I haven’t been to a game convention in a very long time. I’m quietly excited about it.
That sounds like fun. Have some for me too!
My next con is in July… So have fun for me three!
Well, I have to report that it was rather underwhelming.
My last con was ‘CanCon’ in 2000 or 2001, and it was a huge convention centre packed with every game you could think of, and more trade stalls than you could wave a credit card at.
Maybe I picked the wrong day, or didn’t explore the labyrinthine location well enough, but seeing 3 trade stalls (one of which was nothing but second-hand paperback books) and maybe 50 players playing 3 different games, left me rather disappointed.
I was talking to one of the trade stall holders and he said that this convention had been shrinking over the years, and the gaming industry needed to expand it’s fan base somehow. He raised the point that lots of kids now aren’t getting into table-top or board gaming, they’re getting into the online gaming instead.
One thing I’ve noticed is that over the past 5 years or so, there have been so many games released that the industry is becoming fragmented, and games are competing for mind-share in a decreasing market. It doesn’t bode well for the future, I fear.
I’m sorry to hear that! It’s been a very long time since I’ve been to a game convention, but I remember it being a lot of fun.
Yeah, it was a bid sad.
However, I met the local BloodBowl league (my primary reason for going), and it’s so damned good to finally find BB players. I just wish I hadn’t given away almost all my stuff when I stopped gaming.
I was at PAX East last week, and it was positively overwhelming. And there was certainly no shortage of tabletop gaming—there were literally thousands of folks crammed into one of the Boston convention center halls just doing tabletop stuff.
I’m glad I went, but man, it was just ginormous.
Now I’m jealous.
GenCon is setting records for attendance every year, and not even half of it is D&D and it’s relatives. I think the issue is a lot of the smaller Cons are run like little clubs with the insiders wanting things to stay the same, while the big Cons are run like businesses, and keep getting bigger and more inclusive.
At GenCon last year I walked into a ballroom with 600+ people playing Pathfinder. The convention rooms themselves had multiple thousands playing board games.
I think the fragmentation is a good thing, since if you make the just make the tent bigger you can get more people in it. Pandemic has hooked my wife into board gaming for good. Just bought Seasons over the weekend, overnighted it, and she was excited to see the box. (Ok, not super excited, but still happy).
My wife is not a “gamer” but she plays games. And because the market has fragmented enough to allow games like Pandemic, or Ticket to Ride, or Seasons, or any of these games to be made, this is a golden age of gaming right now.
We went over to another couple’s house to play games and I could tell they were like “ew” but hadn’t seen us for a while and said ok. So we get there and they have Taboo, and Clue, and Risk, and Sorry. We play Taboo once, and it was ok, and then we played Pandemic. I could tell the wife at least was annoyed that we had wasted so much time messing around playing basketball and Taboo. So there are a couple more converts.
Next goal, get enough people together to pull off a game of Avalon, and then Cosmic Encounter, or Space Cadet.
I’m saddened that I’m going to miss GenCon again this year. I’ve slowly been expanding the number of titles in my game cabinet because of GenCon, and missing last year and this year is putting a bit of a crimp on it.
Though I did finally manage to get a game of Shadowrun 5e together that had more than 2 runners in it.