Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Upcoming changes regarding our host venue

Saturday Night Space Opera has always been a wholly volunteer-run organization with game masters and players from around the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota and Wisconsin. We strive to create communities where all our participants feel welcome and valued. We enjoy rolling dice, building worlds together, and having fun. Our aim has always been to spread the joy of science-fiction gaming to the general public in a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere.

We first established our organization in 2014 at Source Comics & Games and it's become our home--the heart of our activities, our friendships, and where we put roots into the gaming community. We grew from just two game masters running roleplaying games to a rotating roster of a dozen active GMs. All of that happened through connections made at the Source.

In the last week, it's come to our attention that management at the Source has not supported as inclusive an environment as we'd hoped. Specifically, two former employees have come forward to share their experiences over several years while working at the store.

They’ve shared painful stories of bias and hate towards women, people on the autism spectrum, and members of the LGBTQ community. Since then, many customers have shared similar encounters experienced at the store, due in part from management or other employees.

While language in the Source’s communications states they are "...proud to be a part of your community and welcome you to ours!" some of us also know from our own experiences there that this has not always been the case.

In light of this, we’ve decided to host our events at several other area game venues, until we begin to see progress made by the Source in establishing a truly welcoming environment for all participants.

We hope management at the Source will take time to reflect—and in good faith act upon—the feedback from the local gaming and comic community and create a space that truly welcomes everyone. It would be our pleasure to return to gaming in such a setting.

We would like to extend our deep gratitude to current and former employees and other members of the gaming community at the Source that have made it a welcome space for us in the past. We could not have grown and thrived without you!

Heading into the fall and on to 2019 we look forward to new opportunities with other partner organizations and retailers around the Twin Cities. Watch for scheduling updates to come. We're also working on updating our website.

Thank you to everyone for coming to play games with us and we'll see you soon at the next Saturday Night Space Opera event!

Sincerely, the Game Masters of SNSO:

Jeff Conrad
Bob Cook
Erich Doll
Jenifer Doll
Casey Garske
Adam Hall
Spencer Hayes
Jay Mac Bride
Erik Mornes
Ben Ojanen
John Everett Till
Matt Towle