Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Best Week in Gaming

I got back in town last night after spending the week in Indianapolis, IN for Gen Con, "the best four days in gaming". It's a convention for games and gamers. There are video games, role playing games, miniatures games, board games, and any other type of game you could imagine. It's a weekend filled with geek t-shirts, cool costumes, and the sound of dice. For me, Gen Con lasted a week. And it lived up to its name. This week has been a fantastic week of gaming and geekery.
Some well-known characters

The trip really started last Tuesday, when our friend Jon and my brother John and his family arrived in town (we had three Johns/Jons in attendance, which was a tad confusing sometimes). After dinner we headed home to start the gaming right. Our friend Jon had brought down a ton of board games which we made good use of. We spent the entire week playing board games, playing role playing games (D&D, Shadowrun), and walking around the convention hall. Oh yeah and a lot of eating (if you're ever in Indy stop by Palamino for fantastic meal).

The group at dinner at the beautiful Old Spaghetti Factory.

Games conventions are fun because of all the great people. Almost everyone is friendly and most are doing something interesting. We demoed games, checked out some great costumes, and just spent time soaking up the energy. There were people everywhere in the convention hall, sitting down to game, talking games. Everywhere you looked were unique t-shirts and fun. And the party never seemed to stop. We stayed at the Embassy Suites which was connected to the convention center. At three in the morning there were still gamers playing down in the lobby. One of my favorite comments was Wednesday night at 2 in the morning when my friend Jon looked out the window of the room and said, "there are people still down there playing. These are my people." I'll second that, these are my people. I've come back energized and excited.

Life-sized Robo Rally, a game Jon brought but we never got a chance to play.

We spent all our time with my family and most of that was playing game after game. We wandered around the city a bit, walked a lot, attended a live action dungeon, but the rest of the time was spent sitting at a table rolling dice and laughing. My mother even joined us for a D&D run (something she's never done before). Two of Jon's games, Pandemic and Betrayal at the House on the Hill, became instant favorites with my nephew (and the rest of us). We played a great Shadowrun adventure that had most of us on the edge of our seats at the end. And no matter what we played we laughed and had a fantastic time. One of the best weeks I've had in a long time.


Keith said...

Sweet. Looks like a tremendous amount of fun. Aside from the live dungeon, were there LARPers in attendance, or was it mostly Cosplay? I'm always impressed by the serious Cosplay outfits. Especially when they do something unexpected like mix Darth Vader with Strawberry Shortcake.

I used to be a gamer, but now find that I have no patience for it any more. This makes me sad sometimes, but on the whole I'm fine with it. My gaming has simply moved over to WoW and Steam.

That said, I own Shadows Over Camelot, and like it a lot.

Ever played Scotland Yard?

Cat B said...

Keith! It was a blast!

There were more cosplayers than LARPers although there were plenty of booths with LARPing supplies.

Some of the costumes were fantastic. I didn't see any Darth Vader/Strawberry Shortcakes but I did see a great troop of storm troopers with kilts, a Lincoln on stilts, and an Inspector Gadget that wandered all over the convention on his go-go-gadget legs.

I've never played Shadows over Camelot or Steam. Are they fun? I enjoy Scotland Yard but have trouble finding people to play with me. I started out as a role playing gamer. Although I haven't had a regular group in a while.

You should only be sad about gaming if you miss it terribly. It sounds like you're still doing some gaming through WoW and enjoying that. I don't have a lot of patience for movies anymore and so far I'm okay with that. So don't worry about not gaming more. Eventually perhaps you'll get back to it.

Keith said...

Steam is actually the Valve digital game system. Through it, I play things like Portal, Left 4 Dead, Bioshock, and Half Life 2.

There's a nice community on Steam, so it's relatively easy to connect with friends, or find groups for multiplayer. Not that I do that, as I'm happier solo.

Shadows over Camelot is like Scotland Yard, in that everyone plays as a group against the game in general, except that there's an unknown traitor among you who tries to subtly sabotage the Medieval assault you're engaged in. It's terrific fun, especially when you start suspecting two other players, and can't decide which one is the traitor.

Cat B said...

Shadows over Camelot sounds like a lot of fun. I loved Betrayal at the House on the Hill which has a similar premise of everyone working together until one of the group is turned into a traitor and tries to kill the others. I will have to find a copy of Shadows. Thanks for the suggestion.