Have you heard of Gen Con? Ever wondered what it was about? I did. So I jumped at the chance to visit Gen Con with my friend, best-selling author, John Kaufeld and his daughter Becky. John was the perfect tour guide for Gen Con… if you don’t mind wandering the halls with a celebrity. It seemed everyone knew John.
Gen Con is a conference for fantasy, electronic, sci–fi, adventure, and board game enthusiasts — but it’s more than that.
120,000 consumers and professionals attended. There were 11,400 scheduled ticketed events, yet still, that doesn’t tell the story.
There were vendors promoting any and every type of game-ware under the sun, both ours, and that of several other galaxies. Still, there was something else… there was more.
There were costumes — manufactured and painstakingly handmade with great care and pride. They were fun. I know the costumes are a large part of what traditional media shows of the conference, but they’re missing something.
What they’re missing is the face-to-face interaction — people feeling at home and comfortable in their own skin (or that of an alien sand creature). As I walked the exhibit halls and vendor forums with John, I noticed something; people were talking, sharing, and interacting. Oh sure, there were smart phones, ipads, and laptops, but they mostly sat unused as people CONNECTED. What is Gen Con? It’s games and it’s being who you are and sharing with others. But Gen Con’s not really about games. It’s about people.