Convention Musings

This was the first table of Wizard Miners at Gen Con in 2017.  Look at the horrible sign on the table; more homemade art with minimal talent.  And yes, for those familiar with the game, there are no tool cards!  WM started with a player mat and chits to keep track of the tools purchased.  However, the hats were there from the start!  Finding this picture made me realize how far in the corner of the main gaming hall that Gen Con put us.  


That was the first year for Wizard Miners, but 1986 was my first Gen Con.  That was back in the Milwaukee days – in fact, 1986 was only the second year in Milwaukee for Gen Con.  If I had gone a couple of years sooner, I would have stories from Kenosha.  That would have been something.  But Gen Con 19 was my first in the Great City on a Great Lake (as the billboards said).  I instantly fell in love with the convention scene.  The hotel full of gamers, the streets full of gamers, the restaurants making up new names for their drinks and sandwiches, gaming all day and all night – plus my first experience with an exhibit hall.  In 1986, young friends, without internet or a good local game store, finding games not carried by Toys R Us and made by Parker Brothers was an exceptional challenge.  Wow, was the exhibit hall an amazing sight.  It pales in comparison to Gen Con’s exhibit hall, but in 1986 it was nirvana.  

For some reason, it was always Gen Con for me and my Petro Gaming Group gang.  I’ve lost count but it must be in the area of 15  Gen Cons we have attended and now several of us go every year (since 2017).   Just this past autumn, we went to our first local convention – MepaCon.  That’s Mid-Eastern Pennsylvania gaming convention.  It was a very different experience in several ways, but in many ways it felt the same  as Gen Con.  Once you were at a gaming table with new people you just met, it felt the same as the big convention.  No huge gaming hall, but also so easy to navigate.  Definitely going back in the spring and will probably look for more local, smaller conventions.  Of course, Gen Con is an event.  Will go until my body won’t allow it.

2023 Gen Con – We’ve got new cards, new art, new box, but still the HATS!!  Plus, a nicer place in the middle of the gaming hall…

What is your convention experience?  Big Cons? Small  Cons?  Getting ready for your first??