Open gaming?
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Posted by dtmoura

Is there any room or area for open gaming at GenCon? With a tables, a library, "player wanted" signs, etc? 

I've just been to GenCon for a few hours in 2017 and only had time to circulate at the Exhibitors Hall. The place is huge so clearly there were too many room I did not explore. This time I will stay a couple of days and would love to reserve time to actually play games.

I understand there are a bunch of scheduled gaming events, but I noticed these tend to sell out. I am also not referring to playing demos at the hall... What I am wondering is if there is any area in the convention where people can simply pick up a game (from a library), find players and freely play them... and is there any ticket I need to buy to have access to it? 

Thanks 

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Posted by burrfoot72

Hopefully this link I made will work for you.  It should list all the library "events" that are good for 8 hour blocks or a whole weekend pass.

https://www.gencon.com/event_finder?search=%22games+library%22&category=Isle+of+Misfit+Events

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Posted by dtmoura

THANKS

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Posted by roderick

There will be Open Gaming space at the JW Marriott all weekend long: 
Grand Ballrooms 5 and 6 
Thursday 8 am to Sunday 4 pm

Also, any event space that isn't being used currently might be available for open gaming - check with the Area HQ, who will be happy to get you a table if one is open. 

Don't just plop down at an empty table; there may be a game staring there just as you finish setting up your game board, or the HQ may need to requisition it for an emergency. If they don't know you're there...

Do give the HQ a reasonably accurate time for your game - if you say 2 hours, don't be surprised if people start showing up for an Official game if you run late. We want to accommodate you, but we need you help with accurate times. 

Roderick Robertson
Union Station Master

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Posted by ryric

My friends and I have had great success in the past with simply requesting space at the nearest HQ - it's easy and you know your spot is now safe for your requested time. We've also just set up on free tables in hotels or at the convention center food court areas before, although those can be difficult to find open.

If you're looking to join someone else's game, it never hurts to just ask when you see people setting up. I've played some great board games with complete strangers who just asked if they could join while my friends and I were getting things ready. The worst that can happen is to be told "no, we're full." Obviously don't be obnoxious about it, but for me, if the game supports more players, I'm always willing to have a new person join in.

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Posted by dtmoura

Good to know about the Lucas Field library and the JW Marriott events... 

But saw a couple of people mentioned a Area HQ or just HQ... mmmm... What is that? 

As said, I've just been to GenCon once for a few hours last year... 

Thanks 

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Posted by roderick

HQ's are tables or booths staffed by Gen Con Event Team members, located in each hotel and hall, open usually ~9-9 (depends on the location). They act as the "Gen Con Presence" in remote areas, and can give permission to use a table, or kick you off because you set up in a space that is scheduled for a game starting in an hour. 

Gen Con Event Team members will be wearing black vests with a big white "Event Team" on the back. 

If you have any problems or questions, from "Where is the bathroom" to "This guy won't leave me alone" to "OMG, this guy just dropped dead", you can come to the HQ and we'll resolve it, calling in bigger guns as needed. 

Roderick Robertson
Union Station Master

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Posted by dtmoura

Yeah... I heard it is common for people to simply  drop dead by the 3rd day... hahahaha... thanks for all the info!!

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Posted by buffythecatslayer

How many saving throws do they get?

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Posted by roderick

Con is not a dump stat!

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Posted by ryric

I've never seen anyone drop dead, but we did see someone collapse in one of the large gaming areas, probably from fatigue and dehydration, a few years back. My wife barely had time to even start first aid (before anyone yells at us for not just leaving it to event staff, my wife is an RN and legally required to provide aid if needed) before event staff was there to take over from her. Maybe 90 seconds or so. She still tells the story because of these two gamers nearby that were super annoyed that their game was interrupted by this medical emergency and were quite loud about it. Please don't be those guys. 99% of the people at Gen Con are fantastic so the ones that are the exceptions stick out.

I didn't know the HQs in the main gaming halls ever closed.

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Posted by buffythecatslayer

For the library area at LOF, does everyone in my group need a ticket to play there, or do I just need a ticket to borrow the games & my friends can play with me?

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Posted by roderick

We had a fellow die (in bed) at a Con in California. Gen Con is the size of a small city; you have to expect medical emergencies. 

As far as the main hall HQs closing, I wouldn't know; they have never let me work in the ICC. They have always put me as far away from the main action as they can. 

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Posted by austicke buffythecatslayer

dkrantz152 wrote:For the library area at LOF, does everyone in my group need a ticket to play there, or do I just need a ticket to borrow the games & my friends can play with me?

Everyone needs a ticket for the Gen Con Games Library.

​​​​​​​_____________________________________
Alec Usticke, Fans of Gen Con Facebook Group

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Posted by buffythecatslayer

That's a bummer.  Was looking at it as a way to kill 3 hours between events, but not spending $24 to play one game.

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Posted by smithrj

There is also on open gaming area this year at the 3rd floor ballroom in the Mariott.  Just need a badge to get in. No library, it is a bring your own games area.

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Posted by derekguder smithrj

smithrj wrote:
There is also on open gaming area this year at the 3rd floor ballroom in the Mariott.  Just need a badge to get in. No library, it is a bring your own games area.

3rd floor of the JW, not the Marriott. The latter does not have a third floor (for events).

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Derek Guder
Event Manager
Gen Con LLC

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Posted by derekguder buffythecatslayer

dkrantz152 wrote:
That's a bummer.  Was looking at it as a way to kill 3 hours between events, but not spending $24 to play one game.

If you have your friends and a game with you, just stop by an event HQ and they'll find a table for you to play on for a few hours.

If you don't have a game of your own or don't have enough players to start up, though, and don't want to get a ticket to the game library, then you're probably best served wandering around the event hall looking for quick games or demos.

-
Derek Guder
Event Manager
Gen Con LLC

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Posted by buffythecatslayer

Thanks for the suggestions, but this is for after-hours, so the hall’s not an option.  We were able to schedule almost all our events for morning or evening to maximize our hall time. 

I’m sure we’ll find some way to amuse ourselves ;-)

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Posted by burrfoot72

You could also try the Hot Games room by BoardGameGeek. Selection will be more limited to the cons new and hot games but time slots are more narrow and cheaper.

https://www.gencon.com/event_finder?search=BGG+Hot
 

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