I met the folks who publish The Campaigner at the very first PAXAus. They had dropped in to listen to the Geek Parenting Panel — as we from Down Under happily took the opportunity to share the GeekDad and GeekMom love. They presented me with a beautiful-looking magazine and asked that I have a read, especially pointing to their “Gamer Dad” section. Quickly, I saw the connection. This is a magazine that any GeekDad would love.
The Campaigner is a magazine about tabletop games, with a focus on the hobbyists themselves. It knows that the act of playing games is only a small part of the hobby, and that hobbyists are involved and interested in so many other aspects of the pastime. In fact, for some people, this is far more than just a hobby. Games are an integral part of their lives, and the lives of those they love. As The Campaigner tagline says: “It’s not just a hobby, it’s a way of life.” And who doesn’t heartily cheer that way of life?
The team at The Campaigner are running this little enterprise on two basic ideas.
The first is that magazines are not dead, and tabletop magazines especially. They believe strongly in the niche and the community and the strength that we can create great content for each other, both online and offline. Hats off to them!
The second idea is that hobbyists are interested in engaging with their hobby. Things like learning about how products are manufactured, games designed, and generally educating themselves to have a better understanding of the industry. Not only this, but hobbyists don’t exist in a vacuum. So, reading about other hobbyist’s experiences and thoughts, as well as looking at how they handled mundane but common problems like storage or displays, can positively influence their own hobby time. (so yes, sounds like this little blog I know — you may have heard of it?)
These ideas led to the development of The Campaigner‘s Mission Statement. It is worth a read, as any decent manifesto is! This list of ideals has influenced how The Campaigner has approached the content it publishes, while allowing the magazine to adapt and evolve with the reader’s interests. So, as was explained to me by the team, a gamer parent and kid issues were never initially considered. But, following assessment of the community and reader interest, gamer parent and education content have become serious and valued parts of the magazine, even spawning the popular column “Gamer Dad.”
This has also allowed The Campaigner to make fundamental operational changes when needed, such as all issues of the magazine recently being made available as free PDF downloads. Yes, that’s right: free! You can still buy a hard copy too, of course — so I highly recommend heading over to The Campaigner‘s website and giving them some support.