Game on! Gen Con 2013

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post below are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Another Gen Con has come and gone. We looked forward to Gen Con 2013 pretty much since Gen Con 2012. My 4 year old son was 3 last year when we went and every so often would ask when Gen Con was and if we could go. I kept telling him of course we were going! But we had to wait. Neither of us was happy with the waiting part. Personally I think Gen Con should be twice a year event…or every month maybe.

This year we spent all four days playing games, walking and looking and playing more games! It was the first year I was able to sign my son up for his own events and scheduled games! My soon to be 3 year old daughter went 2 of the days and loved every second of it…mostly. This is going to be our yearly mini vacation (staycation since we live IN Indy?).

First of all yes we are a HUGE Geek family. Both my kids play video games, love their plush talking Daleks and are learning board games that are NOT Candyland or Chutes and Ladders. That being said Gen Con is not just for the extreme Geek. They have TONS of activities for spouses/partners/significant others of Geek’s. A.K.A. the Non-Geek.

Personally I have never sought them out because I am usually engrossed in games with and without my kids, however I have talked to several people during Gen Con that have participated in various SPA events. From my understanding there is a TON to do without ever entering the vendor or game halls!

I know I couldn’t believe it either, but its true. They have yoga, knitting or crochet, a craft room (I would have LOVED that!) with various beads, papers etc, and over 230 events to choose from! All that JUST for people who don’t want to game or don’t want to JUST game during the weekend. This would enable gamers to attend this amazing convention and not leave their family behind. They can travel together and still spend some time together.

Here is a gallery of some of the various things, people and costumes found at Gen Con.

For those of you who do like to play various games this convention has so much to see and do I feel like they need more than 4 days to do it. You can purchase tickets for specific game events, tournaments or extra activities (like making your own foam weapon) or you can purchase Generic Tickets and try to hop in on some of the same. They get those with specific tickets in first but then any open spots can be filled with Generic tickets. I didn’t get to participate this year but that was a choice. I chose to sign my son up for a few games and events instead.

He was SO excited to have his own game events! I was too honestly as we were trying out Pathfinder for one of his events. We also signed up for Create your own game, which is a neat idea, but something we can do at home with more craft supplies and better structure. It was basically “here are craft items, here is a sheet with common game questions. Go forth and make a game” Like I said, neat idea but not something we will do next year.

I let my husband take The Gentleman to the Create your own foam weapon event and they both got foam swords. Pretty neat actually though again lacking structure and more free for all type of event. Still this one at least has a more lasting take home item and its mostly safe.genconcomic2The Pathfinder event was the one we were all excited about. It was designed to teach KIDS how to play Pathfinder! How awesome is that! Teaching kids to play an RPG game. I loved it! Even after I realized it was basically D&D 3.5. Yes I now know what that is even though I have never played Dungeons and Dragons EVER and was trying to avoid it. I got hooked on Pathfinder though and now I am learning to GM for my son and some of his friends.

In the vendor we purchased our usual handfuls of dice, a new plush friend and dice bag. This year though we each got a dice SET and a more sturdy and custom dice bag. There was a vendor booth called G33K & Co who had the most awesome dice bags and kid size swag bags EVER! Both my kids got 1 each and it was soooo worth it. They carried their own Dalek friend, dice in their brand new dice bags, snacks and thermos! The Gentleman decided on a Power Ranger matching set and The Diva decided on a pink sparkly star bag and a tinkerbell dice bag.

There was WAY too much to see or talk about but OMG it would take you 2 days at least to see everything without playing games in that room. We tried to look at everything but probably walked the whole room and only actually saw 75% of everything. The Diva picked a plush green dragon with purple wings from a booth by the company Hamster Press and got herself a yellow Dalek since The Gentleman had a red one already. He picked out a Pet Dragon from Dragon Pets and these things are so cool. You can wrap it and wind up on your arm like a bracelet! We wrapped it on his awesome bag and it rested on his shoulder. genconcomic3The games to demo…oh how we LOVE the games! After looking at the game booths I wanted to look at and finding two games to review we ventured to the family game section of the hall. Those 2-3 rows of booths is where we spend the bulk of Gen Con. We demo as many games as we possibly can and purchase the ones we love most while looking longingly at the ones we cannot afford yet.

Some of our favorite companies were back this year! Smart Toys & Games has a few new games out Back 2 Back, IQ Twist, and two Angry Birds puzzle games! (which we review on here!). Out of the Box! sent us home with three wonderful games to review. Bug Out!, 7 ate 9, and Snake Oil and my kids LOVE Bug Out! Can’t wait to try to other two! Calliope Games has Tsuro of the Seas (we discovered Tsuro last year). Evanced Games had a booth and the most awesome digital learning games EVER! Froggy Phonics and Tic Tac Bananas are both available for purchase in iPad, iPhones or Android tablets and phones. genconcomic4We also discovered some new companies and games. ZombiePox by Tiltfactor is SO fun and my 4 year old was able to learn to play and loves this game! Blue Orange Games has Spot It Jr! Animals which we were lucky enough to get to review. I take it with me everywhere! Paizo was there with Pathfinder Beginner Box (which we now own of course!) and dice sets, figure sets and plush Goblins! (The Gentleman has one now) Green Ronin recently came out with an RPG game based on my favorite video game series right now! Dragon Age!

When they say Gen Con is the best 4 days of gaming they are not lying. They literally have events and games for EVERYONE! Cosplay (that is basically adult pretend play dress up) contests, game tournaments, crafts, art vendors, authors, dice, games, Doctor Who, video games, card games, and RPG games and things I have forgotten to mention. This has got to be one of the BEST conventions ever and has the nicest and most polite fan base as well. They even have food vendors in the convention hall with reasonable prices on food.

Registration for Gen Con 2014 opens in January and we will be ready to sign up for another great year!genconcomic5

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
~ George Bernard Shaw

Author: sandyz