How bad is personnal hygiene at the convention?
I have yet to see a Gencon guide that doesn't belabor readers with tales of horror about the people who reek.
Should I just wear a breathing filter, or go full hazmat IV suit?
In other words, should I expect to cancel half my events because one or more people at my table smell like they died last week and were left to rot?
Over the years every once in awhile in the dealer hall or other places where the foot traffic has you pretty close together I've had a few "hold your breath" moments. (so what I mean is.. maybe once during the whole con each year) Personally I don't think it's as bad as all those guides make it out to be. But my group is just us, and the con is a big place, so who knows! Maybe we're not going to those areas or playing those games.
Maybe a person here and there but it is not as bad as it was back in the day, before 2001.
I haven't really noticed any bad smell. I assume the really crowded areas - like the initial rush on the dealer hall - are full of varied smells including bad ones. But the event tables have plenty of space to breathe.
But you will be exposed to a lot of different germs from all parts of the country. Use hand sanitizer frequently, and do what you can to boost your immune system.
I want to say you will be perfectly fine but all it takes is one person to ruin it for everyone they encounter. We had someone at last month's Comic Con who came into the game room and he literally smelled of crap. And this was not a temporary smell like passing gas.
Remember, 5-2-1 is five hours of sleep, two meals and ONE SHOWER a day.
Its a nerd gathering and sometimes it goes a bit sideways. But I will say that the ICC is one of the most thoroughly air conditioned and ventilated places Ive ever been and the air is really quite fresh most of the time. You've probably dealt with worse at your local game store.
Warnings about bad hygiene are completely overblown. I've had exactly one incident where I was close to someone with BO in the dealer hall. I didn't throw up, I didn't need a gas mask, I didn't die, I wasn't transformed into some weird armpit smelling zombie. I went down a different aisle where there was no smelly person.
In most places you go, people only pass by so you are not likely to notice any noticeable body odor issues. At Gen Con, you may be sitting in close proximity to someone for 4-8 hours or more which makes B.O. more potent. But it is not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. I have had encounters with those who reek at Gen Con every year. But overall, it is not bad.
There’s definitely a slight funk that intensifies as the con progresses, but you likely won’t die.
Certainly, this is a complex situation, and how it goes all depends upon the temperature, humidity, your sensitivity to smelly smells, the nerd herd’s showering whims and the vagaries of fate.
Of course you'll run into some, I do every year, but it doesn't tend to linger unless you stay by/ near the source
I remember last year my girlfriend mentioning it at one time (it was her first gencon but not her first convention in general, she has attended many anime ones) .
So once in 4+days
The worst con stink I've run into the past few years was the restrooms. Last year was particularly bad.
In my experience, I encounter Big Stink once a con. People are usually bathed and inoffensive, even if no one is particularly fresh, like on Saturday night. That said... when you find your one Big Stink, you'll know it for sure, Gen Con filth monsters don't half-ass offensive BO. Mine usually comes when I'm feeling smug about not having encountered it yet, or even actually expressing that feeling aloud. Karma grinding me under its wheel.
It does definitely seem to get less terrible over time; not necessarily each year better than the last, but yeah I remember in 1997 at the end of every day our group would have at least a brief discussion about the most terrible-smelling people we encountered, and the last few years it is more like "wow, I actually ran into a stench cloud today" "ooh, how retro!" so yeah it happens but the warnings get less dire by necessity as gaming continues its inexorable march to "purely mainstream" and the hygiene values of an ordinary fun-seeking human continue becoming the norm. The people who only leave their house for gaming and may not actually have soap in their bathrooms are certainly not nearly as common at Gen-Con as they used to be.
The worst I've seen was a few years ago, in the video game room, before things moved to LOS. On the first day, it wasn't bad, and we had a walk around and watched a few games. By the second day, just walking up to the door was enough to cause us to turn around. As mentioned above, the ICC tends to be really well ventilated, but that room, on that day, full of hot electronics and gamers, not so much. xD
That said, yeah, haven't really noticed it as a huge problem since we started attending in 2012, but I'm also the super self-conscious guy who carries deodorant in his gaming bag, just in case.
Echoing what has been said here, its not nearly as bad as people make it out to be. I recall my first gen con, there was a tangible odor on Saturday, but largely its been the occasional person who smells.
It also depends a lot on the weather. One year it was like low 70's the whole weekend and I didn't hit any bad stank. However, one year it was 90+ every day, and you'd run into more folks a who were a bit ripe.
Just cover it up with lots of Axe Body spray. No problem
Seriously, though, B/O is horrible. Trying to kill people (or mask b/o) with a cloud of cologne/perfume is just as bad. And it doesn't mask the smell. Psa - don't do this
How bad could be the Hygiene?
Also, there is a slag or polite way to tell someone is not so good?
OR just the good and old finesse