By Wendy Carson
I am still alive (somehow). I had an amazing amount of fun at GenCon this last weekend in downtown Indy. We brought home a ton of awesome games to review (see John’s post below). Overall, it was wonderful.
This year’s convention was very different for us from the ones in the past. First of all, I didn’t make it to Trade Day on Wednesday because I had to work. I could have taken that day off, but felt that just having Thursday and Friday off was sufficient (plus, I didn’t want to push my luck at the new job).
The biggest difference, though, was that rather than just playing games, we attended several panels throughout the weekend — I don’t think we’ve done that in years (at least not since the convention moved to Indy). Our first panel — a writers’ workshop — was at 9 a.m. Thursday, so we skipped out on getting early entry to the exhibit hall, but we were glad we did.
The whole feeling of this year’s con was more laid-back overall but still very hectic. We took our time working through the vast exhibit hall. We didn’t finish seeing all of the game booths until most of the way through Saturday. Since almost all of the clothing and whatnot dealers together seemed to be grouped in the center of the hall, we just scanned those aisles and skipped portions of them. We also didn’t get to see much of the artists’ area. I was only there for a second to find one we knew and update her on my efforts to promote her work by getting her promotional bookmarks to all of the cons in the area. I never even got to check out the Autograph area or the entertainment booths (except for a quick second at Trace Beaulieu’s booth to get his autograph). I had secured a ticket to get Terry Brooks’ autograph, but the line was entirely too long for me to deal with (two-plus hour wait) so I gave my ticket to someone else. Besides, I don’t actually like his books, so it’s no big loss.
I did get to see Trace (Dr. Forrester and “Crow” of MST3K) several times throughout the con, and he was absolutely charming and funny. If any of you out there get a chance to see him, please do — you won’t be disappointed.
Since John was researching an article on “Gaymers,” [coming soon either in print or online with The Word — John] we attended a few of their gathering and panels. Some were sparsely attended, but on the upside, we did end up winning a “Cards Against Humanity” game (which we didn’t have yet).
The Miskatonic University Graduation Ceremony Thursday night went amazingly well. John and I volunteer to assist with the official Chaosium event each year which has a Lovecraftian theme, most notably the “Cthulhu for President” rally on election years (next year!). We had a solid turnout, with attendees unbelievably into the whole event even more than in the past few years. One even hit his head on a steel beam when he fell to “sacrifice” himself (he was OK, and another person used his “Necromancy Degree” to resurrect him). My Dean of Women (more of a “Mistress” of Students) went over amazingly well.
While we didn’t get to do everything we wanted, we did enjoy everything we could get to.