Author Topic: Things to do at GenCon  (Read 6915 times)

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Meg

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Things to do at GenCon
« on: June 16, 2008, 05:17:44 PM »
What is everyone's favorite activities to do at GenCon?  If you were going to make suggestions for first time con go'ers, what would you suggest?

For me:

1) Find some cool panels.  At least a couple.  They are ususally informative and fun and can be a great release.  I try to find a "Nerd Funny" panel every year just to go and laugh at-- some good ones of the past have been:
  • What's Wrong with 3e (which turned out to be a 2e advocacy panel)
  • Is your PC Hot or Not (contest of the Nerds.  It was so funny I had stomach cramps)

2) The vendor hall.  Don't underestimate this.  You could spend a couple hours of every day going through it.  It's the best part of the con

3) Hanging out with like-minded friends

4) Starting games in hotel rooms.  I'm not one for gaming with "strangers" and have instead always joined up with other folks I knew and played with them. 

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BoSheck

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Re: Things to do at GenCon
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2008, 05:37:21 PM »
My biggest suggestion for first-timers is to pre-register for events.  Do a little planning with your schedule, but make sure you have time to just take everything in.

And I second the Dealer floor.  HOURS can be spent there, easily.

Caelic

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Re: Things to do at GenCon
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2008, 05:58:03 PM »
1. Knights of the Dinner Table open reading.  One of the high points of the con for me.

2. Hang out in Steak and Shake and just listen to the conversations at adjacent tables...and watch the waitstaff try not to be utterly weirded out by same. :)

3. Break out Talisman second edition and see how long it takes me to get a full table.  Current record: one minute, thirty-seven seconds.

Meg

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Re: Things to do at GenCon
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2008, 06:03:35 PM »
2. Hang out in Steak and Shake and just listen to the conversations at adjacent tables...and watch the waitstaff try not to be utterly weirded out by same. :)

I'd definitely second this, but in Hooters.  Geeks more engrossed in gaming talk than in boobs is absolutely fascinating!

I'll also add to my list that the big events can be a lot of fun- the Party in the Plaza usually has free food and whatever sort of event there is can be a blast- last year it was the Black and White ball and that was awesome. 
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PhoenixInferno

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Re: Things to do at GenCon
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2008, 07:09:43 PM »
So I should actually schedule time to go to the vendor hall?

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Re: Things to do at GenCon
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2008, 07:16:07 PM »
YES.  This is the most common mistake I see of people- overscheduling themselves and not leaving time for the vendor hall.  Honestly- I only schedule about 50% of my 10-6 day max and that's even pushing it- with panels, lunch, etc.  Things will definitely "come up" and the vendor hall is awesome. 

My favorite "gaming" at GenCon is to demo new games-- just walk around the vendor hall and go to a booth and sit down and try a new game.  Or a "new to you" game.  I probably demoed about 10-20 games last year and that was so much more fun than going in and playing a game I already know with strangers (and paying for it). 

At night, there are a ton of events-- like the Brilliant Gameologists' Discussion on Gameology that you have to schedule in, the GenCon event (whenever that is), sometimes night panels.. there was a Hentai thing last year that I wanted to go to but didn't get to that looked like fun- it was a late night, 18+ event where they played some sort of anime porn and the audience had to fill in the dialog.

Oh, speaking of which, there are always at least 2-4 rooms going with movies 24/7 so if you just want to sit and relax for a while, they are great for that. 
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Caelic

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Re: Things to do at GenCon
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2008, 07:32:52 PM »
I learned THAT particular lesson the hard way back in '88.  Between events I'd signed up to play, RPGA events I was DMing, and tournament advancement, I wound up playing or DMing in every single timeslot.

I also learned something else at the same time: you don't realize when you're in one of the big gaming halls exactly how loud it is, and how much you're raising your voice to compensate.  By Monday afternoon, I had the worst case of laryngitis I've ever had in my life.  It took me most of a week to get my voice back.

Oddly, most of my friends seemed to be in a remarkably good mood that week. :)

Meg

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Re: Things to do at GenCon
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2008, 07:58:38 PM »
Oh my god, the voice thing is a HUGE issue.  I completely lost my voice by the 2nd or 3rd day like 2 or 3 years in a row.  One year was particularly bad because I was in the GenCon play and my voice was just gone.  I've never had it happen anywhere but GenCon.

The vendor hall but also everywhere you go-- for me it was mostly hanging out in the Embassy Lobby or at a bar or whatnot and you shout the whole time without realizing it.

The last 2 times I went prepared-- a TON of airborne and cough drops even when I didn't think I needed them.  Also really uped the dose on daily vitamins because so many people I know (including me) would get really sick afterwards. 

When I planned for it, I was fine, but air quality + shouting + fake air + too many people is a great recipe for illness. 
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Re: Things to do at GenCon
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2008, 09:48:31 PM »
I have to second caelic and the steak and shake that place is great! The dealers room is just a sight to behold really.  This year though its all about 4th edition for me,  I intend to. playing nothing but 4ed.  I also recommend the beer garden nearby its good stuff too.
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PhoenixInferno

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Re: Things to do at GenCon
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2008, 09:49:50 PM »
Beer...garden...?   :love

Meg

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Re: Things to do at GenCon
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2008, 10:44:08 PM »
The "party in the plaza" has a beer garden-- we actually tell a story about it in our upcoming BSG review (Wed).  It's not to be missed.

The Embassy Suites have "happy hour" 5:30-7:30 with free beer and wine (and soda and chips/snacks).  Daily.  Too awesome. 
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Caelic

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Re: Things to do at GenCon
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2008, 12:53:46 AM »
4. Try to figure out why there's an electric hooker on the corner by the convention center.

Seriously--what IS that thing?

Meg

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Re: Things to do at GenCon
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2008, 01:44:04 AM »
 :rolleyes She's a stripper or possibly "exotic dancer".  I don't know why you would stoop to calling her a hooker. 
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Caelic

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Re: Things to do at GenCon
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2008, 02:13:41 AM »
:rolleyes She's a stripper or possibly "exotic dancer".  I don't know why you would stoop to calling her a hooker. 

Insensitive of me, I know.  I saw her standing on a streetcorner shaking her digital booty and lept to conclusions.

Josh

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Re: Things to do at GenCon
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2008, 03:04:24 AM »
4. Try to figure out why there's an electric hooker on the corner by the convention center.

Seriously--what IS that thing?
If you walk to the business center there is one of those "signs" on every corner. 

Personally I do not sign up for any games.  I can do that around here (in fact next weekend I am) but there are things at GenCon that are not possible anywhere else.
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Re: Things to do at GenCon
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2008, 04:15:21 AM »
Definitely make time for the vendor hall...and take a back pack. Not just for purchases, but for the free stuff too. There is plenty of swag to be had at Gen Con...you've never seen two happier nerd girls than when Meg and I stumbled upon an unattended barrel full of BreakKeys and we both had our backpacks.

Is your PC Hot or Not (contest of the Nerds.  It was so funny I had stomach cramps)

Picture a room full of chairs to accommodate 50-75 people with 12 or so people actually in it...3-4 panelists, Meg, Josh, myself, my DH, 1-2 others in our group, and 3 'parties of one'. The premise of this panel was for people to describe one of their characters to the judges and then the judges would award prizes at the end for the best one.

Our group had gone just to listen in. One by one the people not in our group got up and gave long, somber and earnest presentations of some of the most boring and lame characters ever created. They waxed poetic about what they wore and what their job was before they started 'adventuring' and other inconsequential details.

Our group was a mix of dumbfounded and desperately trying not to laugh out loud...very similar to the reactions of the judges. So Josh pops up and wings a three minute description of one of his random characters, including 1-2 funny anecdotes. And he won hands down.
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Re: Things to do at GenCon
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2008, 05:47:40 AM »
Gen Con is definately a blast. I'm hoping to work it again this year.

And yeah catching something is very possible. I'm hoping not to this year, praying my immune system has built up since the previous year's exposures.

The vendor hall is a must, but keep in mind it operates only during certain hours. It closes at 6 every day except Sunday when it closes at 4. The best time to get some great deals is at around 3 pm on Sunday- but you'll be picking over scraps.

Hooters was.. eh... Meh. The Gameologists will understand my point of view when I say it's still a resturant! Aside from my other hangup, there's girls with barely covered hoo ha's and other bits near my food.

Bring an extra bag/suitcase. As pointed out for freebies but also for any purchases. Either that or be prepared to ship items home.

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Re: Things to do at GenCon
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2008, 06:13:58 AM »
Hooters is great because it has good food and good turnover. 

Ditto Steak and Shake. 

And if for some reason you want attention from the girls at Hooters the secret is to be two guys.  Every time I go in there and it is me and Zeke or me and my brother we get tons of attention.  If you go in a larger group you get less.

On second thought I might be needed, so you had better take me.  You're buying.
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Peaboo

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Re: Things to do at GenCon
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2008, 07:03:52 AM »
So.... taking my wife was a bad idea, huh?

/not the one that suggested going there.

 :P

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Re: Things to do at GenCon
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2008, 02:56:08 AM »
...an unattended barrel full of BreakKeys...
The technical term for that is a "GARBAGE CAN"...
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