Gen Con: The Experience

As I’ve mentioned, this was my first trip to Gen Con. I’ve been to PAX Prime the past two years, but PAX is very different from Gen Con with its focus on video games. For me, I think Gen Con was a lot more fun. While I do play video games, I prefer non-digital gaming and Gen Con offers a lot more of that than PAX does. I hope that I’m able to make it to Gen Con again next year.

Food & Lodging

My brother and I stayed at the Conrad which is one of the hotels connected to the convention center by Indianapolis’ series of skywalks. That was a great choice and I’d definitely recommend staying in one of those nearby hotels to anyone attending Gen Con. Downtown Indy is pretty nice and there was a ton of good food options near the hotels and convention center. There was a Panera across the street from the Conrad, so we got bagels for breakfast each morning. The Circle Centre Mall food court, also connected to the skywalks, worked really well for lunches. There was a good selection of food there and the lines weren’t very long even if the seating area was crowded. For dinner, we did a different restaurant each night.

Event Tickets

Before Gen Con, I had heard advice that it was good to not fill up your schedule too much. I followed that and other than the D&D seminars and a D&D Next playtest left my schedule open and bought generic tickets to use to pay for things to fill the rest of my time. In retrospect, that was a mistake. When my brother and I decided to try out the D&D Dungeon Command game, we got stuck in the generic ticket line and ended up waiting an hour without making it into a game before we had to leave to make a different event. Next time I go to Gen Con, I’ll buy actual event tickets rather than generic tickets.

Meeting People

The highlight of my Gen Con was Saturday night when I finally managed to meet up with some people I’ve met on twitter for dinner and three hours of Cards Against Humanity. It was a ton of fun, but it would have been nice to have managed more socialization during the weekend. While I was hoping to meet up with more people, I had been relying on twitter to organize meetups during the con. That was a mistake and I should have made plans with people beforehand rather than relying on finding time while everyone was busy at the con.

Artists’ Alley

I love art, so I was very glad that Gen Con features an artists’ alley. My brother and I enjoyed walking through, and I bought a Game Nouveau print by Alexandra Douglass. I would have bought more if I wouldn’t have had to pack everything into a suitcase for the trip home.

By Scott Boehmer

A game enthusiast and software engineer.

2 replies on “Gen Con: The Experience”

It is a great piece of art. I love the little details like the Magic cards, dice bag, and book titles. I originally wasn’t planning to buy anything due to having to pack it, but made an exception when I saw the print. Luckily it made it through the flight fine and is now up on my game room’s wall.

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