2010 Pre GenCon Thoughts

The best Four Days in gaming and one heck of an awesome vacation.

GenCon is coming up soon and I am as excited as ever to attend. We will be headed out early Tuesday morning in the RV for the great state of Indiana. This year my cousin Keith is coming with us once again. He joined us 4 years ago for GenCon 2006, and had a blast. It will be interesting to see what he thinks of the changes to the convention. Also attending this year is my friend, coworker, and former student Ben. This will be his first GenCon and I am excited to see what he thinks of it. I am going to see if i can have Ben write an article about what he thought of his first GenCon.

Every year I look forward to my trip to GenCon, and each year we add more to the list of things to get excited about. Here are some of the highlights for me:

1.) True Dungeon

We are attending two True Dungeon sessions this year, with a party of 4. We will be doing one session of each of the different TD modules this year. For those of you who don’t know, True Dungeon is a live action dungeons and dragons dungeon crawl event.Everyone picks a D&D class and then adventures through different rooms. The people who put the event on pour their heart and soul into every single detail and it shows in how awesome the final event is year after year.

For more information on True Dungeon please visit: http://www.truedungeon.com

2.) The Exhibit Hall

Ahh the dealer hall. My home almost every day from 10am-6pm during the convention. I love the dealer hall. I enjoy running around from booth to booth listening to people explain their product and gauging if the game/product is right for my gaming group back home. Over the years I have went from buying everything that looked interesting to now just buying the cream of the crop. I often will purchase any game that I know will be an immediate hit at the convention, and then will add the other games that are of interest to me to my ever growing list of wanted games. I’ll walk through the hall at lease 50 times, and each and every time there is something new that I have missed the time before.

3.) Open Gaming

Last year sadly my gaming buddy had to drop out of the GenCon trip last minute and even with tons of phone calls and begging and a free ticket to the con, I could not find anyone to fill his spot. This meant it would be my first year going to the convention with only my dad and myself. My dad is great, he loves watching people, and roaming the exhibit hall, and being my pack mule carrying my purchases around until the end of the day, but he’s does not play games. So, I was on my own in the convention. Luckily by way of an extra True Dungeon ticket I found a gaming buddy at the con. We spent time outside of TD chatting abotu games, and trying out ones that we both though looked good. We found the gaming library and that was that. Every evening after the hall closed we would head into the gaming library or the Rio Grande gaming room and play games until I was tired and headed home.

It was great to meet so many people in the Open Gaming area, and to play full games with them, not just 5 min demos like in the Exhibit Hall. I am hoping this year that we will continue to use the game library to try out games, and find out what I need to go buy in the convention hall.

4.) VIdeo Games Live

I have had the pleasure of seeing this awesome show 3 times now (twice in Indy & once in Boston, MA) and will see if as many times as I can. Each and every time I see the show it gets better and better. The producers, Tommy and Jack, truly know gaming culture and really showcase how beautiful video game music is. Video Games Live is a high energy action packed video game powered event. Video Game music is performed by a live orchestra and choir while footage from the games is displayed on large video screens. The music spans from good old Super Mario Brothers to current games such as WoW and Halo. If you have not seen this event it is going on Saturday evening during GenCon, and I HIGHLY suggest you purchase tickets and join us.

For more info on Video Games Live visit: www.videogameslive.com

5.) Networking & Culture

One of the last things and probably the greatest part of GenCon is the friendships and connections that are made. No matter if its a connection with an awesome small game company, or strangers that sit down to a game together who walk away now knowing a few more great people in this world. Its great when everyone in an area is on a similar wave length, and this adds an ability to just click with one another.

Gamers are a unique culture and when everyone around you is one you just feel at home.

So with that long winded lightly edited blog post I share some of my many Pre GenCon thoughts.