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.

Amtgard and Cultural Pillars

Authors Note: I wanted to make a note that this is an opinion based persuasive article. It’s not to be taken as a fact but as an opinion to be discussed and debated. However I do have a degree in History, Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and I’ve done my best to keep this concept in tune with my understanding of culture on both the macro and micro level. I

This is the first in a series of articles discussing Amtgard from a cultural perspective.

It’s hard to define the culture of Amtgard but Amtgard certainly has a culture onto itself. There are a few ways that we maintain our culture, the rulebook and the awards standard is one way, the Amtgwiki is another way, but I’d argue the main way we maintain our culture is through Cultural Pillars.

The Culture of One.

Before getting into my definition of Cultural Pillars it’s important to discuss how I’ve come to understand culture and how it is expressed. The definition of culture is commonly understood as “the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group”, but how is that formed and how is it expressed?

Each person is made up of their own experiences and how a person interprets their experiences is what makes up their culture of one. When a person tries to explain a concept to another person and they come to a mutual acceptance it then becomes a culture of two and, if a third person is introduced, it becomes a culture of three and so on. Eventually as ideas are expressed, exchanged and accepted by more people it turns into the larger concept we understand as culture.

In this way I’m able to express what I mean when creating and maintaining a culture in small groups and organizations. Going forward it’s important that you understand this when I talk about the accumulation and transmission of culture.

What are Cultural Pillars?

What are Cultural Pillars? If you a familiar with the idea of Institutional Knowledge , the principal is similar. 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.

In essence they just have more exposure to the culture of Amtgard so they are able to transmit more concepts and explain why things are they way they are. Not to say that is a defense of the way things are, they just have a better understanding of this. Tradition for the sake of tradition is not a good excuse for toxic traits.

What Do Cultural Pillars Do?

A Cultural Pillar is able to use their experience to influence how the culture of the organization is expressed and possibly influence the direction of the organization. More often than not their experiences are used as a guide. The newer generations in the organization can choose to go the direction a Cultural Pillar expresses, or not.

These are not usually overt actions done by the Cultural Pillar. It’s just an affect of them being active in the organization and sharing their opinion and experiences but they can take overt actions as well.

For example an overt action would be to run for Monarch and try and correct things they think are not going as they should. This isn’t a judgment, many people run for office for this reason, but their experiences will effect their reign and thus it is an over action aimed at expressing their cultural knowledge.

Why Are Cultural Pillars Important?

Cultural Pillars are important in Amtgard because outside of Amtgard’s rulebook and Awards Standards we have very little written experiences to draw from. In Amtgard we rely on people’s long term understanding of what a different award level means. This bar, refined by the culture of one’s group, is often expressed by Cultural Pillars in the organization.

In the same vain events can be maintained by Cultural Pillars. Here in the Pacific Northwest we have an event called Pacific War (Pac War), traditionally there are tournaments, a big war and jugging. Nothing is written down saying this, but that is what the event has become. This is maintained by the understanding of those people who have been around long enough to see it as a trend and to support that notion, i.e., the Cultural Pillars in our area are helping to maintain the Pacific War event culture.

Who Are Cultural Pillars?

Anyone can become a Cultural Pillar, it just takes time and social acknowledgment of your experiences. There are different levels of knowledge, based on experience and time. Typically the longer your in the game the more experiences you’ll have to share, but that is not always the case.

One might naturally think Knights when you think Cultural Pillars, but that is not always the case. Most knights are Cultural Pillars or at least were Cultural Pillars in their past. You can be a Knight and not be a Cultural Pillar and you can be Cultural Pillar and not be a knight.

That veteran at your park who travels to your daily park and maybe some campouts and KLEs may be a Cultural Pillar in their own right. They might not have done any offices or pushed any service or arts, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a Cultural Pillar

People like that have a lot to share too, they usually known the game well, they have seen a lot of park days, lots of games, they might have noticed trends with different groups of people. Maybe they can explain why ditching is important to maintain even if at the current time people only have the mind for battle games (a topic for another article).

While they might not be known as artisans or event runners, they probably know various level of awards, they will probably have an opinion on who runs what event best, what a good event looks like, what a bad event looks like.

This sort of cultural influence isn’t just seen in the awards and events but also in the governance of all the parks in kingdoms. Through Cultural Pillars we are able to maintain some sort of cohesiveness at the park, Kingdom and National level.

What’s Next?

I hope you have a better understanding of what I mean by Cultural Pillar. We will continue to explore the idea in future articles. The next article in the series will be about Knights and their relation to being a Cultural Pillar. My perspective might surprise you!

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.