For the first time ever, this past weekend, Geek-o-Rama had a presence at Gen Con! David’s post will be coming soon, but for now, let me tell you all about my experience! I’ve never attended a gaming convention so there were nerves, excitement, and more than a little exhaustion all involved before I even got there!
Honestly, I hadn’t even planned on attending this event. David’s press badge was secure and the finances just weren’t in place for me to go. Imagine my surprise when David offered to share his hotel room, Stacia with Gen Con told me it was no problem to get a last minute badge, and some amazing people donated the money to make this all happen! Somehow, everything fell into place and late on Thursday, I was headed down to Indianapolis!
Gen Con, for those of you who haven’t attended, is known as the largest convention of its kind in this country. They don’t exaggerate. The workshop and panel listings were so huge that they could easily overwhelm someone. Sadly, because of me not having an official ticket within the system, I didn’t have a chance to register for any of them, but truth be told, I didn’t have time to attend them anyway.
I spent 95% of my time on the exhibitor hall floor, talking, networking, and generally having a ton of fun. For those of you who are familiar with Phoenix Comicon, I would say that those two spaces are pretty close to equivalent. What does that mean? A lot of walking! I did learn that there is a lot more standing around at a gaming convention than at a comic one. For every vendor I spoke to, there was a game that they wanted to show me. While I loved it, it did make it harder to be sure that I got a chance to talk to everyone. It also meant that I didn’t really have the opportunity to actually sit down and play any games. Next year, I’m hoping to be there all four days which will give me some free time to try out some of the amazing games that I saw being played.
Now, you guys know that with every convention comes one or two silly convention stories…my big one for this year? I was attacked by Hawkeye. Now I know you’re all reading this and shaking your heads. You don’t believe me already and I haven’t even told you the story. It’s true though. I was just sitting there, totally innocent, just working on putting together a plan for the rest of the day. Suddenly, up comes Hawkeye and he throws his entire bow at me! Now, being the awesome person that I am, I dodged it and it merely glanced off my shoulder. Still, that thing carried some weight! Luckily for the convention, we worked out our differences and both went on our way.
Honestly, there were so many incredible moments from this show… finally meeting Nate from IDW face to face, having my 200 story tall supermodel beaten in a quick demo of Superfight, learning a bit about Magic from some players, meeting random folks on the con floor and then bumping into them time and time again, earning a nickname on the first day I was there, and even bumping into some seniors from my son’s marching band.
I learned that I knew a bit more about games than I thought and that like in everything, there’s a lot to learn! If there was one downside to this convention, it was hearing that in gaming, like in most geek/nerd areas, there are those who feel the need to belittle certain types of gamers. I heard someone say, “Those aren’t real gamers, they’re just board gamers.” and it hurt my nerdy little heart. I don’t care what kind of games you play, the fact that you play them makes you a gamer.
All in all, an experience that I have no regrets having and as I mentioned above, I’m already planning on being there next year for the full four days. If you’re a tabletop gamer, looking for a place full of other tabletop gamers, games, and tons of fun, I’m thinking you should add it to your travel plans, as well!