Category Archives: 31Days

Day 30: DragonCon

     So as we approach Halloween DragonCon is the perfect convention to talk about because it is a GIANT costume party! DragonCon is held in Atlanta, Georgia over Labor Day weekend. This year there were an estimated 52,000 people in attendance. DragonCon is a 24 hour a day costume party! There are also discussion panels, film festivals, and a celebrity hall! There is a gaming room for gamers to play a RPG or other pick up game. But the main focus is Cosplay.

     Some traditions people look forward to are the costume parade through downtown Atlanta on Saturday morning, the 501st legion which is a group of stormtroopers from all over the US, DragonCon TV, and costume contests! Five hotels in downtown Atlanta host the event. This was our first year going to DragonCon. We attended panels and took a lot of pictures! We had so much fun looking at costumes and watching people that we missed out on some panels. One thing that was different at DragonCon is you just show up for the panels. At GenCon, Origins, and local conventions you have to sign up ahead of time, in some cases you have to pay a fee depending on the panel and if materials are needed. Now let’s make some costumes!

Day 29: GenCon

     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!