2010 - My friend and I being mistaken for "booth babes" while trying on corsets at Timeless Trends, and a mom begging us to pose for a photo with her baby.
2014, I dressed up as Maeve the Winter Lady since Jim Butcher would be there. I was walking toward the entrance to the convention center and walked by a couple dressed as Harry and Molly. I leaned down toward the girl dressed as Molly, put on my best smirk, and said, "You have my old job." She just stared at me in complete silence, and I thought I'd invaded her personal space bubble and she didn't appreciate some random stranger looming over her and whispering in her ear. Or worse, I'd dropped a major spoiler! Later they approached me again and she was bubbling over with enthusiasm, and telling me she loved my costume. I guess I'd just startled her.
Taking a break from doing booth demos for the Infinity Miniatures Game, I came across a group of Zelda cosplayers, in the main hall, and walked passed them. About 50 yards later, an idea struck me, and I turned around and talked to the group about what I had planned. They understood what I was asking them to do and followed me into the exhibit hall. I stopped at a safe distance and pointed out the Corvus Belli booth and who they were to contact. So this sizable group of Zelda cosplayers walked up to the target and the leader says "Did somebody mention LINK teams?" Link teams are a rule in Infinity that lets a player join up to 5 miniatures simulating coordinated move and fire actions, so it made for a timely pun. It's only at cons, like this, you can get a group of people to help pull a prank.
I'm still laughing though :)
Of course everyone got a kick out of it, and pictures were taken (I'll have to see if I can find one somewhere). It does add a little bit more to it, that me fellow demonstrator (the target) just mentioned the link team rules to the people he was demoing.
New First Run Episode of Battlestar Galactia shown on Aug 19, 2005 at the RAM.
At this time IndyDave was the manager of the RAM (he has since moved to Scotty's) and he really was on the leading edge of being welcoming to Gen Con attendees pioneering such things as: themed menus, brewing a special beer, having a t-shirt for sale, and showing genre movies on the televisions of what is normally a sports bar.
Even with the movies showing, you watched with captions as there was still music being played , and a few of the TVs in the bar still had sports on . . . . until the New Episode of Battlestar Galactica came on. Keep in mind that this was a new episode in the first season of the reboot show; the place was packed with people who were the fan base of the show.
So time for the new episode: Music goes off; TV sound goes on; EVERY TV in the place - every single one including the giant projection screen above the bar - tuned to the show. The entire bar was silent but for the sound of the show, because everyone was really engrossed watching the new episode. It really was amazing to be there for that.
I love this thread.
It illustrates the true substance of our hobby and our community being the human interactions and shared experiences that resonate with each of us.
My favorite Gen Con memory was in 2013 when I walked into the convention center for the first time Thursday morning and saw 55,000 people who all liked the same stuff that I did. The last time I'd been to Gen Con was 1988 when there were about 7,000 attendees and it still felt like a fringe community.
Not so much any more.
Just weird, I was attending 6-7 years ago, I was then a Police officer, and I turned a corner bumping into a young man I had arrested on several occasions. I looked at him and said''" Are you behaving yourself?"" he looked stunned to say the least.
Several years ago, while thumbing through the thick program guide, my wife and I were super-excited to discover that a photo of our two boys playing a game was used. The picture must have been taken the year before, when they were about 8 and 9.
The next year, they used that same photo on many of the street banners all around town!
Even up to last year, banners with the photo of my boys hung in random locations over the streets around the convention center!
I have no idea if they will still be used this year (every year there are fewer and fewer as I assume they wear out and new ones are rotated in...)
It's always been fun to stand under one of those banners and point at the boys and then to the banner and say to random passers-by "See those boys! Here they are!!!!" :-)
There have been so many great memories for us at GenCon, but that is the best.
A couple of years ago I was trying to get a picture with the Wil Wheaton standup at the TableTop booth. Some numbskull was in the way and being completely oblivious to what was going on around him. Finally he moves on get the picture...
Then notice... Wil Wheaton was actually standing 5' away the entire time. Derp.
I knew he wasn't have a good mental health day and didn't want to bother him but still it was a funny moment.
Good: I dined with Lou Zocchi at Steak N Shake one evening a few Gen Cons back; that was an informative meal for me.
Weird: participating in the Instant Game Show last year, for a free badge for this year. I had to do a lip synch challenge, and I nearly fainted.
Frustrating: being dissed by Mark Hamill. He shook hands with the person on each side of me, but not me.
2009? - Maryland St. massive game of Red Rover.
"Red Rover Red Rover send Spiderman over!"
"Red Rover Red Rover send green teeshirt guy over!"
I think the cops busted up, but it is a great memory.
In 2005 I bought the Blackmoor sourcebook at the con, and got it autographed by Dave Arneson himself. We chatted for a few minutes, which was pretty cool. I saw him at the booth the following year but didn't have a chance to talk to him. The following year (2007) as I was walking down the aisle toward his booth he hollered out "Hello, Walt!". It was pretty awesome to be greeted by name by the father of RPG's.
Many moons ago the event tickets used to be hung on a pegboard. You would stand in line, fill out a little slip of paper and hand it to a runner who would then go try and collect the tickets, bring them back to you and you would then pay for them. Events registration lines would run an hour plus despite Gencon being so much smaller.
I was working as a line wranger for the events registration line. Suddenly we hear crash and a scream. One of the legs of the peg board holding THOUSANDS of tickets had collapsed, spilling at the tickets on the floor. Suddenly I had a couple hundred people in line who were going to be there for a long time. I had been encouraging folks to reuse half used request slips by saying "Recycle and save the shrubbery." Someone at the front of the line heard me and started quoting Monty Python's "Holy Grail." When they faltered someone a little further picked it up. Soon we had the entire line reciting the movie line by line. There was lots of (bad) singing and lots of laughter over the next 2 plus hours while the board was reset.
The peg board was retired after Gencon that year...
Back in the mid-90's, I was working for a company called ODS. It was Saturday afternoon, and I was stationed outside the booth in the dealer's hall, handing out flyers. To be honest, I was running on autopilot, the result of not enough sleep or food. As I stood there offering people flyers and repeating "Hi, are you interested in science fiction? Hi, are you interested in science fiction?" an Asian gentleman approached. I was tired enough not to recognize him or notice the convention staff flanking him as I offered him a flyer and asked, "Hi, are you interested in science fiction?"
He looked at me...and he smiled. THAT smile, that unmistakable smile. As he was smiling, my co-worker leaned over and said, "Uhh...Ben...that's George Takei."