GenCon 2010 - The Experience!
I am fresh from my first venture into the wonderful world of GenCon, my friends, and I feel revitalized.

This may have been my fiance's 11th GenCon trip, but it was my first, and it was a lot more fun than even I expected!

As you wander the halls of the Indiana Convention Center, surrounded by people talking about Star Wars and Star Trek and Magic and trolls and hobbits and demons and swordplay and any manner of geeky activity, this is the only place where it's okay to stop someone and ask if that device they are carrying is a new game (no, it's just a fancy thermos), or which version of Settlers of Catan they are playing, or where they got that fantastic bright pink wig with the matching corset, or find people who actually *get* the jokes on your t-shirt.

It felt... like home. *sniff* Surrounded by people who are even geekier than myself. Inundated by social awkwardness that melts away as people find a common passion. Tip-toeing carefully around board games and card trades and minis spread everywhere, knowing just how valuable those items are to their owners and friends. For once feeling like the coolest person in a room because you can spout off the fundamental differences between a WoW priest and a D&D cleric, and which stats are most important for each type, and finally locating the one vendor who understands why it is so important to you to have a delightful female dwarf mini.

So... what did Miss Medicina do?

  • Drank way too much beer at The Ram. (And bought a t-shirt!)
  • Spent far too many hours wandering the exhibit hall (And bought a t-shirt!)
  • Picked up a fancy gencon badge holder (And bought a t-shirt!)
  • Restocked on card sleeves for my new-found delight in the WoW TCG and for my D&D spells
  • Paid far too much for far too many TCG booster packs (And got a Blazing Hippogryph!)
  • Remembered the prayer bead for every skill check for my cleric in True Dungeon (And almost fell through a mirror!)
  • Relived my childhood at Video Games Live as an orchestra rang out the midi files of my youth from Nintendo's Zelda to Mario Brothers to Lament of the Highbourne.
  • Bought dice. So... many.... dice....
  • Discovered Kill Doctor Lucky, and almost managed to do exactly that.
  • Ran into someone else from my hometown academic program, where we could reveal our secret geekygamergirl obsession for the first time.
I walked away with a few new collection hobbies that may come back to bite me in the ass, but I had a ridiculous amount of fun. I also have a new appreciation for the City of Indianapolis, which I confess pleasantly surprised me. I did not meet a single person who showed any sort of resentment towards the mass influx of geeks upon their fair city - in fact, we were welcomed with open arms. At the local mall where we stopped to get some food, we sat next to two well-blonded and tanned high school age girls whom I expected to be weirded out by us. Instead, one of them brightened up and pointed out a costume of someone walking by in great excitement as she recognized the Sailor Moon fans.

Everyone has a little bit of a geek somewhere inside it seems. GenCon is one of the few events at which you can completely let loose, and it's cool to be "uncool". We don't think your full suit of homemade chainmail is the mark of a loser here - we are all very impressed. Go ahead and rock out in that steampunk corset, lady, it's welcome here. See that dude over there? He writes the best Harry Potter fanfic.

I've been to several academic conferences in my life, but I probably met a greater number of truly brilliant, creative, and enthusiastic people at one GenCon than at all of my academic conferences combined. I was blown away by how welcoming everyone was. Ever since I met my fiance and was introduced into the deep geek world of gaming (I had been a closet gamer previously), I always felt a bit like an outsider. But not at GenCon! There's so much content, so much new stuff to see and learn, that everyone is new at something, and everyone is getting exposed to new things. Everyone is both a pro and a noob depending on the scenario, and it felt excellent. So much knowledge exchange...

I will followup with a picture post. Blogger isn't particularly picture friendly, so I need to do some finagling.
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10 Responses
  1. Rhii Says:

    I am soooo jealous! My first GenCon was in 2003... and sadly it was my last, as I no longer live in Indiana.

    But it was also my first time meeting up with online friends and that was just as incredible.

    I definitely want to see the pictures of your t-shirts!

  2. Rades Says:

    I too am extremely jealous! I've always wanted to go to GenCon, they sound like so much fun (though would be murder on my wallet). Your twitter commentary during the Con was really fun to observe too! :D

  3. Kaethir Says:

    My wife and I were there with our 4-month old...

    It's a different experience with children... But we mostly wandered the exhibit hall, bought a couple games (Settlers of Catan, Munchkin, Gemblo) and looked for funny or cool stuff.

    Hope you had as much fun as we did :)

  4. Redbeard Says:

    Congrats on GenCon!

    You probably passed by my sister-in-law's husband; he would have been one of the guys buried in the Pathfinder games going on. I have heard that he's gotten into Settlers of Catan (finally!) and that he's starting to get bit by the Eurogame bug pretty hard.

    One of these years I'm going to drag the family up there to wander around, but I'm pretty sure I'd not see my wife for several hours at a stretch.

  5. Pyoska Says:

    Woo GenCon! Is there a Dragon*Con in the future, or is it too far, like it is for me?


  6. DSchneider Says:

    Congrats on the Hippogryph!

    This is Larry, btw. The newbie disc priest who demoed you at the WoW TCG booth. :)

    Glad you had a lot of fun at GenCon!

  7. @DSchneider

    Larry!!! You found your way here, I'm glad to hear it!

    After we demoed WOW TCG we convinced all of our friends to buy starter packs, so there's about 10 of us now trying it all out. Thanks for all your help!

    Hope you are able to find some good information for raiding as a disc priest :) Shoot me an email (missmedicina at gmail dot com) if you want any extra suggestions or help! I feel I owe you :)

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Sounds like a lo of fun.

  9. DSchneider Says:

    @Miss Medicina

    I did find some fantastic information. For one, I wasn't using Penance nearly as much as you hyped it. It doesn't heal as much as my Flash Heal most times unless I crit like crazy, but I can see how it benefits in other ways. :)

  10. Anonymous Says:

    A long time ago I found myself really excited to be moving to Wisconsin. Why? Because that's were GenCon used to be held. My friends were of course really happy to explain to me that the event had been moved to Indiana instead.

    I *still* haven't been able to get to one....

    Bah! Glad you had a good time though!

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