Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Convention Attendance


As I have retired and gotten older, and now moved to Florida which is farther from the major game conventions than my old home, I’ve had to pick and choose which conventions I go to. I stopped going to Origins quite a few years ago because it had diminished, and I’m not convinced yet that it has recovered sufficiently to be worth my time and money. It appears I will not be going to the UK Game Expo again (it is more than 4,200 miles). (Keep in mind, being retired means you have more time than money.) Last year I didn’t go to GenCon because I wanted to avoid the 50th anniversary insanity but mainly because the schedule just didn’t work out. I try to attend WBC in Pennsylvania (880 miles from here) and then go to GenCon, possibly with a few days with my brother and sister-in-law in DC in between. In 2018 I should be able to do that.

I also like to go to Prezcon in Charlottesville Virginia at the end of February. I know a fair number of people at both Prezcon and WBC, whereas at GenCon I might see a few people I know but everyone is so busy there’s rarely time to talk.

I attend small conventions here in north Florida – there aren’t any big game-only conventions nearby. Dice Tower con is the big convention in Florida, but Miami is 368 miles from here, and the Dice Tower caters to the “oh shiny” generation and games that are often puzzles disguised his games - not my interest. There’s a prototype con 2+ hours away, but I can’t go to both it and Prezcon because of scheduling. I went to the first one and it was, once again, just about all about parallel competition puzzles disguised as games.

In a few years GenCon and WBC will be at the same time, and I’ll surely prefer WBC.

Keep in mind, I have never gone to conventions to play games, I go to talk with people and listen to people and learn things, and possibly pitch games to publishers. Pitching at GenCon doesn’t strike me as fruitful because you’re competing with so many other people pitching at the same time, to the point where some publishers are almost punchdrunk from seeing one game after another. At WBC and Prezcon there aren’t many publishers but I do have the opportunity to talk with them at length and possibly play my games with them. Most of the small conventions don’t have any publishers in attendance.

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