We built a community
So can you
Dames Making Games
We are a Toronto-based
community organization
dedicated to supporting
women interested in making,
playi...
What we do
Monthly speaker socials
Game jams and skill-building
workshops
Discussion salons
Long programs for first-time
g...
Community vs. Social Group
Why meeting up for beers might not be enough
You don’t all have to be friends
What I mean by “Community”
Built to serve common
interests/goals
Consistency and continuity
over time
Individuals come and...
If it stops at meeting up for beers...
Dependent on a few key
people
Difficult for new people to
join
The people you want ...
From less structure to more
Ad-hoc meetups
Regular meetups at a
consistent time and place
Regular meetups plus
activity (t...
What you gain
More new people
More activity
A story to tell
A framework for
accomplishing goals
How we did it
Plus some advice
We started with a core group
We had evidence that our
initiative would be popular
The interest didn’t always
come from whe...
Before you do anything else: Talk to
people!
Every city and context is
different
Find out who your people
are and ask them...
We Partnered with A Fantastic
Space
Space is crucial
Having a good, consistent
space to meet will:
alleviate logistical and
planning headaches
contribute to a...
We settled on some goals and
values
We are focused on
supporting our local
community
We want long-term
engagement from mem...
Know what you’re about
Defining a concrete set of
goals and values early on
will help you make decisions
and manage confli...
We made room for our members to
grow
“Make your first game with
us” is a compelling message,
but only for so long
Gave mem...
Think about new people as well as
“Old-timers”
New people want to know:
“Am I welcome here? Will I
fit in?”
More establish...
Paying for it all
DMG is funded primarily by
membership dues and inkind donations
We’ve also received projectspecific gran...
Sustainability
It’s not just about money,
it’s also about time and
labour
Don’t try to do it all yourself
Make sure people...
Questions?
DMG Toronto
@DMGToronto
dmg.to
info@dmg.to

Cecily Carver
@cecilycarver
cecilycarver.com
cecily@dmg.to
We Built a Community, So Can You (IndieCade East 2014)
We Built a Community, So Can You (IndieCade East 2014)
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We Built a Community, So Can You (IndieCade East 2014)

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The slides from my 2014 IndieCade East talk, "We Built a Community, So Can You." A welcoming, engaged community of game-makers can be a tremendous source of support to its members, but it doesn't happen on its own. I've seen Dames Making Games Toronto grow from a small meetup to a vibrant and busy nonprofit, and people sometimes ask how to start something similar in their own cities. I'll share how we got started, our guiding principles for inclusivity, the challenges we faced, our program structures, and our fundraising methods. If you want to build a new game community, or want some ideas for your existing group, this talk is for you.

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We Built a Community, So Can You (IndieCade East 2014)

  1. 1. We built a community So can you
  2. 2. Dames Making Games We are a Toronto-based community organization dedicated to supporting women interested in making, playing, and changing games.
  3. 3. What we do Monthly speaker socials Game jams and skill-building workshops Discussion salons Long programs for first-time game-makers
  4. 4. Community vs. Social Group Why meeting up for beers might not be enough
  5. 5. You don’t all have to be friends
  6. 6. What I mean by “Community” Built to serve common interests/goals Consistency and continuity over time Individuals come and go, but the community remains
  7. 7. If it stops at meeting up for beers... Dependent on a few key people Difficult for new people to join The people you want to have beers with might not be who can best support you “Networking” doesn’t happen on its own
  8. 8. From less structure to more Ad-hoc meetups Regular meetups at a consistent time and place Regular meetups plus activity (talk, workshop, game jam) Membership structure, multiple streams of programming, expansion
  9. 9. What you gain More new people More activity A story to tell A framework for accomplishing goals
  10. 10. How we did it Plus some advice
  11. 11. We started with a core group We had evidence that our initiative would be popular The interest didn’t always come from where we expected
  12. 12. Before you do anything else: Talk to people! Every city and context is different Find out who your people are and ask them what they want and need Consider an “info session” before starting your programming
  13. 13. We Partnered with A Fantastic Space
  14. 14. Space is crucial Having a good, consistent space to meet will: alleviate logistical and planning headaches contribute to a sense of safety and comfort help build relationships
  15. 15. We settled on some goals and values We are focused on supporting our local community We want long-term engagement from members Women-led, but not womenonly Make, play, change
  16. 16. Know what you’re about Defining a concrete set of goals and values early on will help you make decisions and manage conflicts Revisit them as you progress and make sure they still make sense
  17. 17. We made room for our members to grow “Make your first game with us” is a compelling message, but only for so long Gave members opportunities to promote their work, lead workshops, deepen their network
  18. 18. Think about new people as well as “Old-timers” New people want to know: “Am I welcome here? Will I fit in?” More established people want to know: “Will this be useful? Will I be bored?” Solicit feedback frequently
  19. 19. Paying for it all DMG is funded primarily by membership dues and inkind donations We’ve also received projectspecific grants from academic sources
  20. 20. Sustainability It’s not just about money, it’s also about time and labour Don’t try to do it all yourself Make sure people are rewarded for the energy and time they put in Build your own support network
  21. 21. Questions? DMG Toronto @DMGToronto dmg.to info@dmg.to Cecily Carver @cecilycarver cecilycarver.com cecily@dmg.to

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