For many of us it is now T-7, a week away from the start of the adventure (I know, I know, someone out there is leaving tomorrow...don't brag!). I have found myself thinking about some of the small things I am looking forward to. I mean, sure, the big stuff is what gets me there: old friends, complete gamer immersion, the dealers hall. But here are my little things, the cherry on top of the sundae.
Sometimes the little things are some of the most memorable. I look forward to the drive I to Indianapolis and seeing the Gen Con signs hanging up. It always makes it feel like it is finally real. In the same way standing in the will call line does. Yeah it sucks to wait...but is there a better way to stand in line than surrounded by people who are just as excited as you?
I always look forward to Thursday morning just before the doors open to the exhibit hall. Repeat after me...
DO! NOT! RUN!
For me, it's the vibe...everyone is playing games, everyone is pretty happy, we're buying all of the things...we're all in our zone, whatever that looks like.
You're in a costume; I'm not. That's cool.
You only play RPGs; I don't. That's cool.
You're flying by the seat of your pants as far as events/generics; I planned everything meticulously. That's cool.
You showered today; I showered today. That's REALLY cool.
You're solo; I'm with a group. that's cool.
Wow, so right you are about the little things...
I second a nice walk around the ICC on Wednesday. You can literally feel the excitement. Late in the day/early in the evening right under the escalators at the ICC is always a fun time. It seems to be a pretty social place where everyone sort of hangs around, checking out the Gen Con catalog, sorting cards and True dungeon tokens.
It sounds silly, but our group also likes to walk the sky walk between the Marriott (and Westin) and the ICC. The smell and feel just reminds us of Gen Con so much it has become a yearly thing for us to do.
Scotty's and The RAM on Wednesday is also a little thing that has become a big thing for us. The posters/banners are up, everyone is excited. The places feel electric!
Dang, I can't believe it's almost here!
You are so right about the little things. Because we arrive early, we hit the ICC to see humdrum blah and then....oh and then...by wednesday the energy levels are astounding.
We also hit Scotty's and the Ram, (Indydave made Scotty's a thing), and then fiind somewhere new to eat where we plot out who is where when. Theoretically we could do this now but it is all so much more fun to do on site.
Lunch Wednesday on arrival to get ready for will call where we inevitably meet someone interesting in line. Getting settled and meeting friends before and during the STINK that night gets us in the mood for the next 4 days.
Sharing stories making new ones each year is what this is all about for us. This is our tribe and having an extended family of 61,000 feels just right.
Love the walk-about on Wednesday, just so much to see.
As I have gotten older, I find I also like the program books, just something about having them in hand that says this is Gen Con! I wish I had taken better care of my old ones or at least keep them, as they have a lot of fond memories tied to them, it would be nice to have a scrapbook from each Gen Con I had been to.
The carpet! It's just iconic to the whole experience for my group.
Steak 'n Shake! Ooooooh yaaaaaa!
I like my Wednesday drive through the ICC on my Scooter - and just really seeing what's there... getting the book! I love getting the Gencon Book :D. I like entering the lobby at the hotel we are staying at and feeling that Gencon vibe :D. Pretty awesome.
The "once a year Gen Con friends" you don't get to see any other time.
This is my first year, and planned it meticulously. I groomed my schedule until it was perfect, with all the events I most wanted to attend (I got lucky in the events draft). But as I get closer, I'm really looking forward to just hanging out with my friends, getting in a couple of games and seminars, and eating/drinking. I may even drop an event or two to lighten the load. Weird.
For me its late at night, probably on my way back from an 'after a long day of gaming couple of pints' at the Ram or Scotty's' and I walk though the ICC on my way back to my room at the Marriott complex. Its the afterglow of gaming euphoria. Once packed tables are now idle, empty ... resting and recovering or waiting in sweet anticipation of the next morning's arrivals. Die hards and hard cores are still at it, nothing can stop them ... occasionally you hear a scream or shout that pierces the relative silence of the room. The sweet sounds of Werewolf echo through the now mostly empty cavernous halls. Chairs are repositioned into circles filled with people trying to separate villagers from their foes. I am filled with the joy and reminiscence of that day's gaming and at the very same moment and unfulfilled jonesing for what is to come in the morning. I stop and admire the still life monuments that make up the wargaming tables ... empty landscapes barren of Chaos Warriors, or napoleonics or tanks ... its a special time of reflection for me where I count my blessings to be a part of the best gaming experience in the world. Ok, maybe that's too much but it is something I do and experience every year, thanks Gen Con.
I always arrive the weekend before to meet friends. We always stick our head in the door of the Dealers Room and marvel at the vast emptiness. Kind of weird knowing how jam packed it'll be in 3 or 4 days. We always stay until Monday to decompress, so a couple beers at Scottie's, then off to the Slippery Noodle for reminisce time, and some live Blues.
As its my first year, I dont know anyone, so Ill be wandering alone.. its a little scary, a little daunting..
( first time by myself on a vacation without the wife) but exciting none the less..:)
Im treating this year a an exploration and to meet new people.