By now you have read my other two posts about our family’s experience at Gen Con 2014 and if not…you should. This is the last one about Gen Con this year…maybe but at least for a little while. I don’t feel like my kids experiences were shared enough so I thought I would fill you in on that. I mentioned we each had missions for Gen Con this year, well this is how my Geeklings successfully completed their missions.
I was not sure how Thursday would go for my Diva given that she is only 3 and last year only lasted about 4 hours tops before needing a sitter the rest of the day. I was nervous that she would want to go home around lunch or possibly even just start running off on me. Yep…she’s my runner. Darting off without a care in the world while giving me a heart attack every time. We are working on this but as those of you with runners know, it takes time. Luckily she understood enough NOT to run off on me at Gen Con. I think she realized it was too big and there were too many people. I was thankful for that but that left the being “done” too soon possibility.
Not only was she NOT done around lunch that first day but she made it the WHOLE day until about 7ish when we all went home to drop the kids off with a friend. I was surprised and proud! In fact the Diva lasted three days in a row from 10ish am until around 7ish at night. We did choose to leave her home Sunday though with her Uncle. She is only 3 and she started preschool Monday. Part of it may have been because the Gentleman and I had a Pathfinder event lasting two hours and my husband had a Star Realms tournament lasting most of the day.
My Diva’s mission on all three days was to flag down as many Cosplayers as possible and get her picture with them. Seriously. Every single Cosplayer she saw were called by their “name” if she knew it and if not “hey, look at that! let’s get a picture!” were said instead. Don’t get me wrong it made for a GREAT collection of photos but it was sort of exhausting all by itself. Also, we spent about 30 minutes just in one hallway trying to pack up our stuff from a snack break because she would pause and flag down people. That particular hallway was apparently the place to be if you were in costume. Her favorite costumes were Lego Batman, Deadpool, and a giant Tree. I personally loved the Monty Python black knight and evil bunny costumes.
In between talking to random Cosplayers, who were all more than happy to take a picture with the Diva, we played games and rested on Evanced Games’ toadstool stools…and played Froggy Phonics. She insisted on playing games at every booth she could although some booths had games that were better for her attention span and age. Haba had Orchard Game out to demo and we literally spent 20 minutes each day playing it over and over.
Her favorites, however, were Peaceable Kingdom’s giant Feed the Wuzzle and Blue Orange Games giant Pengaloo and Gobblet Gobblers. Maranda Games had Eternas which is a neat twist on connect four that she liked and of course Rings at the Pajaggle booth was a popular spot as was the Out of the Box booth with Bug Out…on the floor.
The Gentleman’s mission was Pathfinder and the Button Hunt. Well that and playing games off and on between looking at cool stuff. His words and I love them. We signed him up for all five of the Pathfinder Advanced Tracks for kids. This meant that all four days he would have an event at 11:00am and the fifth was at 4:00 pm on Saturday. Through some type of schedule mixup our 11:00 am Saturday was not the track we signed up for and instead we played the track we were supposed to play at 4:00 pm. Luckily Paizo is awesome and always takes care of people. It all got worked out and we were able to get his certificate on Sunday for all five tracks.
As far as the Button Hunt went his daddy took him on the hunt in one day and scored the entire set plus a set for the Diva! Needless to say the boy was happy about collecting all the buttons. In fact his side quest was to collect buttons or cards from booths and there were a surprising amount of them this year! That last button required you to purchase an item at certain booths. Not sure how many but for sure at the Calliope booth with the purchase of their Gen Con collector Roll for it! game…which we bought.
Of course he liked the costumes as well but his favorite part about those was when people asked to take his picture. Yep it happened to both kids actually. They had their custom capes on that we made for his 4th birthday party. Super Hero themed of course. His favorite pose involved his Boffer short sword and his dagger in a fighting stance. Sometimes he was swinging his sword over head too. His other mission was to find Lego guys and purchase at least two. This mission was also successful and he ended up getting a Venom and another Iron Man because really can you ever have to many?
I believe his favorite game to demo this year was Tasty Minstrel‘s Dungeon Roll. I didn’t even know he could play when we saw the booth and suggested we check it out. He informed me with the attitude of a proper teenager when telling me “mom, I already know how to play this game” so I said with equal attitude “prove it”….and he did. Childish? Yeah probably…but sometimes we’re like that aren’t we grown-ups? But yes he most certainly proved he could play much to my shock and the man showing at least ME how to play.
He really liked the R&R Games booth with their Hearts Attraction game using magnets but also Gobblet Gobblers and Aztack over at the Blue Orange Games booth. We visited Calliope Games and he almost didn’t lose at Got ‘Em!…but did. Chivalry Games had a neat one out for demo called Chaostle (which I will be reviewing) that he spent what seemed like forever playing with. I mean it is pretty cool…build your dungeon and battle other players to win. He didn’t get to check out the Rather Dashing Games booth but we played a game from them called Pirates, Ninjas, Robots, and Zombies which was awesome and one of our snack and meal games.
Over all the kids both had a blast and everyone we encountered either in costume, at a booth or randomly along the way were super nice and considerate and patient with them…and us. Their sword fights using Helaman’s Warriors Boffer short swords (which hurt a LOT less then most swords) was entertainment for all involved or watching. It was also much needed energy wasting after hours of walking, talking, playing and posing for pictures. You can only be slightly calm for so long before you just have to let loose. Which we let them do at every snack and meal break by making sure we brought those swords every single day except Sunday.
If you have younger kids and are not sure how they would do at Gen Con set up a sitter who is willing to either come get them or have you drop them off about midday on Thursday (or really all the days just in case) instead of the whole day and try it. My Diva will be 4 in September so we knew she COULD make it all day but really only if she wanted too…which we are so glad she did. There is a TON of things for kids to do and see so don’t worry about that. Dressing up is also a favorite thing of any kid and if you are willing there could be family themes involved! My kids won’t let me do that with them…yet.
Here are the pictures from all four days! Well most…Enjoy!
The Family Fun Pavilion, Spouse Activities for the non-gamer types who still want to go and enjoy the environment, games of course, costumes to see or dress up in and plenty of room to play games, be silly and have a lot of family fun together. This really is a very family friendly event and we love going every year. This year was the Diva’s first full day experience…well first weekend experience and we are all excited about next year already. As the kids get older our activities might keep us busy and separate but we always have a Family Game Night and we will have Gen Con for as long as it is around…which looks to be a good many years.