genconThe best four days of gaming are over.

This is a sad thing that is followed by a time of recovery as one has ran nearly non-stop for for four days. Even following my own advice, I am still wrecked after cramming so much fun into four days.

This year, I did something a little differently. Instead of trying to sit down and write while I was at the convention, I focused on getting a more in-depth view. I also made sure that I didn’t burn myself out on seminars and such and enjoyed gaming with my friends from around the country. So, you will be seeing a string of posts from Gen Con over the next few weeks as I talk about the things that I learned while there.

What I want to do here is give an overview of my Gen Con experience.

Gen Con has raised the bar this year. There were volunteers placed all over within the convention center itself. They posted several of them in strategic places with big signs offering information for those lost or confused. This was an excellent addition and makes it easier for those new to the convention to not feel lost or left out of all the fun. It is also nice for those of us who are veterans of the con and may just be a bit overloaded and forget where we actually need to be.

There were points outside of the vendor hall where the lines for things were incredibly long. The staff at Gen Con moved things along as quickly as possible and made sure that the major arteries throughout the convention center were not completely blocked. This was a wonderful things as I remember the prior year that I would get somewhat claustrophobic when the lines got so long. They did this in the vendor Hall for the signing for Jim butcher as well. There were so many people to see him that they finally just had to say no more people. The line for Jim Butcher covered all the writers at the signing but the Gen Con Staff did an excellent job of informing you of what was going on. I was there to get a book signed by Kameron Hurley and I asked a volunteer if I should get in the long line. They were nice enough to explain that the line was just for Jim Butcher and that I should go to the front of the line and ask where to wait for Kameron. They quickly explained that all I needed to do was return at 4 pm and I would be helped to get my book signed. They were correct. I arrived at 4 and stood in a small line which a volunteer kept watch over and made sure there was room in front of Kameron to talk and get books signed.

The Vendor hall was once again a sight to behold. I was able to get in an hour early on Thursday and actually see it before the press of humanity crashed in and made it difficult to appreciate the effort put in by the various companies. I made sure to get the books that I really wanted and took the time to interview a few people about games that were interesting to me.

The thing that I enjoyed the most was being among those who enjoyed the same things that I did. There were those at the convention for board games, role playing game, video games, card games and miniature games. At no point did I feel like that there was some deep divide between the groups.

One of the highlights of the Gen con was getting to meet Tim from Funnybooks with Aron and Paulie. We have chatted on twitter and via email but it was nice to meet him in person and get to play a little bit of Dogs in the Vineyard. Meeting people actually fills up a large portion of the highlights of Gen Con. The convention provides a place for me to meet up with people I talk with on the internet and share gaming as one of our commonalities. At Gen Con, I get to game and talk and hangout with them. I can best describe it as my Gen Con family that just keeps growing.

Watch this space for more about Gen Con 2014!