by Zach Welhouse

Gen Con 2015 has ended and the streets of Indianapolis are back to normal. 61,423 unique convention faithful have returned home for another year. Sore feet and throats raw from gaming have faded, leaving the four-day celebration a rosy memory. It sounds like advertising bluster to claim the convention has something for everyone with any interest in games, but it's hard to find a counter-example. Although the event's main draw is the comic store trifecta of board-card-and-roleplaying games, it's easy to bump into a fighting game tournament or something outside the standard gamer wheelhouse like euchre or Monopoly.

The crowds are similarly diverse in interest. According to an informal visual poll, mainstream nerd culture (e.g. Dr. Who, Game of Thrones, Marvel) has the largest showing of support. However, within that generality it's easy to pick out Renaissance Faire aficionados, families, furries, genre writers, political wonks, foodies, costumers, oldsters, youngsters, industry hopefuls, and industry cynics, to name a few. Within the perennial macroorganism, specialized organs pulse and flow to connect the visiting tribes.

My first Gen Con was a little less than twenty years ago. It was hosted in Milwaukee at the time and the venue was significantly smaller. As the crowd has expanded, I've seen the show from most of the major angles: chaperoned youth, attendee, volunteer, game master, vendor (unofficial), vendor (official), and registered member of the press. If there's anything close to Carnival for people who derive joy from shuffling pieces of paper or smelling the paint from a new German board game, this is the place. It's surprising finding such earnestness in my bilious gullet, but the opportunites the show has afforded to immerse myself in my passions have been myriad. No show is perfect, but if I had the immune system and schedule of Hercules, would that it could be seven days!

The most important news to come out of Gen Con this year was human communication. Other, more timely sites, have compiled the press releases and blockbuster announcements. Instead, RPGamer's Gen Con report is a look at some of the top-notch people I ran into. Speaking of which, most of the photos are by Jim Porter. Thank you again to Jim, our own Sam Wachter and Sarah McGarr, and everyone who helped pull the interviews together.

Let's go! »

© 1998-2017 RPGamer All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy