How to spend weekend on game convention and don’t play a single game…

I met Silent few years ago. He came to ‘Pawn’, convention that I organize in Gliwice since 2006. He was like many gamers who attend con – had a bag full of games, had a passion in his eyes and was able to play games for two days without taking even a 5 minutes break.

After ‘Pawn’ he joined our gaming club. He lived in a different city but for a man with passion this is not a problem. He was coming to Gliwice every single week.

Another edition of ‘Pawn’ was coming. Silent came to me and said: ‘I will help. I won’t play. I will explain games to new gamers.’

We formed Orange Team. Most devoted members of our gaming club. During “Pawn” Orange Team didn’t play a single game. Two days of gaming and they didn’t play even once. They were helping other players. They were explaining rules. For whole damn weekend.

That was incredible. At the end of convention I asked them to come to the stage. And then whole room burst into applause.

Now, 6 years later this is tradition. Every Pawn is supported by Orange Team. Die Hard Gamers who decide to spend weekend on game convention and yet play no single game…

Every single Pawn, at the end of convention I invite them on stage and every single time there is one minute of amazing applause. 400 people claps their hands to say ‘Thank you’.

Goose-bumps…

‘It’s worth it’ Silent once said to me. It’s worth to explain rules for two days long, but to be there on the stage in that very moment, to see this 400 people in the room who say “Thank you”. This is moment of magic.

***

Silent was one of this first squad in the Orange Team. It was 6 years ago. This weekend we do XIX edition of Pawn. Quite close to a nice anniversary. Six years passed like a flick.

Silent no longer can afford to be member of our gaming club. He has job now. He lives in other place. He got married. Years passed.

He has no time for playing games as he used to have when he was 24. Life finally catched him and holds him tight.

And yet…

I met Silent two weeks ago on a football pitch. ‘We do new edition of Pawn, you know’ I said.

‘Nice. When?’

‘In a two weeks’ I said.

‘Do you need a help?’ he asked.

‘Try a guess… But well I know it is harder every time…’

‘I never turned you down, did I?’ he said.

‘You never…’

‘I will be there. I am Orange Team. It won’t change.’

We shake hands. Two friends ready to go together to the end of the world.

***

First Pawn was in 2006. Since then about 20 new conventions appeared in Poland. Pawn was first board game convention in Poland. Orange Team was first supporters group. We all started that. Now you have Yellow Team in Gdansk, you have Blue Team in Wroclaw, you have such teams in every single board game convention in Poland.

And Poland is not an island.

There are conventions all over the world. There are people like Silent working hard to help you gamers all over the world. People who don’t play, but help. For whole damn weekend.

Silent, thank you.
Orange Team, thank you.
All teams and all supporters all around the world, thank you.

You guys do an amazing work. I salute you.