Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Gen Con 2014 - Day 4

It has always seemed that Sunday would be the natural day for the Zombie Walk since by then many of attendees at Gen Con resemble the walking dead. People have already been burning the candle at both ends for three days with little sleep, a lot of people stay up late partying on Saturday night, so by Sunday everyone is spent.

The addition of Family Fun Day, where a family of four can get in for $30 has infused some life into Sunday. Not only is it more traffic, but it brings in people that aren't burnt out from the past days, and a lot of them there for the first time. It brings up the energy level of the Sunday crowd.

I woke up still feeling the after-effects of the previous night. I got ready and packed everything up, hit the breakfast buffet, checked out and took my luggage to the carbefore my 11 a.m. mini painting workshop. Something I try to do every year is take a miniature painting session to try and learn some new tricks. The trick is finding one I haven't taken already on a Sunday, but not too early and when the Exhibit Hall closes.

The year's class was... okay. I don't think I got as much out of it as previous classes and the instructor didn't seem as engaged. Not that she was bad, just the previous ones I've had were better. Once the session was over that left me with a couple of hours to kill before the X Hall closed.

It didn't seem like a Sunday. It was a lot more crowded than previous Sundays, between the aforementioned Family Fun Day and attendance in general being much higher. I visited with people, looked around for anything I might have missed the previous three days, and looked for any bargains from vendors that didn't want to transport stuff home that was too good to pass up.

As usual, I waited until the closing announcement before departing the X Hall. I dropped off my loot at my car, and made one more pass down Georgia Street on my way to Scotty's, where I've been having post Gen Con dinner the past few years. Even Scotty's was busier than previous Sundays. Some of the muggles whined that Lord of the Rings was on all of the tvs instead of football.

Finally I made the short trek home, unloaded the car and crashed, another Gen Con complete.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Gen Con 2014 - Day 3

If you can only make it one day to Gen Con, Saturday is the day to go. It is the day with the most people, the most costumes, and the most parties. It was rather novel for me to start Saturday so early. This year the big LARP I play in, Brass and Steel, was a 3pm - 9pm event instead of the usual 6pm to midnight, so I wanted to get going earlier anyways.

I put on my Steampunk Texas ranger costume (my character in the LARP) and hit the breakfast buffet in my hotel. The busboy showed my his Gen Con badge, enthusiastic for when he would get off of work and get to go to the convention. An older employee asked if he could take my picture, the first of many pics that day. After finishing my bacon heavy breakfast, I headed for the ICC.

I tell people that even if you can't go to the convention, Georgia st. is a great place to hang out and people watch. Fortunately it wasn't sweltering hot as it had been recent years, so that made hanging outisde a lot more pleasant. I hit the ICC right when the Exhibit Hall opened but checked out the Auction Store to let the crowds thin.

The one downside to Saturday is that it's the most crowded. In addition to the sheer number of people, since it's the biggest costume day, people taking pictures of cosplayers add to the traffic complications. I try to watch out for people trying to get photos and not walk through their shot. When people asked to take my picture, I tried to stand where I'd impact traffic less.

Everyday of Gen Con I hit the X Hall, and every day I see something new. I strolled the hall for a while, navigating the mass of humanity and keeping an eye open for any last minute additions to my costume while visiting the booths of people I know. When @knharter arrived with her daughter (who was born during Gen Con one year, so now Gen Con is like a birthday party for her), we met up.

There's a rule for how often someone gets asked for pictures. When you have more than one person, the frequncy goes up. Add kids in costume, it goes up again. So as we made our way around, we stopped for multiple photo requests. Every one was really polite, only taking pictures after they asked or when we were obviously already posing for pictures. I'm just disappointed I haven't stumbled across any of them yet.

Later that afternoon was the Brass and Steel LARP. This year it was held upstairs in Union Station, which helps set the mood a bit. The earlier time slot I think worked better, as people weren't tiring out towards the end. There were a lot of great costumes and a lot of great role-playing - the scenario was a diplomatic one, so it relied a lot more on the players than on game mechanics. Again, I wish I had remembered to get pictures of us in costume.

After the game, several of the people from the LARP went to the RAM. I was surprised that we got seated in relatively short order despite the number of people in our party. After the RAM we headed to the Cosplay Deviant party being thrown at Revel, a downtown club.

Once upon a time, White Wolf used to throw the big party at Gen Con. However, since White Wolf stopped heavily participating in the convention, the party went away. I'm not sure if this was intended to be a successor to WW parties, but it has potential. I was surprised how fast the VIP tickets sold out at $100 a pop (they included booze), and also surprised that they didn't sell enough general tickets - $10 each - to get the whole club.

When we arrived the party had been under way for a couple of hours and I thought someone said that the VIP booze had already been depleted. The VIP section was mostly typical looking gamers sitting in a line against the wall watching the dance floor with a couple of dressed up girls moving among the areas. We went upstairs where the bars were less crowded and we could look over the balcony and see most of the club.

Some of the muggles didn't know what to make of us. I had to explain what Gen Con was all about a couple of times, got a few free drinks, and was challenged to explain quantum physics after I made a Big Bang reference. I pointed out that I wasn't a quantum physicist or any kind of scientist for that matter and was rather drunk, but my explanation was deemed "close enough". By now all of my friends from the LARP had already called it a night, so I headed out just before last call to try to sleep off the evening's festivities.

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