If you read the last post you know that we arrived in Indianapolis with plans to attend Gen Con. Gen Con is the most prevalent and largest of the North American gaming conventions. To clarify it is a convention that is focused on all kinds of multi-player games including board, card, pen and paper, role playing, live action role playing, dice, miniature, and strategy games. There are some computer games but the main focus is board, along with collectible and non-collectible card and miniature games. To put some size to the whole event, this year it occupied 676,000 square feet, had an estimated 40,000 unique attendees and had about 9,000 events scheduled during the 4 day convention.
This was the second year that Leslie and I attended Gen Con together. Leslie use to volunteer and then worked for a game company so she has been to a number of Gen Con’s before our trip last year. Last year was the first convention that Leslie attended and did not work so she was just kind of dazed, and I got involved with a miniature naval game called War At Sea. Other than meeting up with friends we were not really sure what we would do this year.
The convention is now over and we had a great time. In addition to meeting up and spending time with friends we took some craft classes. Leslie and I took a chainmail buffet class. In this class each student gets to pick from a few different items. Leslie decided to build chainmail armor for a stuffed monkey, and I made Leslie a chainmail hand flower. Leslie also took a class that taught her how to make a paracord bracelet. We both took the scalemail dice bag class (we are going to get more scales and make the second bag a little bigger, also you can’t really tell but the colored scales are purple).
We also spent lots of time on the exhibit floor demoing games. The only problem with doing demos is you end up liking the games and buying some. We added two expansions to the Slugfest game Red Dragon Inn (Pokey and Erin), a couple of Mayfair games (Sheer Panic and White Water), a couple of Wildfire Studio games (Poo and Nuts), a USAoply game (Telestrations) and of course the new Fluxx versions. In the process of doing the demos we got talking to a couple of people at Slugfest Games and might be working in their booth next year.
Gen Con is not just games – there are people building dragons out of balloons and houses out of cards.
Of course Gen Con is also famous for the costumes. There were some costumes each day, but most show up on Saturday for the costume parade and contest.
The majority of the convention occurs in the Indianapolis Convention Center; however there are events in some of the connected hotels. Our chainmail and scalemail classes were held in the Crowne Plaza. The hotel is housed within the original Union Station. They did a great job decorating parts of the hotel to look like an old train station complete with Pullman rail cars that house 26 sleeping rooms. When we went over on Friday for our chainmail class we knew we needed to go back when Leslie was in her Steampunk costume to get some pictures.
They say Gen Con is an experience and you never know who you might run into. Well we had a great time and did run into a lot of interesting people, including this gentleman who came to Gen Con during his slow time of year.
We took just under 400 pictures at Gen Con this year – you can see them at http://twotwistedlimes.smugmug.com/ConventionsFestivals/GenCon-2012/