It was a lot of fun teaching go at the recent Anime Syracuse 2011 Festival. Ten of our members helped to teach at the festival. We were given a room with four 8′ tables, and had a minimum of 7 beginner sets and three full size sets throughout the day. Several of our members brought along their go sets. On one full size set we set up Richard Moseson’s “Basic Life and Death Shapes”. Dick and Breck Borges brought some beginner go books, Eric Hookway brought along a beginner go book, Hikaru no Go vol.1, and a Hikaru no Go dvd, and Jim Gonnella also brought a Hikaru no Go manga.
A lot of people were dressed up at the festival. It was really interesting seeing the various characters; some of the costumes were quite elaborate! I joined in on the playful spirit and went as Hikaru (of Hikaru no Go), and Kathy wore anime cat ears and a tail. I hope next year, we can have someone dress as Sai and Akira too.
Although there were slow periods (mostly in the morning), there were also periods where everyone was busy, and people had to wait or come back. There were a few times when people looked interested as they slowly walked by, but didn’t stick around long enough. I did my best to watch out for those people. During those times when I walked around, I kept an eye out for them, and I did end up seeing and talking to some of them later on at various places throughout the festival. I gave them some info about go and the club, and they ended up coming back later on for lessons and more info.
Some of those we taught came back and played several games against each other. Some of them even played on the full-size boards. And at one point, at least seven games were going on at once and I was really glad Anime Syracuse provided us with so much space.
Our presence definitely generated a lot of interest. There were approximately 700 people at the festival and I’d estimate that we taught approximately 150 to 200 people.
Some of the people we taught – who came from places like Binghamton NY, PA, MA, etc — live too far away to come to our weekly club meetings but I think its important to remember that even if those people can’t join our club, they could join another club closer to where they live, which –by supporting go– indirectly helps us in a number of ways. I told them about KGS, and how to find a local club on the AGA website www.usgo.org.
Overall I would say we reached a good number of people, especially local people. There were at least a couple dozen very promising local area prospects. Eric, one of the very promising players Richard Moseson taught at the festival came to our club the following Monday night and did very well.
We definitely accomplished spreading knowledge about go, and also awareness of the Syracuse Go Club; it was a lot of fun and I believe well worth the effort.