July 2010 my family packed up the car and went on a road trip to a gaming convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. We didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t sign up for anything ahead of time. We bought our passes and basically showed up. WOW! We were overwhelmed! We played games all day for three days straight. We walked the vendor hall for three days straight. We didn’t realize until it was time to leave that we were only in one part of the convention! We were such nerds! So, of course, we had to go the next year in order to see and do everything!
GenCon is a huge gaming convention with 49,058 attendees this year! It is really overwhelming and hard to describe. Rows and rows of vendors and publishers with old favorites and new release games. Mayfair games has a huge area and this year set a world record for number of players in a game of Catan with 922 players! Freebies and give-aways are everywhere along with endless discussion panels, painting classes for beginners-advanced, costuming, jewelry making, the list goes on and on. People play pick up games in the hotel lobbies and anywhere they can find a spot to sit. There are tours of the city. We went on a ghost tour of Indianapolis. There are film festivals, dances, costume contests, and SO much more! Oh, and watch out on Friday night for the Zombie Walk!
GenCon also has a lot to offer the non-gamer. There panels and sessions for non-gamers. A crafting room is available for non-stop knitting and crafting. There are jewelry making sessions and even yoga and workout sessions. There is a mall connected to the convention center for shopping!
For us GenCon was a turning point in how we gamed as a family. We really do game together more often and found that we have a lot of common interests that we didn’t know before! We didn’t know we liked painting, writing, and possible costume making! If you are a gamer and have not been to GenCon I urge you to go. If you think that the GenCon crowd is too big then try Origins. Even if everyone in your family doesn’t game, there is something for them to do. Chances are they will find a game they like!