The Best Four Days in Gaming. Yup, I’m a fan. I’ve been going to the con for 4 years now, a relative newb compared to many. But it is a great experience every year. Held nowadays in Indianapolis (rather than Lake Geneva (where the GEN in the name GenCon comes from)) in the late summer Gen Con is a gaming treat. Thousands upon thousands of gamers gather for fun and the love of the hobby. Gen Con is a place to make friends, meet your on-line friends, play your favorite games and discover new games.
The first year I went I made it a point to try and play new things, I discovered 7th Sea, Spy Craft, and Dark Heresy. I picked up Monte Cooks brand new game Numenera, and Fantasy Flights new Star Wars game Edge of the Empire. I hung out with old friends, stayed up way too late and probably drunk a bit too much a night or two. It was a blast.
Since then I’ve involved myself more in the hobby than ever before. Bolstered by on-line communities and the friends I made that are as passionate as I.
The second year I tried my hand at GMing. I joined the ranks of Monte Cook Games’ Numenera GMs and enjoyed the heck out of it. GMing at a con is a great Experience. If you’re a GM but the thought of GMing at a Con scares you, let me say, Con GMing is easier than GMing your home game. At a Con, the people are there to have fun and learn. Everyone is usually super chill and actually listens to the story you are crafting and want to be active participants. No lengthy side topics or distracting phones or laptops. Your players are there to have fun. GMing at Gen Con is invigorating. I have GMed at every GenCon since then.
Last year I tried something else new LARPing. Yup. People that LARP seem to enjoy the heck out of it, and who am I to judge. So I figured it was time to see what all the fuss is about. So I gave it a try and had a blast. The game I was in was Science Fiction in theme. There were about 12 of us. We were passengers on a spaceship. A ship that suffered a catastrophic failure/accident/malfunction. A ship that wouldn’t have enough resources for all of its passengers to reach its destination alive. It was a game of hard choices, intrigue, self-sacrifice, and gut-wrenching betrayals. It was a game that left me Emotionally drained. But it was a game quite a few of us were talking about till the wee hours of the morning over quite a few beers. It was a great time. Something I want to do again. This year I have my eye on a Cthulhu LARP or two if I can get one to fit in my schedule.
So it’s not too late to grab a badge for the GenCon 50, a plane ticket to Indy, or find a place to stay. You won’t be sorry you went. You’ll have a great time, and you might even see me there. Heck, I might even buy you a beer.