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Population Distribution Inequities

Poster: David KUIJT <kuijt@umiacs.umd.edu>

Dafydd ap Gwystl greets you all, north and south.

A number of recent posts have brought up concerns about population
distribution, its impact upon Kingdom event distribution and similar
things (BoD Townhall meeting, etc.), and perceived injustices.

We are, and always will be, the victims of geography.  There is no magic
solution.  No matter what we do or attempt, it will always be harder for
someone on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, or in Augusta, to reach the same
number of events that people in Caer Mear can. And the lucky people in
Caer Mear and the central parts of Windmaster's Hill will always have the
advantage of being at a crossroads, squarely centered in the Kingdom.
That's just geography.  It only changes when the map changes.

The same is true about demographics.  The SCA is run by volunteers.  More
events, and bigger ones, happen where the population of SCA folk is
larger.  There are also other demographic issues that impact our game: 
camping sites are not common or cheap in the greater DC Metro area; sites
are more expensive up here; and so on, and so on.  That's demographics,
and we can't do anything about that either.

I would like to interject a bit of history here, though.  Things used to
be MUCH WORSE.  Fifteen years and more ago, within the same geographic
areas (Atlantian borders as they currently stand, or near enough), half or
more of the total Atlantian SCA population was within perhaps an hour of
the greater DC area.  You could count the peers OUTSIDE that region on one
hand; maybe 90% of the peers in the kingdom lived in that area.  This
caused some very heart-felt and long-term feelings of injustice.  To focus
solely on fighting (the other orders were similar), the arguments went
a little like this:
	"Gee, Fred is the best fighter in South Carolina!  Why isn't
	he a knight?  All those Storvik knights won't knight anyone from
	down here!  And they never travel down here to see us!"
and on the other side, (fictional Storvik knight)
	"Fred?  No, I don't think so.  There are a dozen unbelted
	fighters in this area that are as good.  And Barry never travels
	up here, where most of the events and activities are."

At the time there was one knight in South Carolina -- Duke Olaf.  There
was one knight in North Carolina, and he was inactive in Charlotte.  There
was only two or so knights in all of Virginia outside Caer Mear, and there
were perhaps two knights in Caer Mear and TEN in Storvik.  The Laurels
were the same -- at that time there were NO Laurels in SC or NC, I think.
On average, only one Kingdom officer at any time was from outside Storvik.

Time has gradually erased most of this discrepancy.  Since that time
Windmaster's has become a major population center.  Caer Mear was in a
decade-long activity decline that is hard for recent people (who are
familiar only with the active group it is and has been for some time) to
believe.  Storvik split into a number of groups, and the area that
was once Storvik is now a bunch of baronies and shires (and Storvik).  But
the population of peers and Kingdom Officers is now much better
distributed across the Kingdom.

So what is my point?  Well, it is true that you could live in a Kingdom
like the Outlands, where every group (nearly) is distributed along I-25 in
a perfectly linear fashion, and it is 25 or 30 hours travel to get from
one end to the other, with a population only 2/3 that of Atlantia.  But it
is also true that you could be in a Kingdom like Atlantia 20 or 15 years
ago, where 3/4 the population was in one place, and 90% of the peers and
Kingdom Officers.  Not because of conspiracy.  Just because of

But we don't, we live in Atlantia right now.  I don't mean to belittle
anyone's concerns about having a voice at the BoD townhall meeting, or
getting more Kingdom events nearby.  But I've visited in the Outlands, and
I've lived in Atlantia for a long time now, and our current demographic
concerns are really pretty minor.   They may be inconvenient to people
that they impact, but we can't all be lucky and live in Kapellenburg or
Caer Mear, where the vast majority of events are within 3 hours travel.

Dafydd ap Gwystl

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