As we prepare for another Gen Con in 2018, we should remember our adventure in 2017. Normally I post shortly after our adventures at Gen Con, but this year I wanted to wait so I could tell you about last year’s adventure and maybe help you prepare a bit for this year’s.
Our adventure begins the day before Gen Con starts when we go and pick up any badges and tickets we have purchased and prepare our outfits. Yes, we plan what we are going to wear because everyone who goes through the trouble of buying geeky type shirts wants to show them off….or is that just us?
The kids prep their backpacks, snacks and check their balances so they know how much they can spend. They save all year for this convention and usually have big plans for what they want to get. Last year it was Pokemon stuffed animals and the year before that it was foam weapons. This year it is foam weapons again but specifically the Legend of Zelda shield and sword. The Diva has the sword so she wants the shield.
After the kids are prepared and clothes laid out in order….we come home in time for dinner and showers and bed basically so preparing before Gen Con starts is vital. Anyone who tries to get kids ready knows how long that can take…so we try to eliminate at least part of that for our mornings.
The husband and I prepare our backpacks with power strip, chargers for phones, a couple of games for snack and lunch breaks, putting snacks in snack bags and prep the lunch bag. It is far cheaper to bring your own lunch but there are plenty of food options in and around the convention center so you don’t have to. There are no lockers either so you have to carry whatever you bring. Which is why everyone has a backpack.
We don’t make sandwiches until the morning because they go bad, well stale…or is that just me too? Either way our ultimate goal is to wake up, prep the sandwiches, feed the cat and head out for a very full day at Gen Con. Everyone has their backpacks, badges, money and awesome outfits along with our Gamertude! I just made that up…but I like it.
Every year we have goals for what we want to get out of Gen Con and every year we accomplish them. The Diva usually has to get certain character pictures but she understands there might not be people in those costumes. She just wants pictures with as many as she can find…and find them she does. Seriously, this little girl has chased people down for pictures…with me chasing after her usually.
There is always some type of item she wants to look for to buy, certain booths she HAS to visit including Peaceable Kingdom, Mayday, Mayfair and Calliope. The order depends on where they booths are but she likes to end at Calliope and play with the girls there. They are super sweet and all the games there are fun. I hope they have their button quest again this year! You get a button for every game you demo.
At the Mayday booth last year she was helping them by demoing their newer game, Macroscope. We joked about getting her a job there…she was all for it. We spent about 45 minutes with her showing people how to play Macroscope and convincing them they should buy it hehe. She pretty much did this same thing at all of her favorite booths. The girl is definitely my kid, when she loves something she wants to share it with everyone.
Last year she wanted to get a fun fancy hat head band and cat ears. She used her own money and did, not only that but also the tail and gloves for a full cat outfit…ish. She also wanted to try two new games from new booths…which she did at Gigamic where she tried Wazabi, and HABA where she tried Dragon Tower. I also tried this one, however she played the game while I just saw a dragon attached to a string and picked up to see what it was….and collapsed the tower. Ooops…
I can’t help it though…I’m a button pusher! Big red buttons that says “Do Not Push!” I will totally push it…I’m the cat you hear about that was too curious…but enough about my embarrassing traits…more on our adventure at Gen Con.
The Gentleman’s goals were a bit more expanded from last year. He wanted to get Knighted King of the Beast which is something that MayFair Games has. You demo their games and different game tables give you different ribbons to attach to your badge. If you get a full collection you get the a prize and the title of King of Beasts! He may have been the youngest or at least one of the youngest to get that title.
His other goal was to get some goggles, try 5 new games, and find some awesome LEGO figures to buy. They both save their money at the beginning of the year to spend at Gen Con. Of course he succeeded in all of his goals as well. He found blue steampunk style goggles, tried more than 5 new games at various booths including Mayfair, Mayday, Calliope, HABA, Peaceable Kingdom, Gigamic and Steve Jackson Games.
Neither of them could pick an all time favorite game but they had favorites at several booths. Our goals were pretty standard. Play an enormous amount of games, meet interesting new people, see convention friends, collect buttons and have a great time.
The button collecting is also a yearly goal and we all accomplished that as well. For those who have never been, Gen Con runs a button hunt for kids…and adults but not til after a certain time in the day so all the kids get a chance.
We try to get the sets in the first two days so we get the whole set and the final button without worrying about it…because I tend to stress about getting all of them. Not OCD though! So to recap:
|Diva’s goals:||Gentleman’s goals:|
|Meet and get pics with many characters||Get King of Beasts title|
|Visit favorite booths||Try 5 new games|
|Try two new games from new booths||Purchase cool goggles|
|Purchase cat ears||Purchase awesome LEGO figures|
|Purchase a fancy fun hat||Collect buttons|
Everyone completed their goals again this year and are already thinking about and planning goals for the next Gen Con. We are always expecting to have a great time, meet interesting people and I cannot stress enough that the atmosphere there is like nothing you will ever experience with such a large group of people. Seriously, I hate large crowds and I LOVE being at Gen Con.
Gamers are their own group of people that give me hope for humanity. I am not exaggerating even a little. Generally the group as a whole is polite and respectful to each other and anyone there. No one has ever said a rude word to us or about my kids wanting to play games with adults.
They just smile, say sure and then are amazed my kid had the focus enough to play hehe. People part crowds, pause crowds and help when they see parents with kids coming through the aisles and especially a stroller. It is phenomenal how different it is at Gen Con then it is at even a children’s museum.
I have done posts on tips for going with kids before, things to prep for, bring and booths to check out which you can read HERE. I won’t go into that again, but I will say that you shouldn’t over book yourself. Make sure you give yourself time to just walk the Vendor Hall, try games no matter how long they take and just enjoy the atmosphere. I see a lot of people, and we were the same way the first few years, that just rush to squeeze in as much as possible in the four days that they are exhausted and don’t get to see or do everything they wanted to do.
We would rush to play as many games as possible, follow the kids wherever they wanted to go and book lots of events for ourselves….and then go home exhausted and feeling like we didn’t have a lot of time. Which we didn’t, honestly, we overbooked events, and mostly would let the kids dictate where we went and what games we played. Since then we got smarter though.
We book only those events we KNOW we want to try or do and only one per person per day with one day where we just walk the vendor hall. No seriously we leave one full day completely open to walk the vendor hall and take turns going to various booths.
The kids follow us for a bit then we follow them for a bit and then we even divide and conquer a bit as well. Breaks for snacks and food are usually a good place to switch turns.
Kids may whine about not wanting to do the thing you want to do, but just remind them that the more they wine the longer you will take or my favorite “If you make my turn not fun for me, then I will make your turn not fun for you” It might be childish but it works because they can relate to it hehe.
We usually take Thursday to do nothing on a schedule. It is the first day, not as busy as Saturday which is a good day to book events for and the Vendor Hall is less crowded. We usually do purchases that day too so we don’t risk losing out.
Although Sunday almost all the booths will have last day sales that are insane! You can get games up to 75% off at some booths. IF they have them…that is the catch.
Last year was the 50th anniversary and it. was. packed! Sold out before it even began and for the 9th year in a row had record breaking attendance. It was also the first year they used the Lucas Oil Stadium and the Bankers Life Fieldhouse where They Might Be Giants played to a sold out crowd. The Lucas Oil Stadium had additional event space and a special museum exhibition which showed artifacts and highlighted 50 years of gaming history. 50 years! 50 years and still going strong!
Check out our Gen Con 2017 50th Anniversary adventure!
Show us your favorite Gen Con moment! @MyGeeklings #GenCon50 #GenCon2017 @Gen_Con