What’s the music / noise level like? Are some locations quieter than others?
I have ear problems (ringing in my ears) and music and loud noises can make it worse. I’m hoping I can find some game locations that are quieter than others.
Is the convention center perhaps quieter than Lucas Oil Stadium? Not sure if there’s bands or other music going on at different locations.
I hear some GMs use bullhorns too I guess if it’s a large group of gamers. Is there a list of games likes this? Any games / locations that are very loud you’d recommend I shy away from?
We don't know what the floor of LOS will be like because we haven't gamed there yet. It's pretty loud during a football game!
There generally isn't music or loud noises in the gaming halls. Lots of background noise, though. There will be shouting and/or singing near certain events (NASCRAG, for example) as the game requires, but only in short bursts. I haven't seen a GM use a bullhorn in a loooong time. Smaller gaming rooms may have fewer people but will have lower ceilings so it may seem louder.
In the exhibit hall, a few booths will be playing videos or music samples, but nothing too loud. There's an occasional announcement over the hall speakers.
There will be music in the hallways, with a stage and amps outside the exhibit hall. It can get loud there.
Large events (Killer Breakfast, Auction, Costume Contest, etc.) will have PA.
In the tournament hall where magic and other games happen there are PA systems.
Indeed some tournament organizers use bullhorns and lead the participants in obnoxious screaming and chanting. Apparently this kind of disruptive behavior is against Gen Con policies, so you can report it to at Gen Con HQ (why they can't hear a bellowing horde and act on their own remains a mystery, as does why this behavior persists year in and year out by the same tournament organizers).
There are some wandering musicians who will maybe play in the hallways, but normally without amplification.
Some game rooms themselves are very loud - 6-8 tables of 10 people each on a concrete floor can lead to a lot of background noise and when someone decides it's dramatically appropriate to yell it can get loud, but no louder than say, a loud restauraunt.
thanks rogers and Hayward!
The only screaming that is acceptable is the L5R Banzai, but that is a max of 60 seconds once in the morning. Not that I am prejudiced or anything.
Bring ear plugs.
Though there may not be music throughout the ICC, in massive crowds, expect loud voices as well in gaming areas the use of loud speakers.
If you need a break from the noise, Gen Con also has a designated quiet room, with a volunteer manning the room to make sure people aren't being disruptive, as well as dimmed lights, tables & chairs and places to spread out, and plenty of outlets for charging electronics while you are quietly doing your thing. We stopped in on Friday and Saturday last year to unwind and relax and it was just what we needed! They ask that you put your phone/electronics on vibrate/silent (and use ear buds if you are using your phone/tablet) and if you are doing things, that they be quiet and not involve a lot of conversation. Also (and I don't mean this to fire anyone up), this is not a room where parents bring children, unless the children are already sleeping, so if you aren't used to child noises, the quiet room would be for you. The two times we used it, others (and it was never crowded) were "resting" (probably napping, but they discourage that, so, yeah...resting ;)), doing homework, coloring, messing on their phones (again, earbuds) and just decompressing. It was very hushed.
I think the room location changes each year, so just look for a mention of it here or in the event book. We search it out and make sure we know how to get there for the times we just can't people anymore. :)
Thanks all for the tips!
Hey there Hayward, can you cite where load noise is a violation? I reviewed the rules and can't find anything along those lines. Was hoping you could help me.
Derek (Gen Con forum admin) indicated the standard was basically that if one event is being so loud as to be disruptive to another event they will step in. I doubt there is a specific rule about this, I assume it would relate to any kind of disruption (like blocking access to other tables, filling the room with prop smoke/fog, etc.)
I will have to remember about this room this year. Totally forgot about it last year and the year before that I had an incident where I got very overwhelmed and ended up having to leave early my first day, missing an event. So this could be very helpful. Thanks for the advice!
Wouldn't being in a huge stadium make things significantly quieter? Also nicer smelling? I for one am really looking forward to doing the game library on the field Saturday night.
I know that in the card game halls where there's Magic the Gathering, they are constantly making PA announcements and it can be quite loud if you are close to the stage area. I was seated one year really close to a speaker and it was pretty miserable.
I myself cannot really play or run games in the big, giant hall anymore (where the board games and minis are played). I've got one ear that rings always now, and that, combined with all the ambient noise of that massive space, makes it just too difficult to make things enjoyable...Nice place to visit, though. Smaller RPG/game spaces are fine, though. Like others have said, it's all relative as to personal thresholds/tolerances.
Slanderous accusations of NASCRAG being loud and fun and boisterous shall not be borne! I demand satisfaction. Paintball guns at dawn! My second will contact yours.
Gentlemen, you can't fight here, this is the War Room!
Overall, the noise is very bee hive-ish...like a droning buzz happening all the time. Then, there are PA announcements and groups like NASCRAG who increase the levels of noise significantly. I'm not saying that's good or bad or whatever, but if you're sensitive to noise, I'd be bringing some ear plugs.