Talk amongst yourselves.....
Easy this year:
Good: it was great to have the tens of thousands of people back to Indy live and in person. When you know what Nirvana is - this is our Mecca and it was glorious!
Bad: it’s over already :( so soon.
Ugly: Vaxx line & the damn masks. Enough said.
Good: Having things be crowded and lively again! I know this will sound weird, but seeing the Will Call line nearly empty on Wednesday last year was kind of sad. It was a sign that things weren't quite back to normal. This year, while things weren't fully normal, seeing so many people and the Exhibit Hall being completely full were big steps in the right direction.
Bad: Feeling like I missed out on so much because 1) There were so many events this year and 2) Between last year's scaled-down convention and 2020's not happening, it's like I've forgotten how to get the most out of Gen Con. I wasted way too much time on the Battletech Grinder, which I already regret. Lessons learned for next year, I guess.
Ugly: The vaxx check line. One room for checking in every single attendee - which is WORSE than the Will Call line because that number can't be reduced by mailing things to people? Gee, who could have predicted that might cause problems, except for anyone with an ounce of foresight? There needs to be at least two or three rooms set aside for vaxx check-in next year, at least on Wednesday when the majority of attendees are doing it.
Good: Everything! Being there, with the crowds, not a beat missed since 2019. (I did not go in 2021).
It was beyond awesome.
Bad: Weather, nothing GenCon can do for that. The brutal heat made anything outside un-doable.
Ugly. Gate Ten. Only listed because of the heat. Waiting for buses in 90+ was beyond brutal. That said, they did an amazing (unappreciated) job. kudos!!
Being back in Indy with my friends. Feeling the energy of the crowds and seeing people enjoying the same hobbies as me. The staff in the VIG lounge and really all of the staff I encoutered being friendly and helpful. Coming home with many more games and much poorer than I expected. Stepping away from the real world for 4 days....
Suffering food poisoning Wednesday night and spending the whole first day of the Con trapped in my room. Making the mistake of reading social media posts that did their best to interject real world politics into the Gen Con experience. I know it's not practical, but last year's early September weather was so much nicer than the jungle-y humidity this year...
I really hated the wrist band. I get why Gen Con thought they were necessary but having to wear them constantly for the entire convention was vexing. I didn't have to wait in line because we came in early, but they were a pointless, "feel good" gesture that ultimately served no purpose. The idea that they couldn't put a sticker on your badge to indicate vaccine status because people could just switch badges sounds great, except anyone with a pair of scissors and a piece of Scotch tape could loan out their wrist band....
The Good : Gencon feeling in general. Seemed to be alot of 1st timers since I heard 'this is my 1st Gencon' frequently.
The Bad : Food truck prices shot up across the board (although, not their fault) so, I'll have to account for that.
Elevator at the NW corner broke down so, had to unload my cart down to the 1st floor which was a minor inconvenience, but I was surprised there were no ramps for wheelchairs. One of the Fairfields broke down too so.. bad weekend for elevators.
My events that I did I had a lot of duds or items that detracted from the event. Just bad luck on my part, nothing GC did impacted it.
Ok.. this is probably just me but this year seemed REALLY bad on what I'll call 'bad walkers'. Talking about the people that walk in the con with no situational awareness (suddenly cutting diagonal, doing a reverse turnaround, dead stop, walking with head down in a phone)
The Ugly : The vax/will call lines. I feel for those caught up in that mess. (I got my band Wednesday at 7:30AM and there were 5 people in there. I don't know if people were holding off shipping items because they weren't 100% certain they were going or did late signups or were checking into the hotel 1st and then lines or what, but I seem to remember will call being packed earlier and thinning out. Seemed reverse this year. I really hope this is a one year thing (and that's all I'll say on that)
The Good: Good to see larger crowds this year. We were pleasantly surprised by how fast the vax line moved. We timed it a 12 minutes when we arrived Thursday morning. I was expecting hours.
The Bad: The Holiday Inn on West St. Our room was dirty when we walked in. Bedding was not changed, we found a shirt in the closet, a half-empty bottle of soda in a cabinet, and a used Q-tip in the pull out couch. One of the elevators didn't work, a large piece of ceiling had collapsed in the 6th floor hallway and our AC unit drainage pipe was blocked causing a 2x2 section of carpet to be soaked the whole time. One positive was the staff was extremely nice and did their best to help us make the best of it, so kudos to them.
The Ugly: Sweating the whole time. Something about the lanyard resting on the back of my neck causes me to get really warm. That and the half-mile walk to the ICC from the hotel made it a rather sweaty time. Fixed the lanyard issue by braiding it around a beltloop and it hung neatly near my waist. So life-hack for next year.
Overall, great con though.
Good: vax line was short. Weiss and Hickman Dragonlance return was great. Homewood suites hotel was nice. Got the con exclusives I needed.
Bad: Event results. But oh well.
Ugly: people knowingly showing up when they had been exposed to covid. Staff couldnt or wouldnt do anything. Also, I think other recent events will have an impact on the future of gencon in indy.
The good: Seeing old friends, and making new ones. This was my brothers first time, and it was good to share this time with him. He's a convert now, and we are already planning events for next year.
The bad: Masks + Noise + Hearing Loss = A less than stellar experience. Also, a smile can brighten someone's day. Hard to do that from behind a mask.
Also, as an EO and GM, we had multiple events that sold out, but then had no shows. I get that plans change, but please return your electronic tickets when you know you won't be able to attend. Plus, this is the second year that these same people buy all the tickets to an event and then not show. The first year was 2019, so I'm thinking it's less of a covid thing, but really, it's impossible to know.
The Ugly. Having a GM that is more interested in showing off his mini collection in a game, than in letting the players play.
The Good Getting to meet up again with my friends from around the country and play games! This is actually great, and not just good. The consignment store being open again :) Crowds that seemed pretty close to the size of last year. We’ll see how close when the numbers get released but it felt pretty good to me.
The Bad Oblivious, and stinky, people as far as the eye can see. Normal gamer funk was in force. If we’re going to keep the vacc requirement they should also have a smell-o-meter that needs to be satisfied before you can enter. I noticed an uptick in the number of people smelling of marijuana, like reeking of it as they went by. Yes, do what you want and all that, maybe you need it for your “glaucoma”, but do you really need to smell like you just stumbled out of Jeff Spicoli’s van? The big backpacks (and carts) were back in full force and those attached to them were just as oblivious as always. This year, saw something new, though. A couple of Pokemon Go enthusiasts that spent more time and energy watching their phones (at a walking pace that would not even be called leisurely) in desperate need to catch one more. The noise / tables / numbers in some of the rooms / games. Even in rooms with just three out of six tables occupied with games some folks feel the need to yell. Come on, man. It just makes it harder for everyone else to hear while you shout out your masterful soliloquy. I could easily be in the minority here, but I hate games with more than 6 players. I’d gladly pay 50% more per game ticket to have a player size in the 5-6 range. More players means more people get to play, but it also means that each person gets to play less.
The Ugly The vacc-check went easy for me and a couple of my friends, but only because we got there on Tuesday and knocked it out. Others in our group got there Wednesday and it was a nightmare. Also, the different application of the rules depending on where you happened to be standing just helped to underscore the general (in my opinion) worthlessness of it all. I walked up to vendor booths where none of the vendors were wearing masks, saw GenCon people (could not say if volunteers or staff) with masks not covering their noses, and of course the hallways. In one instance, three of my group showed up an hour early for a game and figured we’d sit in the room (nobody at all had showed up, just us three sitting there, talking without masks) and talk about the upcoming game. Along comes a GenCon dude and asks us, very politely, to put our masks on. We comply, but if we had been talking 10 feet away in the hallway, with much more traffic, it would have been totally ok to not have our masks on. Not the GenCon dude’s fault in any way, he was just put in the position of enforcing a rather ridiculous application of a rule. I’d like to think that next year we’ll be over the mask mandate, but by then it would not surprise me if GenCon 2023 is the Monkeypox edition.
1. All the people that signed up to run events. Especially the first time ones that didn't realize how much work it was to get that free badge, hotel room, etc. These are really the people that make the convention what it is and in the end don't really get anything for it.
2. The other players in true dungeon that kept increasing my loot pulls and all the other people who attended who just did nice things for strangers.
3. Large vendors with rooms outside of the dealer hall for demos. I liked this a lot as it helped with traffic tremendously. I would say a no sit down demo rule in the dealer hall would actually be a good thing.
4. The energy the people bring to deceptions alley and how friendly everyone is. Just a good way to kind of reenergize after a long day.
1. Participated in a terrible mega game. I will leave it at that.
2. The proportion of non-gamers in attendance seemed a lot higher than in years past. My only real complaint there is they seem to clog things up and it takes some focus away from the main purpose of the convention.
1. Not being able to take masks off during events. I could deal with masks in the dealer hall and walking through the convention center. But not having an option to take masks during events was terrible. It was really bad for people with softer voices trying to participate or run events. I had to speak for the woman with me constantly because no one could hear her with the mask on or they couldn't hear her clearly and she doesn't have a soft voice. There were other people I was in events with that I know where talking but not loud enough so they were basically ignored.
1b. I will include the vaccine check as the ugly but truthfully it would have been just a small burden if the mask mandate wasn't there. It just seemed like a silly requirement to have with a mask mandate.
UGLY UGLY UGLY
NO SNACKS OR SODA OR FOOD in the Sagamore (Pathfinder/Starfinder) they would “advise” you nicely (and some times not so much) to take your stuff out whether it was food or snacks or soda. I was told only water allowed…which is dumb at the least when compared to any other beverage since the process to drink it is the same. They really put a dark cloud over an otherwise really awesome Gencon for me and my friends. Even when I explained that I get low blood sugar from time to time and have to take a small snack whether some candy or a breakfast bar, nothing crazy ….I was told “outside only”meanwhile other places at Gencon and near the concession stands there were big groups of un masked people. At JW rooms while tables had people playing games with no masks and eating snacks and drinking whatever they wanted.not fun
2022 felt like a "regular" GC with the number of people and events being run. I ran four workshops for the first time and they went fairly well. The vax line was not too slow. The line was enormous and I thought it would take hours, but we were done in 26 minutes. One person my classes said it took an hour fifteen on Thursday morning. That's not bad.
The heat (as usual). The crowds of people who don't know how to move to the side when they want to stop or slow down. Buying an expansion I forgot I already had.
When folks don't show for an event and don't make an effort to turn the ticket into the GM!
Good: It was nice to be back with good attendance.
Bad: I-65 closed on the way down, and closed again on the way home.
Ugly: Those wretched masks, plus the GM who didn't show up for an event and left all the players sitting at the table for 20 minutes until we started asking questions.
Good: Being back at GC and bring my 13 y.o. for the first time and having a blast!! Also playing Mazes at Midnight under the black light was sooooo rad. Discovering the rpg Universal Horizons as well!!!!!
Bad: Price increases, masks making GMs extremely difficult to hear and none of the shuttles we rode had AC in them.
Ugly: a GM making a very unnecessary, deplorable comment about police, and a player at the table happened to be a police officer. That could have gotten very ugly.
The Good: The LARPs in Union Station / Omni Ballrooms were great! I missed them so much last year.
The Bad: Some very good downtown restaurants closed down last year due to the pandemic.
The Ugly: The wristbands. The lines for the wristbands. What a waste of time and space and energy.
Good: Being back at GC with the whole family, playing some great games, meeting great people, and spending way too much in the exhibit hall.
Extra Good: The return of Hickman's Killer Breakfast. I thought I had forever missed my chance to die at Tracy Hickman's hands, but thankfully my death was as glorious as it was swift.
Bad: Somehow even with fewer people than prior years, the food truck lines seemed longer. Between that and the clear staffing issues at many restaurants, dining was not great this year. Not horrible either, just meh.
Ugly: The vax line was ridiculous. Yes, it moved, but as someone above pointed out, no one should have been surprised at the outcome of creating a single checkpoint required of every attendee. Even worse were the number of mobility impaired struggling through the line with ZERO assistance from staff. My daughter had a broken leg, and after we turned about the 5th corner to discover the line was weaving through yet another hallway, I pointed out the absurdity of the situation to one of the many line monitors. Imagine my surprise when he pulls out a handful of wristbands and reviews our vac documents on the spot, without acknowledging the many others in line that didn't have the confidence to complain. We told every mobility impaired person we saw what to do, but the volunteers should have been taking care of it already. Perhaps if instead of dedicating all those resources to monitoring the line, those resources had been assigned to actually check records, there would have been no need for a line that queued around the entirety of the second floor.
Runner up ugly: Cancelled events. As bad as it is to have events cancelled less than a week prior to the start of the Con, even worse is when the GM just doesn't show up. My wife had a SPA class where the instructor didn't show, and there was no Hall Captain (or at least none that owned up to it) to handle the cancellations. So a couple of dozen people were on their own to resolve refunds for one of the more expensive tickets.