What is the “Real” SCA?

Originally published August 29, 2020.

This post was the result of a discussion with a long-time SCAdian who said, when asked what they were doing during the Covid times, said “Like a lot of us, I’m hold up, waiting until the REAL SCA can start up again.”

I took offense to that, because there’s a whole lot of people keeping the SCA alive right now, because if they weren’t doing what they’re doing, there would be nothing to come back to when the pandemic is over. In addition, the pandemic has helped me to realize that there are people in the SCA who are seriously unable to go to almost any events, because of illness, finances, whatever. Being able to attend even one event a month is a privilege.

Ok, I’m gonna lay it out here, so listen to what I have to say.

Online-only SCA means that we can’t do a lot of the stuff we want to be doing. Not everyone is comfortable being onscreen or watching stuff onscreen or performing onscreen or whatever.

That does not mean that online SCA activities are somehow not the “real” SCA. The RUM has hosted over 120 classes, with over 1000 student-hours, and other Kingdoms have followed suit. Baronies and Shires are having online A&S nights, gaming nights, and random get-togethers daily or weekly. There’s an online Bardic somewhere every night of the week. The Midrealm has even had 4-6 virtual events, Pennsic University hosted dozens of classes, and the Midrealm has had multiple online courts.

Don’t you – dare – say that’s not real. Maybe it’s not for you. There are plenty of activities in the SCA I don’t do. We all pick and choose. But the hours and hours of work and problem-solving, the dozens of dedicated and selfless people making it happen, and the enjoyment and education and achievements of the people participating are JUST AS REAL as if they were happening at Coopers Lake, or Simple Day, or Tournament of Ymir, or Twelfth Night, or Estrella, or any other in-person event.

So miss me with that dismissive and exclusionary language, or I will call you right the heck out.

This will end. We will be able to see each other in person. And until then, take care of yourselves and participate at the level you’re comfortable with.