Tuesday, July 5, 2011

One month to GenCon

Did I mention I am a gamer?  I always think of the line from Mary Poppins:  “plays games, all sorts.”

I am going to GenCon in one month.  One month!  I’m so excited I can hardly stand it.  Of course, some of that is default looking forward to not being at work.  But I love GenCon.

I’ve been once before (2009).  I’m going with friends, and I’m most excited about one friend who has never been before.  I’m almost more excited for him to get to go for the first time than I am about going myself.  Almost.  But mostly, I just can’t wait for four days of gaming!

My top five things about GenCon:  
Well, I’m looking forward to True Dungeon.  That is a walk-through dungeon with puzzles and combat-via-shuffleboard.  It’s a blast.  And all the time & effort put into it is definitely appreciated.  There is a group of “adventurers” in different classes a la Dungeons & Dragons, and you basically try to survive!  I’m going to play twice – once with a friend who has never been to GenCon before, and once by myself.  I tried it by myself for one session in 2009, and that didn’t work out so well.  But I’m giving it another go, with cautious optimism.

The Dealer Room. This is the exposition hall chock-full of gaming goodness.  Dice.  Board games.  Tshirts.  Anime.  Cosplay.  It’s pretty much what shopping malls would look like if geeks ran the world.  It’s beautiful and deadly (to your wallet).  In 2009, I somehow managed to spend less than $100.  (I was on a tight budget.)  That is almost miraculous from what I’ve been told.  I don’t anticipate it happening this year.  (Added benefit of driving – room to take stuff home!)

Playing RPGs I never get to play.  I love my gaming group, really I do.  But we don’t get to play very frequently, and we’re pretty loyal to our RPG of choice Star Wars: Saga Edition.  It’s a great system, and I love playing it.  But there are other fruits in the RPG orchard that I’d really like to taste.  This year I am trying three new RPGs.  Will I ever play them again?  Doubtful.  But at least I’ll get to try them out, and maybe pick up things I can apply in my own games.  [For the curious – Call of Cthulhu, Doctor Who and Eclipse Phase.]

Trying something new.  For me, this was miniatures play in 2009.  Reaper Warlord.  I’m doing that again this year.  But I’m also trying a new board game, not to mention the RPGs already listed.  Usually you (or one of your friends) has to buy a game upfront to learn it.  At gaming conventions, you just have to buy a seat at the table.  Plus you might be learning from the person who designed it – you never know!  It’s a nice way to test drive a game before you commit money to purchase. 

Feeling like you belong.  I’m a geek.  It’s undeniable.  But everyone at GenCon is, in some way.  It’s a community of individuals, and it’s nice to feel like you fit in the majority for a brief part of your life.

I’m sure I’ll have more to say about GenCon after I go.  But for now, everything is shiny with possibility and hope.

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