GenCon 2014 – Tragedy and Happiness

What an insane week and a half.

To cut to the quick of it, within ten minutes of walking into the hallowed halls of GenCon I received a tragic phone call with no way to leave or to get home.   I’m not going to go into details but I, and my family, went from looking forward to enjoying our first weekend together over games and good food to struggling through a horrendous Kobayashi Maru scenario.  Endless time on the cell phone, texting, trying to figure out a best course of action.  I did the best I could and tried to make sure my son got a good first day’s experience but I was exhausted by mid-day.  (For the record, when you don’t have a hotel room to go to, it’s very hard to find a place to cry around 25,000+ people.)  Saturday and Sunday did get better but not by much.  We weathered the storm but let’s just say I’m looking VERY forward to next year.

Directly after the Con, we returned to what we will call “the tragedy” as well as work and school.  (You know, maybe I shouldn’t call it that and instead just call it “The Blur?”)  I’m not sure I slept that much and had no time to get caught up here.  Finally, a week later, things are resolved and I can try to get things back on course!

Thoughts and Things from Gencon (some personal, some just observations)

  • Watching my son take a stutter-step upon entering the Main Vendor Hall.  He doesn’t get overwhelmed by much and having to pull him out of the stream of people so he could “take it all in” will be a highlight I carry for a long time.
  • Watching said son, within 24 hours, navigate the crazy like a pro.
  • The sheer mass and scale of the crowd was overwhelming to me on Saturday.  (Friday was bad enough with what I was dealing with but Saturday?  Yikes.)  Next year, I’ll be scheduling myself to be at a game table and NOT the vendor hall.
  • Oh my wow, the costumes!  I knew the cosplay scene had grown exponentially while I had been gone but, jeez!  It always warms my heart to see folks costuming up.  My family has recommended a possible cosplay for me and I am… considering it.
  • Food trucks?  Wow!  I remember having to run over to the Circle Mall food court for a quick, crappy meal or, alternatively, chew on a protein bar.  The lines were bad at times but we realized that if you timed it juuuuusssst right it wasn’t bad at all!
  • I was glad to see that most, if not all, computer games had been pulled out of the Vendor Hall.  I still have a bad taste in my mouth from being in a Vendor Hall and seeing walls and rows of demos of computer games while board game and RPG companies right next to them received no attention.  FYI – This is the only time and place I think I can say that I’m anti-computer game.  The computer games were in other rooms and, rightfully, given their own space.
  • Watching the Smash-up between the Gen-Con attendees and the Indianapolis Colts fans on Saturday afternoon.
  • The odd joy (and I’m not being sarcastic here) of attending the worst RPG demo sessions in my gaming history.  It was so bad it actually inspired me to start running games again! I’m sitting here laughing just writing about it!
  • I saw nothing related to FU or to Mythic in the Con schedule.  I understand that smaller independent games like that have a hard time making an impact at a Con like this but it’s got my pointed little organizer brain thinking for next year.

Finally – My number one moment of happiness was having most of my family join us on Sunday and for everyone to make the decision that GenCon would be the new location of our family reunions!  I think, somewhere, I earned yet another Geek Merit Badge.

I’ve got a few more GenCon related posts in me.  (Those will get written, hopefully, before winter.) Below are a few of my favorite pics from the GENCON 2014.  Some made it to my Instagram feed but most did not.  Enjoy!

And yes, never fear, the Supers game posts are coming very soon!

carhalla

finalfantasy

Catan

Meg

This may be the favorite of the Con. The cosplayer saw what I was going for and gave me “the look” right on time. If anyone knows the cosplayer, let me know. I would be glad to get her the full-sized image file.

Drow

The impact of this many Drow in one place made me realize how terrifying they are as opponents. Possible adventure to come?

Wargames

World War 1 meets War of the Worlds!

bobafettthehell

LegoHeroes

 

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