Depending on when you’ll be making your trek to Gencon, it’s now roughly 8 days away. You’ve got your hotel reservations, your badge and tickets are paid for, and you have your gaming schedule plotted out. There’s a problem though – you have noticed large gaps in your 4 days that do not consist of rolling dice, tapping mana, or picking up a gamepad. What does Gencon have to offer you in those desperate hours? It may sound blasphemous as your read these words, but what if you need a break from all of that gaming?
At it’s heart, Gencon is about more than just gaming, it’s about gaming culture as a whole. As I stated in last week’s article, the official event list is filled to the brim with stuff to do that aoffers welcome breaks from gaming. Events range from seminars about how to break into the gaming industry with an idea for a game to fan films made about attending Gencon with no money, food, or lodging. There are workshops that will teach you how to paint miniatures like a pro to workshops that give you tips on how to get that novel you’ve been working on published. There’s also a zombie walk, foam sword fighting arenas, officially sponsored parties thrown by game companies, anime, and Timecop starring Jean-Claude Van Damme showing at midnight on Thursday (I’ll be there along with my future self and other PNG staffers).
If you really want to get away from the gaming culture or have somebody tagging along that wants to, you can look under the SPA and ZED events to find a myriad of things to do. You can do dance lessons, pilates classes, haunted downtown Indy tours, and beer and wine tastings at The RAM brewery. The Indianapolis Colts have even put aside roughly 1,000 tickets for Gencon attendees to their first preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings.
If you find yourself bored at Gencon, odds are you are doing it wrong. If you do happen to find yourself doing it wrong, you should probably stop another attendee and ask politely for some information or help. Odds are, they’ll be glad to help out a fellow gamer in their time of need and desperation. Just about everybody that attends is very passionate about this convention and looks forward to the next Gencon just as soon as the current one ends. For our pixel players that visit the site, Gencon is to tabletop gamers what Penny-Arcade Expo is to video gamers. It’s a show built around the consumers and people that play games, not the media or industry insiders. You see, that’s the secret to why Gencon is the best four days in gaming… it’s us, the players. It is what we make it.
The last of our series of Gencon articles will actually be what Dave Reid, Josh Sabol, Peter Irace, and I will be doing at the convention. You’ll get a general idea of what Pixels and Grids will be covering, who we’ll be talking to, what we expect to play, and where the hell we’ll be half the time.