One of our favorite things to do is connect in person with fellow gamers, educators, and mental health professionals at conventions and conferences throughout the year. This year, we’re learning to connect in new ways, and have discovered several benefits that come from connecting with others from one’s couch. These include, but are not limited to, easy access to snacks, zero commute time, and the ability to connect with individuals who would otherwise not be able to attend in-person conventions.
We’re happy to announce we will be “at” PAX Online! Whether you’ve seen us at conventions a thousand times, or you’ve never had the chance to connect, now’s the time! We are on a slew of panels (see below for detail), will be selling limited edition Pinny Pins in our online store, and will be opening up our community Discord server for the event. Read on to learn more about how to find us online.
PAX Online is a free convention that runs from September 12th-20th.
Game to Grow is excited to be part of the “PAX Together” Initiative, a curated selection of groups and games showcasing a wide variety of experiences and backgrounds in gaming.
Are you interested in connecting with the Game to Grow community and staff or learning more about our mission? We’ve got space for a “virtual table” as well as channels for you to connect with other PAX attendees about your favorite games and other geeky topics. We will also have spaces for “virtual hallway conversations” for you to meet with panelists after their panels!
Our online store is always home to our on-demand webinars, but for the entirety of PAX Online, we will be opening it up to merch sales as well! If you’ve yet to purchase one of our “Nourishment” Pinny Pins, now’s the time! Pinny Pins will be on sale from September 12-20, while supplies last. All orders will be shipped out following the convention.
All panels are free to attend, and will be streamed through Twitch. During the panel, there will be a live chat room, where you can talk with other attendees and the panelists themselves!
Saturday, September 12th
We’ve all been there: After hours of meticulously planning an epic campaign, our players kill the quest NPC and run off after the first shiny thing they see. The cure for this problem may be easier than you think. We’ll create a world from scratch, and then we’ll crowdsource some story hooks to create a whole campaign of our own. You can steal this adventure and use it in your own game, or steal the techniques and keep your players chomping at the bit.
- Adam Johns [Executive Director / Therapeutic Game Master, Game to Grow]
- Adam Davis MA Ed [Executive Director / Therapeutic Game Master, Game to Grow]
- Lauren Urban [Community Manager, DnD Beyond],
- @RandomTuesday [Content Creator, RandomTuesday],
- Cicero Holmes [“Perrin”, Rivals of Waterdeep]
Date: Saturday, September 12th at 1:00pm – 2:00pm PDT
Wednesday, September 16th
The therapeutic use of role-playing games has all but hit the mainstream. Join us for a discussion between the top minds in the field of therapeutic role-playing about what makes their approaches similar, what defines them, and how you can make your own game better for you and your players.
- Elizabeth D. Kilmer, PhD [Director of Education and Training, Game to Grow]
- Bhavika Parmar, M.A., NCC, LPC Intern [Licensed Professional Counselor Intern, Uplift Counseling Services & CHETNA]
- Julia Stamman, LPC [Licensed Professional Counselor, Heart of the Realm, PLLC]
- Chris Spielmann MA(Oxon) MSc [Facilitator, Game to Grow]
- Heather T. Whittall, PsyD [President/Clinical Psychologist, Boulder Valley Psychotherapy Inc]
- Adam Davis, MA Ed [Founder/Executive Director, Game to Grow]
Date: Wednesday, September 16th at 10:00am – 11:00am PDT
Session zero is arguably the most important session in TTRPGs. When done well, it can help ensure everyone at the table is engaged and comfortable as they collaborate on building their world and story. But what goes into a healthy session zero discussion? Furthermore, what is the shelf-life of a session zero? Join our panel of mental health professionals and gamers as they seek to empower players by highlighting the critical elements of session zero, behaviors that signal it’s time to revisit session zero, and effective communication strategies during difficult conversations to make sure everyone at the table stays on the same page.
- Shawna Spain [@likesevenspoon, Volunteer Coordinator, Game to Grow]
- Elizabeth D. Kilmer [@DoctorsKilmer, Director of Education and Training, Game to Grow]
- Bhavika Parmar [Licensed Professional Counselor Intern, Uplift Counseling Services & CHETNA]
Date: Wednesday, September 16th at 2:15pm – 3:15pm PDT
Rx: Games as Social Healing
Gamers are often classified as antisocial and socially inept, who seek games to escape from their “failed” interactions in face-to-face communication and retreat into a reclusive and isolated space. Nothing could be further from the truth. Games are highly social spaces and have been dubbed by some as spaces for “emotional self-mediation”. That is, the social nature of games can be therapeutic to some. Join this panel of experts as they explore this idea of games as social self-mediation. The panel includes psychologists, researchers, community leaders, community managers, and professional dungeon masters. Together, they will explore the research and their first-hand experience at the power that the social nature of games have on those who play them.
- Dr. Raffael Boccamazzo [Clinical Director, Take This],
- Raffy Regulus [President, NYC Gaymers]
- Adam Davis [Founder, Game to Grow]
- Jenesee Grey [Community Manager, Good Shepherd Entertainment]
- Dr. Jerome Anderson [Clinical Social Worker, US Public Health Service]
Date: Wednesday, September 16th, 4:30pm to 5:30pm PDT
Friday, September 18th
Do you allow evil characters at your table? Should you? Join our panel of professional, therapeutic, and amateur Dungeon Masters for a discussion of this controversial topic. We’ll be debating the pros and cons of allowing evil characters in each context and provide tips for setting ground rules to keep your table happy
- Elizabeth D. Kilmer [Director of Education and Training, Game to Grow]
- Jared N. Kilmer [Director of Counselling Services, Game to Grow]
- Adam Davis [Founder, Game to Grow]
- Nate Caldwell [DM Consultant, The Spoon Conservatory]
- Jamie Flecknoe [Founder, Roll Play Lead]
Date: Friday, September 18th at 4:30pm – 5:00pm PDT
Saturday, September 19th
Streaming can be a fun activity with positive engagement, but it also can involve difficult conversations that people aren’t comfortable handling. For some, it can be challenging for streamers and moderators to address mental health concerns in and outside of chat. The goal of this panel is to educate best practices with online and face-to-face communication with streaming communities. This panel features mental health professionals to share advice about how they engage with their community and how to address mental health concerns appropriately and safely.
- @FusRoDoc [Assistant Professor, Appalachian State University]
- @Mxiety [Mental Health Advocate/Content Creator, Mxiety]
- @Celesmeh [Founder/Streamer, Celestial Designs]
- @Gamerdoc_, [Founder, GamerDoc]
- Shawna Spain, @likesevenspoon [Accessibility Advocate, Spoon Conservatory]
- Elizabeth Kilmer [@DoctorsKilmer, Game to Grow]
Date: Saturday, September 19th at 4:30pm – 5:30pm PDT
Sunday, September 20th
TEN-HUT! Gaming of all types is a common past time among service members seeking diversion, social connection, and/or team building. But what about life after the military? Multiple challenges are inherent in the transition from military to civilian life. Additional challenges arise in the presence of mental illness. Individuals experiencing mental illness can be impacted by reduced opportunities for social interaction, atrophied functioning, and overreliance on medical professionals to help them solve their problems. Join our panel of mental health professionals and innovators as they discuss the therapeutic potential of TTRPGs among a veteran population. From formal treatment to game store self-care, learn how TTRPGs can be intentionally leveraged to cope with change, foster camaraderie and teamwork, and promote personal growth and development.
- Adam Davis, MA Ed. [Founder, Executive Director, Game to Grow],
- Jared Kilmer, PhD [Director of Counseling Services, Game to Grow],
- Elizabeth D. Kilmer, PhD [Director of Education and Training, Game to Grow],
- Allison Battles, PhD [Therapeutic Game Master / Post-Doctoral Fellow, Minneapolis VA Medical Center]
Date: Sunday, September 20th at 2:00pm – 3:00pm PDT