snapshot20120808020538If you’ve never been to Gencon, or another large gaming/geek convention, it’s really hard to get an idea for exactly what it feels like. When I went to my first Origins 7 or so years ago, I couldn’t even begin to conceive of what the experience was going to be.

So, last year at Gencon I carted my camera around and captured as much footage as I could. I tried to get interviews with any attendees who would stand still long enough, and I got video of as many fun and interesting things as my schedule allowed. That has resulted in this, Gnome Stew’s Video Guide to Gencon.

It doesn’t cover the registration process or provide tips for making it to Gencon, but it does show you what it’s going to be like once you get to the convention. Hopefully it will help those who will be making the trek to Gencon for the first time this year and whet the appetites of those who have been or who have contemplated it but never quite made it.

Since the video only covers what happens while you are at Gencon, here are a few tips for registration and other sources of good information about the Gencon experience.

7 replies
  1. shortymonster
    shortymonster says:

    Very cool John! I’m hoping to do some live blogging – currently in negotiation to be the official blogger in fact – at the Student Nationals yearly gaming event here in England. Who knows, we may actually win again this year, and that would be great. It’s a bit of a different atmosphere at the naionals than it is at a con, so check it out next March for all the action I’m sober enough to type about.

    • John Arcadian
      John Arcadian says:

      I don’t know, the last part of that last sentence makes it seem like many conventions I’ve been to. 😀

      What are the Student Nationals like? Is it a convention in the sense of Gencon or is it a competition with a gaming element to it?

  2. drow
    drow says:

    great idea, thanks! as for me, i’m too busy to make it to gencon again. twenty years running, now.

    • John Arcadian
      John Arcadian says:

      Every year I tell myself I’m going to give gencon a miss. I go to many other cons that are less crowded and provide better opportunities to promote my game (non engine product), but every year i get excited and work it into my plans. So much to do and so many people I wouldn’t see otherwise.

  3. xorgnz
    xorgnz says:

    Neat 🙂

    One note for GMs, though: You don’t need to stop at GM HQ to pick up a packet before your game – we stopped doing that years ago. The only people who have to come to GM HQ at the beginning of the con are event organizers who are expecting complimentary badges – if that’s you, you’ll know who you are because you’ll have talked to Derek or Jeanette about it already.

    If you can, make sure you read the GM / Event Host policy. The key things for beginner RPG GMs are on pages 10, 11 and 12 (Running Events On Site and Collecting & Turning In Tickets).

    In brief:
    – show up 15 minutes early,
    – collect tickets from your players (generally 1 generic ticket per 2 hours of event, or 1 ticket with your event printed on it)
    – run your game
    – stop by GM HQ before it closes on Sunday to drop off the tickets. We’ll give you an envelope to put them in (you can also get these in advance).

    If you don’t return your tickets, Gen Con will mark you down as a no-show, which might make setting up events in future more difficult. If you can’t get them to GM HQ on time, you can mail them to Gen Con LLC as per instructions in the guid I linked above.

    In general, though, if you’re stuck or confused, come to GM HQ, and we’ll help you out.

    — One of your friendly GM HQ staffers.

    • John Arcadian
      John Arcadian says:

      Interesting. I haven’t run without a company presence there for a few years. This will be my first one just running a few games on my own. Thanks for the updates!

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