Sverok, the Swedish Role Playing and Conflict Gaming Federation, is a nationwide, governmentally funded, organization for people who play role-playing games (RPGs) in Sweden. Those who play these games are often called gamers.

Table of contents
1 Gaming Before SVEROK
2 Government Funding of SVEROK
3 History of SVEROK proper
4 The structure of Sverok
5 The districts
6 External Links

Gaming Before SVEROK

Sweden has a long history when it comes to gaming and role playing. In 1972, the oldest member organization in SVEROK was founded: Forodrim, in Stockholm. In 1976, GothCon (the oldest still-active gaming convention in the world) took place for the first time. Gamers in Gothenburg gathered over Easter to play games and generally congregate.

In 1982, the first Swedish RPG was published: Drakar och Demoner. The title translates to "Dragons and Demons" —in Swedish, the title has the same feel as "Dungeons and Dragons" in English. During the 1980s, the role-playing and board gaming hobby grew to larger proportions. Several new gaming conventions popped up in various parts of the country, some of which are still active. Numerous gaming clubs were formed as well. In Sweden, most counties give support to youth clubs of a decent size. By uniting the local gamers, many clubs got free or cheap places to keep their equipment and play their games. In 1988, people from a number of gaming clubs founded SVEROK, so as to have an umbrella organization for gaming and to raise government funds.

Sverok was actually the second attempt at founding a nationwide federation of role-playing gamers. Local federations had previously formed with the common aim of uniting in a national organization. When this effort stalled, they united into SVEROK instead.

Government Funding of SVEROK

In Sweden, any sufficiently large (over 3000 members, generally) and democratic youth organization receives government funds. Some others are the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the Red Cross youth organization, and quite a few others. All in all, 64 organizations, including SVEROK, receive this support.

In 2002, SVEROK received 5,304,558 krona--roughly 650,000 Euros or $550,000 US. SVEROK's goal is to hand out 50% of this money directly to member organizations. The remaining 50% is used for rent, salaries for administrative staff, travel, events, printing Sverox (a tri-monthly magazine), and general expenses, including hosting the webpages of member organizations. It should be noted that the sum mentioned above is what the national body receives—the eight districts (see below) also get varying amounts of money from their local governments. This ranges from roughly 60,000 krona to 600,000 krona, depending on the number of members the various areas support and on the overall financial situation of the area. See below under 'districts'.

History of SVEROK proper

During the early years of the 1990s, numerous gaming clubs formed and joined SVEROK. The only requirement put upon SVEROK by the government (in order to be eligible for support money) was to be a democratic organization. This was also imposed on the member organizations/gaming clubs - they had to be democratic in order to join SVEROK. By 1997, SVEROK had well over 20 000 members. Since then, there's been a slight reduction in membership for youth organizations in general. While it hasn't been spared altogether, SVEROK only suffered a slight reduction. Recently, SVEROK is regaining momentum and members.

The structure of Sverok

Sverok is a democratic organization. How the democracy is implemented has shifted throughout the years. At the time of writing (summer of 2002), people start gaming clubs. These clubs are the members of SVEROK - how the clubs are run is entirely up to them, as long as they've got a democratic constitution.

Once a year, SVEROK holds a general meeting, usually in March or April. The clubs can nominate representatives to this meeting, and it is the clubs who vote on which ones will go to the general meeting once the first round of nominees are in. This is done on a regional basis - clubs in each region vote for representatives from that particular region. In total, there are 101 representatives with voting power. The annual general meeting is the ultimate governing body of SVEROK.

A board (with 12 members, currently) is elected during the general meeting. Also, a budget is set and delegates discuss issues they feel to be important.

This is the national organization of SVEROK. In addition, there are regional districts who function in roughly the same way, on a regional level.

The districts

SVEROK has eight districts, together covering the entire country of Sweden. The organization isn't really 'made up of' these districts; rather, they are as independent as can be while still being part of the national mother organization. The constitution of each district is in part controlled by the national organization - mainly, the purpose of the district and its membership base, (all the members of SVEROK within the geographic area the district encompasses). The districts themselves are democratic entities, whose boards are chosen directly by the members of each particular district - just as the national organization is chosen directly by members nationwide. The districts are, in geographical order, north to south:

The board members are all volunteers and do not receive any financial reimbursement for their work. Depending on the district, they're responsible for an annual budget of 6,500 or 65,000 Euros ($5500 to $55,000 US), respectively.

How the money is spent differs greatly. Members in some (often rather densely populated) parts of the country prefer manned offices. Other districts are spread out in such a fashion that it's nearly impossible to keep a central office; hence their organization is a lot more virtual by nature. Apart from rent and salaries, common ways to spend the money include subsidized trips to big gaming events, monetary support for local events and cheap-or-free storage or rental of equipment, among other things. Due to the very nature of this arrangement, things have a tendency to come and go —some years a particular district finds it fit to print a member magazine, other years not.

External Links