Saturday, August 24, 2013

Pros and Gen Cons

Every August the gods bestow an event like no other in the grand tapestry of nerd gatherings: Gen Con.  For those who do not know the awesomeness of the Best Four Days in Gaming, let me first scoff at your ignorance and then patronizingly expound. 

Gen Con is a four-day convention that features everything about gaming.  Over 41,000 people descended on Indianapolis this last weekend to play roll-playing games, card games, collectable card games (yes, they are a separate category), board games, miniature war games, computer games, family games, party games, and drinking games.  They also watch movies about games, attend seminars relating to games, and Live-Action Role Play.  I could tell you the history or why they call it Gen Con, but then I would have to wake you up by hitting you with a saltwater bass.

I've been attending Gen Con for eight years, and for this event I put together a list of eight thoughts that I feel encompass my experience.  I am going to present them David Letterman style so those who have no idea what I'm talking about can just act like Paul Shaffer. 
8.) Wil Wheaton tweets a lot: Yes, Wesley Crusher was there, and he brought his Twitter account (@wilw). I don't know how he actually finished a game with the metric ton of tweets he unleashed.  The good thing, 95% are sheer awesomeness, like this one:
7.) Beware the underbelly: What is the weight limit you get to be at where you no longer care about your shirt covering your tummy flab.  I am disgusted and envious at the same time.
6.) Nerds are economic stimulus: Did you know that Gen Con pumps roughly $47 million into the Indianapolis economy?
5.) I didn't pay $6 to do math: Making a character in some game systems is like studying for the SATs.  When we have a four hour block to play, just give us some pre-generated characters and let's rock and/or roll.  I don't want to spend the time with a calculator and textbook.  I'm looking at you Shadowrun!
4.) Playing with friends is just as much fun at 37 than it was at 12: With seven gamers in one house for four days, it's like a really long sleep over
3.) Playing with strangers is interesting: Part of my experiment in overcoming social anxiety was to play a four hour game with a group of unknowns.  The ice broke an hour later when someone tasered me for offering to "take her upstairs" (all in game, of course).
2.) You can scar a child anywhere: There seemed to be more kids at Gen Con than ever before.  Most awkward moment goes to the parent who was badgering his 12-year-old daughter to get her picture with two bikini-wearing booth babes holding whips.  When did Jenny start thinking about being a stripper?
1.) I'm Murtaughed out: Creaky bones, large belly, bad eating habit.  Yeah, I'm too old for this shit.  But I'm going back next year!
I apologize for the length of the post, but the awesomeness of Gen Con knows no word court!  It could be worse, the 17 followers of my Twitter feed (only 2,392,694 less than Wil Wheaton) got a blow by blow.