Gen Con, the best four days in gaming, is just around the corner. It starts August 14th and runs through August 17th in Indianapolis, Indiana. Badges and event tickets have been winging their way across the globe to tens of thousands of excited gamers.

With it being less than thirty days out, I thought I would share some advice for those attending Gen Con for the first time as well as veterans of this convention.

The Basics

The 3-2-1 rule is something simple yet easily over looked by both those attending Gen Con. It stands for a minimum of three hours of sleep, two meals a day, and one shower. Please note that I state that this is a minimum. This is for your’s and other’s enjoyment of the convention. Yes, you can push yourself to do without these minimums. The down side is that as time goes along you will wear down quickly and become grumpy. This will make it more difficult to enjoy this thing into which you have invested so much. In addition, you will inadvertently take this out on those around you which will decrease their enjoyment also. Getting more than the 3-2-1 is highly recommended as it will increase your enjoyment of the convention exponentially as well as improving your chances of avoiding con crude.

Cardio. I know that t his word doesn’t seem like it has a place in an advice column about Gen Con but it does. You see, Gen con covers a large amount of real estate. It is spread across a convention center as well as 7 or more hotel venues. The amount of ground that you will cover only increases when you include side trips to the various restaurants that surround the convention. There is going to be a lot of walking in your future at Gen Con. Take the time before the convention to build up a little stamina. Take a walk every evening to get yourself used to it. Especially if you work is something sedentary. This way the long trek through the dealer hall will not leave you wrecked and make you want to just take a long nap afterward.

Pack light. Once again, you are most probably wondering when I lost my mind. Just hear me out. I know that you are coming to Gen Con to game. This is great. The problem is that if you bring everything that you think you need to play whatever game you love, you will bring way to much. The probability that the room you are staying in is filled with people is very high. this means that space will be at a premium. If it is filled with your stuff it will make getting the minimum 3 hours of sleep very difficult. You also will most likely be playing games in different venues which means walking. Walking a lot carrying all that stuff is even more difficult. If you aren’t running a game, dice, pens, and paper will most likely be enough for you to get by for the weekend. If you are running games try to think long and hard about what you need to run a good game. This way you can pare down what you have to lug around and enjoy your time at Gen Con.

In my next post I will discuss some advanced advice.