More Thoughts On Gen Con
Posted by Nathan P. on August 17, 2006
Short one, I’m tired. But I need to get a little bit more down about Gen Con.
So, one thing I’ve been observing across blogs and forums, and not just Forge/indie-related ones, is the general positive response that people seem to have had to this years Gen Con. This is pleasing to me. I’m totally of the opinion that Gen Con seemed to rock mightily for everyone, not just the Forge/IPR booth, not just for story-gamers, but for everyone that attended. All of my memories are of people happily shopping, playing, or just wandering and having a good time. Of course, you can’t bat 1000, and I’m sure there’s people who went who had a bad time. But, my general sense, both from observation and from my gut, is that it was a positive and progressive event.
Progressive? Yes. Our hobby is at a time of great, and exciting, change. The self-pubishing scene is a component of that. So is the gradual collapse of the three-tier distribution model. So is the gradual rise of PDF sales. So is the success of Dungeons & Dragons Online and other gaming-relating MMORPGS. Of course some people and companies and structures are going to be burned by these changes. This is inevitable. But our hobby is metamorphizing, and everywhere I saw an emphasis on actual play.
The console games had demo sets set up. The boardgame manufacturers and retailers had mad play space. The Yu-Gi-Oh Master was there all day, every day. The Forge, I think, is spear-heading the fast-and-effective RPG demo. And sitting on floors, in the cafes, and all into the late hours of the night, there were people all over the freakin’ place, playing games!
Now, I haven’t been to Gen Con before. Maybe it’s always like this. But the emphasis on playing, not talking about, not trash-talking, not exalting, but just playing games was a HUGE refresh for me. I think Wick said something like this on his blog – the concentrated positive awesome of Gen Con was enough to totally wash away the slow-but-steady negativity of internet interaction over the preceding year.
It was a crysalis – I feel reborn. And ready to play.
And THAT is why I had such a great time at Gen Con.