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Announcement: Reacting Leadership Transitions

June 14, 2022 5:14 AM | Maddie Provo (Administrator)

Reacting Leadership Transitions
An Announcement from the Reacting Consortium Board

It is an important moment of change for the Reacting Consortium and its community.

Mark Carnes will step away from his role as founding Executive Director of the Reacting Consortium on July 1st, 2022. Nick Proctor, founding Chair of the Reacting Editorial Board (REB) and an early member of the Reacting Consortium Board, will become the new Executive Director of Reacting. Kelly McFall, a member of both the Reacting Consortium Board and Reacting Editorial Board, has been selected as the Interim Chair of the Reacting Editorial Board with oversight of the development and review of games for publication.

Mark Carnes
Founder; Outgoing Executive Director
Nick Proctor  
Incoming Executive Director
Kelly McFall
Incoming Chair of REB

The Reacting community owes a great debt to Mark and in fact wouldn’t exist but for his original vision for a new way to teach history in his Barnard classroom. From that moment of collaboration with his students about a new way to engage with classic texts in 1996, Mark went on to be a prolific author of Reacting games, grant-writer, fundraiser, recruiter, game-master, and encourager-in-chief to newcomers with fresh ideas about new topics and directions for Reacting. After this first experiment with a game set in Ming China, he went on to develop games about the Trial of Anne Hutchinson, the French Revolution, and India in 1945, making use of a FIPSE grant to enlist co-authors with disciplinary expertise in these areas. In 2001, he hosted the first Reacting workshop, inviting 40 colleagues from around the country. Having always served as Executive Director pro bono, Mark looks forward to being able to devote more time to writing and revising games and supporting others in the game development process.

Under Nick Proctor’s direction, the Reacting Editorial Board (REB) became a formal body that defined a “Reacting game,” established criteria for guiding its development, and set up a system of peer review to determine when games were ready for publication. As he steps into the role of Executive Director, Nick’s vision for the future focuses on continued expansion of the flagship library; deepening our relationship with high schools; figuring out the balance between in-person conferences and online programming going forward; and improving fiscal stability by growing existing income streams as well as increasing their number. As he notes, “We should also capitalize on the expertise that we have built with online programming. In addition to broadening the geographical and institutional scope of attendees, these can offer good opportunities to field test new games."

Kelly McFall’s goals for the REB include management of the process of soliciting, reviewing, and moving toward publication efficiently and effectively; continuing to grow our pool of game authors and game projects; working with the Game Development Conference to pilot and experiment with different structures and mechanisms; serving as an ambassador for Reacting and an effective liaison for game authors; and completing and executing a system for review of existing games that are moving into second editions.

The Reacting Consortium is deeply grateful to Mark Carnes for all of his years of creative and inspired leadership. We are glad that he will remain an active member of this community and look forward to supporting Nick and Kelly as they step into their new roles.

To read a tribute to Mark Carnes, check our blog.

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