We interviewed some well-known faces of the Italian role-playing community to find out their impressions of Modena Play 2021: how did the fair go?

Today is not just Monday, but it is the Monday immediately following the Modena Play, so there is just a bit of tiredness in the air.
But this was not a game festival like the others, but the first post-coronavirus Play. It's been two years since Modena Play in 2019 (in which we interviewed one of the creators of Vampiri, Jason Carl!) and a lot has changed since then. Between new safety rules, reorganized spaces and the aftermath of a year and a half of pandemic, the Modena Play of 2021 had to deal with much more obstacles than in previous editions.
However, 2021 Play was also a long-desired fair, and one that many people felt they needed. And, at the same time, this was also a fair about which success many and many had serious and legitimate doubts.

Now that it has concluded, we can finally pull the strings of the three days of the Festival of the game a bit, and we can finally answer the central question: was it worth it?
In this article, we will report the impressions of Modena Play 2021 from a number of well-known people in our community, who worked on the stands of RPG publishing houses, many of which saw the fair from start to finish.
Obviously, the people we interviewed are only a small sample of the audience and therefore this interview does not purport to represent the opinion of all / and those who came to the Play.

Impressions of Modena Play 2021 by dreamlord e Nessundove

Nicola Urbinati (Dreamlord)

This Modena Play was very strange and peculiar. It gave me mixed emotions, in the sense that it is alienating to be here with so many people, with the difficulty of the masks, but at the same time with everyone's diligence to follow the protocols.
There are few people, but a lot of passion and desire to be together, play and, why not, also spend. I have to say, I am very happy to be here.

Oscar Biffi (NoWhere)

This is my first fair with NoDove, so it's a very new thing and we came with a lot of hope and enthusiasm.
The first reactions from the public were encouraging. It's nice to meet the people who followed our publications during the pandemic, and to finally be able to see them in person.

Impressions of Matteo Pedroni - Need Games

It was very strange to be back in a pavilion, and it was also a surprise. In fact, seeing people live again gave a particular emotion, like a mechanism that has finally started up again.
In short, on the one hand it was good, on the other, after the pandemic, it was also a bit unnatural, so we took some time to realize. However, the fair was very liveable and in the end it worked.

The Need Games stand at Modena Play 2021, Sunday
The Need Games stand at Modena Play 2021, Sunday

Impressions of Modena Play 2021 by Michele Gelli - Narrative

I am a fair animal, you can understand how happy I am. I needed a fair so much that this summer I even had a small banquet at Modena Nerd. For me, fairs are very important, and making people play at the table is the spirit of Narrattiva. The internet is useful, but it is a stopgap.
Here at the Play there was a demonstration of civility and commendable discipline by the public. The effort of the operation is appreciable, it is evident that there was a lot of work behind the management of the fair.
Thanks, because it gave me a real fair.

Impressions of Andrea Lucca - Mana Project Studio

I'll tell you, honestly at first I was a little worried, because the situation is what we know. However, on Saturday we worked a lot and on Sunday the same, in fact, it almost went better.
There was also a bit of emotion. The coolest thing is seeing the faces of people I had only met on Discord, who came here on purpose to meet me. In short, Discord was important in the pandemic, but the human glue of the fair still remains fundamental.

Impressions of Modena Play 2021 by Davide Poggiali - MS Editions

As a newcomer to Play, this has been a positive experience in terms of both sales and public feedback on the games. We are also very happy with the cooperation with the partners (Fumble RPG, Editions asterisk, Helios Games, Ace Games, The World Anvil Publishing, etc. ed), who pulled our stand.
From the point of view of safety, I feel calm: I have not seen scenes of discomfort. The level of the average role player is high: he knows how to be with others.

Impressions of Helios Pu - Helios Games

From this Play I understood that the vote for my outfit was the real revelation game, because there are few new features and many great absentees.
On the front of how the Play went, selfishly, I am very happy. In fact, I am a guest at a stand and, since there are not too many people, I was able to breathe and talk to people.
And the strange thing is that talking to people made me happy! On Friday I literally spent 11 straight hours talking to others, between those I knew in person and those I only knew online. In short, in this event I lowered my usual mask.

Impressions of Fumble RPG

Claudio Serena

It was nice to get back to seeing people. Also because, after launching Not The End during the pandemic, we had never seen many of the people following us now before. So we returned to the fair with a much larger following than before, and we saw it well during the multi-table of Not The End: it had 75 participants, 15 masters and lasted 4 hours!
In short, the community near us has grown a lot. Then think that our games have begun to be used by psychologists for therapy!

Claudio Posturino

Participation was higher than expected. I feel an atmosphere of hope and I have the impression that people need this Play. Certainly it was useful to me, because seeing people play live Not The End it makes the actual participation that my game has more real: these are things that were already there, but that I couldn't focus on.
See and hear the people playing Not The End and seeing the results of the tables during the multi-table had a very exciting effect on everyone.

Impressions on Modena Play 2021 by Mauro Longo - Acheron Books

Honestly, until recently we were all with our fingers crossed. Then, Friday was a good day, but Saturday was great.
We had full tables and sales were good too. We were also able to finally meet many of our players and readers after we launched Brancalonia e Inferno during the pandemic.
In short, I must say that I am very satisfied.

The MS Edizioni stand at Modena Play 2021, Sunday.
The MS Edizioni stand at Modena Play 2021, Sunday.

Two concluding words: the impressions of the Seeker G on Modena Play 2021

A bit like who I interviewed, I also went to Modena Play with a certain amount of doubts about its success.
However, since Friday I found myself in front of a prepared organization, large and airy spaces, and a very well prepared logistics. If you add to this the fact that the public was very loyal to the rules (masks always on and hands constantly sanitized), I believe that Modena Play 2021 was one of the safest events I participated in last year.

Socializing: we really missed it!

That said, I am stepping stone to the interviewees in saying that meeting the live community is a priceless experience. Between people I hadn't seen in two years and people I was finally able to meet in person, I also spent half the time having some nice, healthy and damn well deserved face-to-face chat.
I believe that the pleasure and the need to finally be able to be together to talk live are experiences rather shared by those who were at the Play. You can tell this both from the interviews above, and from the fact that, on Sunday evening, when people had stopped playing, they waited until the last moment before leaving the fair, and a lot of people ended the day sitting down. at the outdoor tables for a beer and a last few chat with friends.

The Modena Play of 2021 was a bit of a portrait of how much even we nerds miss socializing. And, with its large spaces and its security measures, this fair was the ideal opportunity to do so.
In this sense, I believe it is only right to thank the organizers and organizers of this game festival, as well as all the staff who coordinated the event. You gave us back the pleasure of the fair after the pandemic took it away for over a year, and for my part this was an almost therapeutic experience. There are no tickets that are as good as the experience you gave me back. So, again, thank you.