Achievement Unlocked: GenCon Indy
I have now returned from my first ever GenCon. It’s hard to describe what it was like but I think it’s safe to say that it was fan-freakin-tastic covered in awesome-sauce with a side of win. Am I over-selling? Nope. It was just that good. I am definitely going back next year, but leaving earlier in the week and coming back later. It’s billed as The Best Four Days in Gaming, but I only got about three so next year I will make sure to experience the slogan to it’s fullest. In the three days I did have, I played a lot of games, met some great gamers and learned a few things that I thought I’d share with you just in case you’re planning on making the pilgrimage next year.
I learned that following the little map in the GenCon iPhone app, at midnight, is not as easy as it might seem from the brightly lit lobby of the Westin. It was only a few blocks from there to the Embassy Suites and I thought it would be easy, but that darned hotel is impossible to find if you’re coming from the wrong direction! This is largely due to the teeny tiny sign by the teeny tiny entrance. I had to walk into the Hyatt next door and ask them for directions. The woman at the front desk was not very nice, but the Hyatt did have a sign that, if it fell off of the building,would squash an entire block of gamers. I give them 10 points for good signage but deduct 5 for cranky front desk staff.
The after-hours gaming was incredible and it was everywhere and it really did go all night. You could walk into any room (meeting rooms people, don’t go knocking on random doors, you’ll get arrested) and find games of ever kind. The smell of freshly opened boardgames filled the air as everyone cracked open their new purchases and put them to the test. If you wanted to game all night there were more choices than there were hours to play. At about 1am I was really thirsty and went on The Great Diet Coke Quest of 2010. I found an empty soda machine. I found one that wanted exact change only. I found a water dispenser with a bunch of used cups. And I found one soda machine, fully loaded, with a giant padlock over the glass front. I swear if I’d had a crowbar I’d have broken that sucker open in a minute. I give 20 points for endless gaming but deduct 5 for lack of accessible beverages.
Also, there was a huge vendor hall. It was filled with every game and accessory a gamer could hope to store in his basement. There were minis, boardgames, and RPGs galore. More dice than you could ever want, okay, than you could ever need, and dicebags to tote them home. There were t-shirts and pillows, soap and art work. You could get autographs from people like Margaret Weiss and Wil Wheaton and the cast of The Guild. There was even a little vampire themed bar serving drinks in the corner. The vampires did not sparkle, but they were all sexy women, not one guy in the bunch. I give 20 points for an amazing vendor hall but deduct 5 for lack of manly vampires.
It looks like GenCon has earned 35 points, but I’m coming off a serious lack of sleep so it’s possible I added that wrong. Looking at my Official Total Fan Girl Con Rating Scale that I just invented 5 minutes ago this would rank as…..save your pennies and find away to join me in Indy next year!