Excerpt from
"Message from the Organizers"
in the
Results Booklet

From Bruce Reiff:

Now it's time for me to climb up on my soapbox for a bit, so please forgive me. There are currently three distinct parts of the Diplomacy hobby -- face-to-facers, postal, and e-mailers. Obviously there is some cross over in them, but for some there is not. It's becoming increasingly apparent to me that the postal hobby is dying. It's a slow death to be sure, and it will never really go away as long as there are old grognards like me around, but it is dying. The face to face hobby will never die as long as there are game conventions. But the e-mail hobbyists, they are strong and vibrant. They are where the postal hobby probably was 20 years ago. And before I go on, I should point out here that I, personally, don't like or play e-mail Dip. I say this so those who read this will understand that I am not a cheerleader appointed by the e-mail hobby, but a person concerned for this great hobby we call Diplomacy. It's time we as a hobby recognized the e-mailers for what they are -- the future -- and start to bring them in, befriend them, and teach them about our past history, traditions, and awards. Teach them the mistakes that have been made. Show them some of the outstanding zines of the past and give them an idea of some of the truly quality publications that been put out over the years. Tell them about the founders of the hobby -- how many of them know who Alan Calhamer or John Boardman are? What about the early founders of the face to face community? Do they know how DipCon was formed? Do they know Edi Birsan, Rod Walker, or Larry Peery? Teach them these things to keep the hobby alive for the future.

To the e-mailers -- learn these things. Always remember that you have a hobby because of the postal hobby. The game would have died many years ago without it. Keep the traditions that have been established. Continue to support the face-to-face hobby; start to or continue to attend DipCon. Continue the hobby awards. Don't be afraid to reprint articles from past postal zines. Also don't be afraid to put out a true [postal] zine on line. The hobby was never about just the games. The games are important, but don't forget to have fun and interact socially with your fellow gamers. Make sure to appeal to a wide variety of people and always try to recruit new people into the hobby. Own a copy of the game and attend game conventions. The only way to get new people into the hobby is to teach it to them and the best way for that is face to face. Learn from the mistakes of the postal hobby. It's dying, not just because e-mail is faster and more reliable, but because they failed to recruit new people. Over the years it's been the same people over and over again in game after game and zine after zine. They have always felt that people would just naturally come in to the hobby and it would go on forever. Don't let that happen to you. And a final word on e-mail itself. Be nice to the technologically challenged (such as myself) who don't understand all the nuances of e-mail and the computer. I know most of the future players will not have this problem, but some will. Be gentle with us! And don't be afraid to mail (yes, snail mail) the occasional hard copy out to recruit new players. Okay, off the soapbox.

Bruce Reiff
([email protected])

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