As of March 12, NarraScope 2020 is an online-only conference.
This is sad news but probably no surprise. Many universities in the US have announced that they will switch to online classes for the spring semester, and have cancelled all large on-site events. Yesterday, UIUC announced that decision for their campus.
The university is suspending all university-sponsored, in-person events and meetings in campus facilities, effective March 13. More specifically, gatherings of 50 or more attendees should be postponed or cancelled. Instead, if possible and as appropriate, organizers should explore alternative ways of conducting the event, e.g., livestreaming and conference calling.
It is impossible to continue planning a live NarraScope in these circumstances. We hope that life will be back to normal by the end of May, but we can't assume it.
Therefore, our new plan:
NarraScope 2020 will be virtualized. All selected speakers will be invited to give their talks and discussions online. These talks will be streamed around the weekend of May 29-31. (What platform? How will we handle live discussion? Good questions! We don't know yet. We'll figure it out.)
There will be no membership charge. All content will be available for free. If you've already registered, we will refund your membership by the end of the week.
Still want to support NarraScope? We are accepting donations to help us pay speakers a small sum for their time and dedication.
We will try to adapt the planned IF workshop to a fully online format as well. Watch this space for news on that.
We are working to preserve the spirit of NarraScope through these awful times. The best of last year's event was the company and the collegiality. We can keep doing that online -- okay, not the doughnuts, but the rest of it. After all, online groups have kept IF and adventure games alive since 1990.
NarraScope is our vision of a gathering point for those online communities. We're holding together.