and a fairly congruent mass of attendees.
The look and feel of the event has changed over the years. The original focus of tournaments has moved towards two new areas: greater participation by game company representatives and game designers have let to a larger number of prototypes being presented, and the laid-back feeling of the whole event has led to strong appreciation for special events like treasure hunts, puzzles and day trips to amusement parks.
And what began as a weekend quickly extended into a whole week. A hardcore kernel met a weekend early for the "Pre-Gathering", and today are the events extended over 10 days.
One of the key elements is that everybody must bring at least one good game for the Prize Table, and together with donations from game companies and retailers will there usually be two or more copies for everybody, so even those of us who never participate in the official tournaments will still go home with games we never dreamt we would own :-)
A very fine tradition which ends the event sunday afternoon. And those of us who don't have a train or plane to catch will stay for a now traditional farewell dinner.

You are undoubtedly dying to know how to get an invitation, and sadly is this not so easy. Those already on the list (I believe it's about 400) gets first priority and the number of new attendees depends on the turn-out of regulars, and if you don't know Alan personally will you need to be invited by a friend.
As 9/10 of all attendees are young male American gamers is the chance of receiving an invitation out of the blue almost nil if you belong to this group. But women, Europeans and recognised game designers have much easier access - being all three, like Doris Matthäus, is simply unbeatable! Only few Europeans (and hardly no-one for other continents) take the trip, so we are always especially welcome.

Links to other sites with Gathering Reports
TGOF V: Peter Sarrett, 1994
TGOF VI: Peter Sarrett, 1995
TGOF VI: Ken Tidwell, 1995
TGOF VIII: Joe Huber, 1997
TGOF VIII: Ken Tidwell, 1997
TGOF X: Jeff Goldsmith, 1999
TGOF X: Greg Schloesser, 1999
TGOF XI: Dave Bernazzani, 2000
TGOF XII: Dave Bernazzani, 2001
TGOF XIII: Dave Bernazzani, 2002
TGOF XIII: James Davis, 2002
TGOF XIII: Stephen Glenn, 2002
TGOF XIII: Matthew Gray, 2002
TGOF XIII: Mike Green, 2002
TGOF XIII: Matthew Horn, 2002
TGOF XIII: Rick Thornquist


© Mik Svellov 1998-2002editor@brettboard.dk22. apr 2004