Knights as Cultural Pillars

This is the second article in a series about Cultural Pillars and Amtgard. The first article, which you can read HERE, outlines the concept of Cultural Pillars, what it is, who they are and what they do. It is suggested to read the first article before this one, but it is not necessary.

I would also like to take a moment to suggest you read an article which is indirectly relevant, one I wrote near the start of this blog, “You’re a Knight, Now What?“. It details my perspective of knighthood, which could be very useful in helping to better understand aspects of this article. I found it important for me to reread that article before I started writing this one.

Essentially, Cultural Pillars are people who are active, have a longer than average history in the organization, and are able to condense their experiences into sharable experiences to be digested by others in the organization.

This article will explore the concept of Cultural Pillars and how it relates to knighthood in Amtgard. First we’ll look at the three aspects of being a Cultural Pillar, being active, having a history in the organization and ability to share their experience in a constructive fashion, i.e. teaching. Then we’ll discuss the implications to knighthood with the addition of this concept.

Teaching

I want to get this discussion started by addressing the ability of Cultural Pillars to condense their experiences into sharable experiences to be digested by others in the organization. This ties in very well with the idea that a key aspect of knighthood is teaching.

It’s very important that Cultural Pillars are able to share their experiences in such a way as to be useful to the organization. Teaching is a very good way to do that. There are, of course, other ways to disseminate information in a useable way. You don’t have to teach to be a Cultural Pillar, but I’d consider it the easiest to identify.

I’d consider this first of three boxes ticked.

History In Amtgard

Another of the three aspects of Cultural Pillars is having a longer than average history in the game. This is of course subjective and any average will vary from region to region, but I think it’s safe to say that if you’ve been around a few years you probably meet this criteria to some degree.

Just by happenstance, knights generally meet this requirement. It just takes time and if knighthood takes one thing, it’s time. Seriously though, knights really have an edge in this aspect of being a Cultural Pillar. They have the benefit of having not only been around, but in most instances, they are or have been, heavily active. They will probably experience more aspects of Amtgard, in greater depth, than people who are not actively pushing for a knighthood.

Activity

The last aspect of being a Cultural Aspect, being active, is probably the most contentious of the three aspects, at least for knights. Unlike teaching and having a longer than average time in the game, which are somewhat innate when it comes to knighthood, activity is not, Not every knight is active. It’s as simple as that. An inactive knight isn’t a Cultural Pillar.

Of course, there is no standard definition of active, unless you relate it to your organization’s definition. For Blackspire, that time frame is x amount of credits over a period of six months. If I recall correct, you can be considered active if you’ve only gone to Amtgard once a month. However on an individual level it really comes down to an individual’s perspective.

My version of active is skewed by my amount of activity. When I said I’m active in Amtgard in the past I was meaning I was coming out nearly every week. That is an unrealistic standard and isn’t how often I go to the park anymore. I go about twice a month now and still consider myself active. I think the idea of attending several times over a stretch of 6 months is a good qualifier for being considered active. Keep in mind that the length of their absence between segments of activity can really affect the usefulness of some of their information.

What Does This Mean For Knights?

For Knights, this doesn’t change anything, but I believe it does help recontextualize their place in Amtgard. There are already enough expectations of knights which can be difficult to uphold at times, I don’t intend to add yet another expectation.

As discussed, you can be a knight and not be a Cultural Pillar, this likely comes about through inactivity of the knight, so I don’t consider it an expectation. Being a Cultural Pillar when you are living up to the expectations of knighthood, teaching, being active, and innovating, to name a few I consider main expectations, is just a byproduct of doing what you’re doing.

Knights are important for the cultural consistency of our organization. They have a unique experience in the game and often have been active in the game for longer than the average period of time. I think this makes them an ideal and the probably the more influential type of Cultural Pillar we have in Amtgard.

Natural Pillars

The knighthood path is accidentally a prebuilt path for creating Cultural Pillars in our game. Typically a person who strives to become a knight will be more active than the average person. They will go to Amtgard more consistently and be active in their chosen field a lot more than the average Amtgarder. This means they naturally have more experience to draw from.

Additionally they will most likely have a more in-depth knowledge of the organization. They will have gone through the whole awards process from a 1st order to knighthood and learned a lot more along the way than than the average person. They will probably have also more closely dealt with the political system of their Amtgard Kingdom (for better or worse, no moral judgment here).

Naturally, as teaching is generally thought of as an essential aspect of gaining knighthood, by the time they get the belt, they will more than likely have some experience teaching.

What’s Next

In the first article we discussed what Cultural Pillars are and in this article we identified knights as natural Cultural Pillars. It’s an interesting concept. It makes sense, right? But what’s the point? Why are we talking about Cultural Pillars in Amtgard. What’s the point? Glad you asked.

The better you understand how culture is expressed the better you can help direct an organization’s cultural trajectory. Even if a Cultural Pillar doesn’t have an agenda, their actions still affect the organization.

The next article will explore this idea. How do Cultural Pillars function, and what power do they wield, consciously or unconsciously?

What Color Means To Dee Metria

“To be honest, Colour means everything and also nothing. Colour is anything you want it to be, from non-com NPCs involved in quests and games, to crafting and the arts, to taking office, to creating role play environments, to just being a part of the community! There is a place in Colour for anyone who wants it or just isn’t interested in the combat classes. There is no right or wrong way to Colour. Just do you.”

– Dee Metria –

Dee Metria plays out of Iron Keep (Eugene, OR) in the Amtgard Kingdom of Blackspire. She is a long standing member of the community and was recently awarded her Paragon Color.

If you’d like to learn more about the Spring Color Contest 2022 contest click HERE.

Exciting Things Abound

Tomorrow I leave for Northern Lights Coronation Campout, also known as NLCC. It’s going to be a huge event, I am food vending, it’s going to be a lot of work and stress, but that’s not why it’s going to be huge. It’s the first camping event for Northern Lights since the shut down, which is big, but why I’m excited is because they are knight two new people. Unum and Guin.

It’s no secret that they are good friends, but I think they are quality people regardless of their friend status, and will make a good addition to the knights of Amtgard. Unum is getting his serpent built on Friday while Guin is getting her belt on Saturday but that’s not what this blog is about. It’s just the event that has inspired me to write a blog about what I’ve been up to.

Things Are Not Great

The last month or so, my depression, which functions very much like a wave, has increased; I’ve taken a hit to my productivity. The biggest victim of this lack of energy has been my podcast, High Trek. I’ve fallen off track and haven’t released an episode in weeks.

Luckily I’ve had so much YouTube content it hasn’t affected my YouTube much, although it has affected releasing LARP Chats. I plan to get back on track in April.

I think things are leveling out and I’m working on ramping up my productivity again, but it will take some time to achieve.

Vblogs, Yo!

I released a new type of video for my YouTube channel, an Amtgard vblog style YouTube. I follow around Kormac during a quest day in Blackspire. You can view it HERE. I was excited to release it and the response was positive. I can’t wait to do more vblog content.

I wanted to do one for Winterbash but I made a mistake setting up my equipment and I didn’t record any sound the whole weekend. I still got video for YouTube, but I won’t be able to do a vblog style video.

I want to make it more common style of video on my channel. I don’t have a plan to release them on any schedule, just when I have one done, but I would like to do one for each camping event I attend.

Cultural Pillars Series

Early this month I released an article, Amtgard and Cultural Pillars. I loved writing and sharing it. I just finished writing the rough draft of the next article, Knights as Cultural Pillars, which I hope to release in April or May. You might also be interested in reading an old article of mine that I found pertinent, “You’re A Knight, Now What?“.

I think it will be a three article series.

Upcoming

As I mentioned NLCC is coming up this weekend. I hope to make videos of both knightings as well as vblog from the content I get from this weekend. I won’t be able to get as much video as I would normally get because I’ll be spending most of my time cooking and managing my food stall.

After that, we have Sword Knight Boot Camp in May. I plan to record as many classes as I can. I really really like to buy a better shotgun mic than the one I have, but I doubt I’ll get the money to do so, but it would be nice. I can’t wait till I’m able to upload SKBC Classes to my YouTube!

Thanks for reading my first blog of the year. I hope to write more blogs this year than I have in the last year or two. I hope to see you all at NLCC.

You can see my Tier 2 (Rock Gnomes) and 3 (Tinker Gnomes) supporters on my Patreon Supporters page as well as find out how to become a Patron yourself.