Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Luke Gygax follows up on Frank Mentzer's removal as Guest of Honor at Gary Con

Luke posted the following on Facebook earlier this morning. I think it sheds some light (though not a lot) on what led to Frank's removal as a guest of honor at Gary Con.

Link to Luke Gygax's FB Post:
It’s been a very busy and long day between the Army and GC but I feel this is important. 
I want to share some more information to stop the rumors and give those of you that care to know some insight as to why I made the decision to remove Frank as a Guest of Honor. I believe that it was Frank himself who emphasized the importance of communication in our community way back in Polyhedron number one. That is sage advice that I want to heed. The way things get better is through communication and that is what I was trying to do with Frank. I called him several times over the past months. Sunday was the first time he called me back and we had a chance to talk. 
I needed to talk to him about something that had become clear to me; making Frank a Guest of Honor gave the perception that Gary Con condoned some behavior that was against our policies. I feel I am taking better actions now than I have in the past. The gaming community is in the midst of change and it is change for the better. Gamers are speaking up and demanding that we provide safe and inclusive environments for all of us to gather, play games and have fun. In the past we have had to talk to Guests about their behavior at Gary Con and even tell some not to come back the following year. Sometimes an attendee has crossed the line with a volunteer, and we addressed that with them and got resolution. I believe that due to Frank’s status and friendship with my Dad, I treated him differently in the past. 
However, I want to make some things clear. No one strong-armed me into making a decision. Sure people talked to me and gave me their opinions, but no one demanded that I remove Frank as a Guest of Honor. In fact when I talked to Frank I left the door open for him to attend Gary Con as he did last year. At the end of our communication it was Frank that closed that door. I respect Frank’s contributions to our hobby and all that he did to help Gary Con over the years. I hold no animosity towards him, he is a practically an uncle to me along with Tim, Jim, Tom and Mike. Quite the opposite is true; I wish Frank well. I am saddened by this entire situation. 
This is our hobby and in my mind it is about friends sharing good games and going on great adventurers together. Someone messaged me saying that a GM or GMs were considering canceling their plans to attend in protest. I hope that isn’t true, but if anyone is thinking about it they should realize that the people you are punishing is your fellow gamers who signed up to play in your game. As I said above, communication is critical, it is what will help us be better. I am willing to listen and I have read and replied to the messages that I received. If you have a concern or a suggestion please contact me. I hope that we can focus on what things unite us and get back to enjoying ourselves by rolling dice, creating new stories and forging strong bonds of friendship.


  1. Exactly what new information was divulged?

    1. "No one strong-armed me into making a decision."

    2. "when I talked to Frank I left the door open for him to attend Gary Con"
      Some people thought this might mean a ban from the Con, and that was overkill. This is now clarified.


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