|Event Dates:||July 30th - August 2nd 2015|
Last year I told you about things every first time Gen Con goer should know about or try. You can find that HERE. This year I want to focus on things people can do if they are going to Gen Con but are not huge (or even a little) into playing games.
Gen Con has been held in Indianapolis, IN for 48 years (this year) and it only gets better. Gamers from all over the world travel here for “The Best Four Days in Gaming” and yes I said world. I met some people from Germany last year but gamers come from all over. Hotels sell out months before the event, food trucks are usually parked nearby for each food access and the convention center is open and running events and games well into the early morning hours.
The exhibit hall has hundreds of vendors, game booths and artists where you can browse, play or purchase just about anything your geeky heart desires. There is an entire sections for families (which we practically live at), the Family Fun Pavilion and Training Grounds are for gamers ages 4-12 or those young at heart.
There is an entire hall for ticketed game events. You can just play a favorite game or try a new one or even join a tournament. You need a badge for both the exhibit hall and the gaming area. There are also tons of rooms with events and things going and some do not require a badge or a ticket!
All of this sounds like heaven to a gamer…we literally look forward to it every year almost immediately after it has ended. To the not-so-gamer, as I call people who do not really like board games or video games (or both) but want to spend some time traveling with their significant other or family if their kids game too….it is more like a mini vacation of “what can I do?”
You would honestly be surprised at the amount of things planned for people who either just don’t want to game, like doing these activities or just want to try something new. I know I didn’t realize how much there was to do! Honestly, I thought if you go and don’t play or enjoy the gaming world than you are bored and they might have coupon clipping or something…which they do.
The truth is there is so much more to do if you aren’t gaming! Gen Con understands that Significant Others (SO’s) of gamers want to go attend as well but might not care so much about the games. They have special Spouse Activities that you can purchase event tickets for that are aimed at those who want to try them.
These activities range from exercising to tours around Indy! I haven’t even taken the tours yet and I live here! If I didn’t want to spend so much time in the exhibit hall trying games with my kids I would totally do some of these! Seriously the Catacombs tour sounds fun and I love spooky things…although these don’t have crypts or tombs or anything.
To give you an idea you can do Zumba, Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi, learn how to fight with a Bo Staff, take a Beginner Ballroom Dance – Waltz, Foxtrot, Cha Cha, Rhumba or Tango class, or take one of many walking tours around downtown Indy. You can even take a self defense class for women…if you are a woman that is. That is just stuff you can do if you want to exercise or move! The one I want to do is the Haunted Walking Tour of Indianapolis! I love ghost tours!
There are events for Beginner Couponing, Crochet, Knitting, Clay, make something with Chain Mail, Soaps, make a snow globe, Sugar Skulls, Rubber Band guns, Jewelry making of all kinds, Felt creations, and even Zombie Make up! You can even take a Sign Language for Beginners event for $10..which I kind of want to do since I want to learn ASL.
You need a badge to do these events.(Update: Confirmed you do need a badge for SPA events)
If you have kids with you and aren’t sure what to with them while you are there Gen Con comes through again.
First they have babysitting options. Yep for $12 an hour (minimum of 3 hours reserved) your child can play in a safe area while you run off to a tournament or adult game of your choosing…or just to have an hour or two to look around without being asked “Can I have that?” all the time.
There are also LARP (Live Action Role Playing) events where kids can fight bad guys while in costume, they can sing up for various craft events like making foam weapons, fairy wings or troll feet, making crowns, and even an event to create their very own game!
Our favorite kids event is Pathfinders Kids Track events. Kids learn to play Pathfinder (parents are there to help and supervise) which is based off of Dungeons and Dragons, which for those who have NO idea what I am talking about is a Role Playing Game using dice, a dry erase map and your imagination. However, it is not listed as KIDS this year….so that might require a badge.
KIDS events do not require a badge. An adult has to have a badge and can then purchase a child’s wristband for free (you “buy” it so they hold it in Will Call) for kids ages 8 and under. Then purchase event tickets for your child for whatever event they want to do under the KIDS section of events.
If you have a badge and decide to do a lot of these events I would highly recommend that you go into the exhibit hall and at least look around. You SHOULD play a game or two…you might just like it. However, if you know you won’t then you should look around to see if you want to buy anything. They have tons of amazing vendors there every year.Gen Con does give you plenty of options every year whether your a gamer or not so don’t be shy, sign up for events and have as much fun as you can during “The Best Four Days in Gaming”