We are all geeky about something.
Gen Con is this week right here in Indianapolis. This will be my 5th visit. The level of involvement over the years goes like this: curious, interested, involved, engulfed, fanatical. Somewhere between the involved and engulfed phase I shook loose from the mild embarrassment I felt about being a part of this community. To this day it still requires a bit of an explanation as to 1) What is Gen Con? and 2) Why are you paying $70 to attend? In the early days I wouldn't bring up the subject, lest I get further queried as if I had two navels or practiced Voodoo. Realizing that everyone is a geek about something (and if they aren't they are boring people). I will now talk your ear off about my new passion.
So here is the FAQ section in which I proudly proclaim my geekdom.
What is Gen Con?
It's a gaming convention where the gaming industry and players come together to play and preview primarily board and card games.
For the full (and boring) Wiki version: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gen_Con
Why are you paying $70 to attend?
I'd rather not pay the fee in light of the fact that most events and sessions carry an extra charge and that the folks in the exhibit hall must pay to sell their wares. That being said, there are other $70 items that I don't think are worth the money. One being a round of golf which is a subject that I will someday open up about in a later post.
Is this one of those conventions where people dress up like trolls, warriors, and other fictional characters?
Yes. But I don't. It's like going to nudist colony with one's clothes on. I get to view the spectacle without really participating. It is annoying when I get smacked by a rubber sword or a dragon tail in a crowded aisle.
Are there games like Monopoly at Gen Con?
I suppose, but outside Magic the Gathering, and Dungeons and Dragons. most of the titles are a newer generation of board games that feature high quality components and fresh designs that rely on strategy to win rather than luck. Many of the the titles originate in Europe and are not found at Wal-Mart or Target. They are sold in specialty game stores. Many of themes are fantasy and horror related and that brings in many of the comic book fans.
What games do you play?
I mostly play war games featuring historical accuracy. Reading about a famous battle is one thing, but playing it on a tabletop goes a long way in understanding the conflict. I particularly like games with miniatures. Read: toy soldiers.
Any games that I'd like?
Given that you like playing games, there are a few worth looking into. For example, Settlers of Catan, Dominion, and Ticket to Ride are games that my friends and family enjoy.
So what do you do there for 4 1/2 days?
I play the games with fans from all over the nation. Often the game's designer is on hand to answer questions or give tips on winning strategies. I'm booked solid with various sessions.
Felicia Day will be there this year and I once saw Kari Byron of The Mythbusters. Oh, and you can grab a bunch of swag. There will be special edition game pieces given out. There's other things like Anime festivals of which I hold no interest. It's like Las Vegas. Everyone has a different agenda at the same location. Having 30,000 other gamers there is a sight to behold.
See you there?