Thursday, August 24, 2017

Gencon50 - 4 Days of Controlled Chaos

First off, if you like games; board games, video games, RPG’s, or table top games, Gencon, held every year in Indianapolis, is a must do event unlike any other. Chaotically Incredible!

31 years later, I finally made it back to Gencon! Last time I went, Gencon was in Milwaukee. I certainly didn’t know it at the time that it would take so long for me to return, but being that it was Gencon’s 50th anniversary, I put everything on hold to make sure I would be there. My youngest son went with me. Having heard my Gencon stories a million times, he wanted to go and see it for himself. Being the good son that he is, he made all the arrangements. For the record, he said, “This is unbelievable,” about 200 times in 4 days and another 200 times on the ride home.

Creative Team patiently waits to hear all my Gencon50 Stories

We were up at 6am every morning, and the earliest we went to bed was midnight. We played a lot of games, toured the enormous vendor hall at least 50 times, and demo-played everything we could get into. Saturday night, we went to the comedy show – very, very funny comedians. There were tons of great places to eat – food trucks and local restaurants alike. Average walking distance each day, 10 miles.        

Sunday, after Gencon50 ended, I planned on writing and posting this article. (laughing loudly) My body, however, shut down and instantly went into sleep mode. I was utterly exhausted. Every inch of my body was sore, but I'm not complaining. I had a great time and hope to return again someday. Three days removed, I feel slightly better, sort of.

My take on Gencon50:

I consider myself to be an excellent observer of humanity, and what I witnessed this weekend was thousands of people who had all come together to play games, share similar gaming experiences, swap ideas, and connect with people from all around the world. I didn’t see any fights, but I did see a lot of joy, frustration, and congratulatory handshakes. No one likes to lose, but most gamer's don’t take it personally. “Good game,” and a handshake is how every game should end and from what I saw, they all did.

I was lucky enough to listen to and speak with numerous, exceptionally creative people. I was fascinated to see how gaming had evolved over the past 31 years, but more importantly, I was delighted to see that the people had not changed. Sure, the faces and the costumes were different, but their love for playing games had endured. Their desire to make stimulating games was still there. Their inventiveness was still there. And, I was pleasantly pleased to see the blissful camaraderie of like-minded people was still there.

Perhaps, I was fortunate, but I did not meet or speak with any unfriendly or unkind people the entire weekend. Friendly conversations between complete strangers is common at Gencon. A simple, “Hello,” and presto, an engaging exchange begins.

It might take a few more days for my body to recover, but mentally, I feel rejuvenated, refreshed, and revitalized after my exhilarating experience of interacting with so many brilliant and artistic people.

To the hundreds of volunteers and to the people who organized Gencon50 – Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. You are all amazing!

If you enjoy games of any kind, I highly recommend you go to Gencon at least once. (Comfortable walking shoes are a must.)

Spreading the Love to all those who attended Gencon50!

RIP – Gary Gygax


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