Jeff VanderMeer, cigar aficionado and award-winning fantasist, was kind enough to invite me to participate in Wofford College’s Shared Worlds workshop camp at the end of July, and I’m glad he did. I would’ve been thrilled to participate in such a camp back in the day, and had a great time teaching a short workshop on world-building for games. It’s always a treat to be in a room full of creative minds collaborating to dream up the same shared place, and the kids in attendance this year were marvelous. The camp’s stellar Teaching Assistants and I introduced them to storytelling games (RPGs) and they seemed to have a great time.
Most surprising to me was just how little these kids were actually motivated by games, though. This was a group of readers and writers, foremost, and that’s pretty wonderful—in addition to being a great relief. These kids are somewhere in the neighborhood of being high-school freshman, and they were all avid readers. More than that, they were each great communicators in their own way, whether it was writing, speaking, or drawing. What a relief to know that these kinds of kids are still out there.
VanderMeer’s been spreading the word about the camp this weekend, including a post at the new Tor.com (which you should be reading anyway). You can also find his coverage of Shared Worlds at Omnivoracious, the Amazon blog, where you can see a picture of me teaching. It almost looks like I know what I’m doing. Top it off with a post over at his blog, Ecstatic Days, and you might get the sense that this is the start of something.
Fingers crossed, I’ll find a way to help out with the camp again next year. It was a lot of fun and really very inspirational. Keep an eye out for next year’s details as they emerge and, if you’re in the right age range, think about joining us next summer.