I'm bringing my 2 kids (17 and 15) to Gen Con but all of the events we were interested in are already sold out. Is there any other way to play certain games? Is there a forum to search for other gaming sessions?
... or is this simply the wrong con for actual gaming?
There will be no-shows to a great many events, people who bought tickets and for various reasons do not show up. Always been the case, and maybe moreso these days. There are also going to be plenty of GMs who, if the game allows it, will work to fit an extra player or two into the game if you show up with generics.
NASCRAG, for example, will find a GM and get you into a game if you show up, they are fantastic about that. I've seen people running board games have four additional people show up, so they broke out an extra copy they had and found those people an empty table.
Events that are 'full' quite often are not. It leads to a little more uncertainty in your Con, but speaking as someone who has been there, it's not a bad way to go.
Good luck. If you like LARPs or want to try one, hit us up by searching the event catalog for BYOV :)