Thoughts on GenCon 2013: The Third and Final
Oi! Ok, I’m gonna finish up GenCon 2013, at least from an overview standpoint with this post. Honest. Scout’s honor. I wasn’t a scout. I stayed inside a lot. Except when I played with my g.i. joes or legos in mom and dad’s rock garden. *cough*
Anywho, on to the people of GenCon 2013! Also, just a note, the people I list here are going to be considered my MVP’s of GenCon 2013. This does not imply that anyone NOT listed is not an MVP in general. So, no taking offense to not being listed! Also, everybody I run across at conventions is on Twitter. I don’t know why that is. I don’t use Twitter a ton, but every time I go to a convention, I’m all over Twitter, trying to keep tabs on what’s happening. So!
You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. ~Plato
Jason Slingerland (@JASlingerland) and Rob Couch (@poorly_designed) – I met Jason at Origins 2013. I don’t remember the specifics of how, and I’m going to blame that on early onset alzheimer’s. What? Anyways, Jason and I interacted a bit at Origins, and I got to play his prototype for Water Balloon Washout, which was recently successfully funded on Kickstarter. After arriving at GenCon and while I was walking around the ICC trying to figure out where the heck everything was, I noticed a tweet from Jason mentioning he was getting Rob’s badge at Will Call. So, I stalked..*cough* err, happened to walk over towards Will Call and ran into Jason who introduced me to Rob. We walked around a bit, and eventually found a table and played some Last Vegas, and a couple of the guys prototypes, Rocket Wreckers (Rob) and Sandbox Showdown (Jason). We grabbed some dinner and eventually ended up at the JW Marriot for drinks where I met some other people (Ooooh, more foreshadowing!) From that point on, I kept tabs on these two, got stalked in return and even sat in on the guys’ podcast, Building The Game. I got to meet their lovely and beautiful wives, Stephanie and Kristine, and had dinner with the whole group. These guys are really down to earth, funny, and seemingly on the same wavelength as me from a personality standpoint. I didn’t get to play any games with them after that first day, but let’s just say there’s some plans in the making to hopefully rectify that later this year.
Mikey (@OrangePeeler) and Annisa Jones (@Tangerini) – I met these two at the JW Marriot along with Jason and Rob. I’ll be straight up honest, when I first met them, I started to get a toothache. They were just way too adorable and sweet. Generally, when I meet people like that, I develop this sense of distrust. (Man, I’m doing a really AWESOME job of introing these two, aren’t I?!) ANYWHO, similar to Jason and Rob, I kept tabs on these two, and we attended the Building the Game podcast and dinner. I got to teach them Rise of Augustus and Card of the Dead and got to teach Mikey how to play The Downfall of Pompeii. By the end of the week, actually, well before that, I came to the realization that their sweetness and adorableness and niceness (that’s a word, right?) were all genuine. They were hand’s down, the nicest people I could’ve run across at GenCon. And luckily for them, they live in Denver so they won’t have to put up with me bugging them to drive hours away to meet up. Hopefully, though, we’ll find a way to get together prior to next year’s con season.
Chris (@CardboardEdison) and Suzanne (@KabrtZinsli) Zinsli (and Lilly) – Similarly to Jason, I met Chris at Origins 2013. Chris has a very popular card game, Tessen, currently on Kickstarter. Don’t hate me, Chris and Suzanne, but I haven’t backed Tessen 😦 I’m in this weird place where 2p games just never get to the table. I might look into getting two copies, so I can run 3p or 4p tournaments. Anywho! I didn’t get to spend a ton of time with Chris at Origins, but at GenCon, I was able to sit down and actually play a game with him and his wife. I taught them how to play Trains by AEG. Later, while Suzanne was running a Tessen tournament, oddly enough between the Slingerland’s and the Couch’s, I got to meet they’re little girl, Lilly (who I hope I’m not butchering her name). We discussed the merits of babies eating 1.5 cakes at their birthdays, and children eating cake and jumping on a bouncy castle immediately afterwards (She was playing a game on her mom and dad’s ipad). And in a very odd set of coincidences, the Zinsli’s were passing through the Akron area and had tweeted about any good game stores. I mentioned Underhills Games and proceeded to meet them there. I taught them how to play For Sale, which Suzanne and Lilly won. Not gonna lie, I think they had an advantage with two brains against Chris and I. Later, while Chris and Suzanne browsed the store, Lilly and I “played” Zooleretto. As in, we took the little animal tiles and put them on different boards grouped together. Also, each one needed an “emergency button” which was either a tile that looked like a button or tiles that had snack carts which were also considered “emergency buttons”. It was a really nice endcap to my GenCon experience, hanging out with them again. I’m looking forward to seeing them again!
All right. I’m not sure what else to write about GenCon. As I said at the beginning of the first post, it was definitely an experience. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. But it’s something I’m really glad I did, and look forward to doing again next year. I hope to see my new, and old, friends that I can’t get to see in person between cons. I hope to do better with the social, emotional, and interpersonal crap that got in the way this year. And most of all, I hope to play more and more new games and meet more and more interesting and funny and all around awesome new people!
Seeing as I’ve posted three times today, at about a thousand words per post, I’m gonna take a little break, but when I come back I’ll get into some more detail about the games I picked up at GenCon. I hesitate to call them “reviews” because I don’t feel like I can do them justice in that aspect. They will be my impressions, thoughts, and feelings about the games, along with enough details to help explain how the game is played. I’m hoping to be able to give impressions that will make sense to both gamers and non-gamers alike. Maybe those are lofty hopes. We’ll see what happens!