The Geeklings conquered Gen Con 2016!

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Gen Con 2016 was one of the best years yet! They broke yet another record and their seven-year streak of record turnstile attendance continues with 201,852 attendees, up 2.5% from 2015 attendance! People come from all over the world to enjoy the Best Four Days of Gaming! We attend every year with no sign of stopping and we are lucky enough to live in the wonderful city that hosts it, Indianapolis, IN.

We started attending when the Geeklings were very young. In fact the Diva didn’t even attend with us the first full four days we went due to being a bit young…and couldn’t handle pretty much anything to do with it at the time. She went for the first time to all four days last year and this year she barely needed breaks and loved every single second. The Gentleman has loved it since he first went at the age of 4…start em young!

gencon2016review (51)Our whole family loves gaming, cosplay, meeting new people and going on adventures. Gen Con offers us all of that and so much more. The memories we make there each year stay with us the entire year and we always look forward to the next year’s convention…pretty much immediately after the current Gen Con is over.

I’m rambling…you want to know how the Geeklings conquered Gen Con so I’ll stop and tell you. First…for the record…the Comedian and I also conquered Gen Con…just maybe not as much as the Geeklings.

We did all have a great time, made so many wonderful memories and met and hung out with amazing people. Ok…now I’ll tell you about the conquering…

The Gentleman’s Goals:

  • LARP event,
  • have a sword fight.
  • try at least 5 new games
  • Collect all the Gen Con buttons and get the Legendary button
  • Collect all the Calliope buttons and earn the Metal Calliope button
  • get Knighted at Mayfair
  • get as many extra buttons as possible

He accomplished all of his goals…the LARP event and the sword fight and try new games he planned out weeks (possibly months) before Gen Con. On Thursday…pretty much when he heard about them…he planned out the other ones.

The Diva’s Goals:

  • LARP event (first one ever)
  • Buy a sword or dagger (foam…for now)
  • Find several of her favorite booths to play her favorite games (Her words were “I want to find all of my favorite places and say hi to all the people and play the games!”)
  • Take a snack break
  • Collect all the Gen Con buttons and get the Legendary button
  • Collect all the Calliope buttons and earn the Metal Calliope button
  • Get a Ribbon from Mayfair (she didn’t really want to get Knighted this year but her goal for next year is to get Knighted)

She also accomplished all of her goals and she only had the first four set before we arrived. Finding out about those buttons added a whole new element to Gen Con…and it was fantastic!

gencon2016review (28)We signed the Gentleman and the Diva up for a LARP event on that Saturday and they LOVED it. They want to do it again next year but they said every day…gets pricey but it’s once a year right? We learned a few things from this event though…

One, my kids do not know the term “squishy” and the Diva should probably not be a mage ever…she has warrior in her blood. She apparently charged forward and between her, her brother and the other kids in the group the “bad guys” were warning each other to watch out for them…they hurt when they hit. I laughed so hard at this…they had so much fun.

Two, my kids need to play more Pathfinder…and maybe do more LARP events. I might have to sign up next year as well. The family that slays together, stays together….right? Sounds good to me! Moving on.

The Gentleman wanted to have a sword fight because he remembered having one years ago when he and his dad made swords. Those foam wrapped in cloth kind that you can sign up for and make at Gen Con or buy them at booths. I told him it might not be likely but then the kid bought himself a sturdy foam Keyblade…quality work and he used his saved up money…then fought with his sister while we were eating lunch…I need to find them sword lessons nearby.gencon2016review (29)

The Diva bought herself, using her saved up money, a Link Master Sword…my favorite #ProudMomMoment because Zelda is the best game series ever! Though Final Fantasy is a close second…She is a fan of the Zelda series as well which is why she chose that particular sword…she’s lethal with it…and it’s foam!

The buttons were set as goals once we knew about them on Thursday…immediately had to go try for both sets. It worked out great since ONLY kids could get the buttons before 5:00 pm. I love that they do that. Adults want them too but this way kids get them for sure…but we did end up getting the collection as well…which made the completest in me happy.

Each person who was at a button station was polite and loved that the kids were collecting them. They would tell you if another button station was nearby and give you a map if you needed one that had all the locations including the Legendary button…which we all got.

gencon2016review (45)The other set of buttons on the kids Goals list was at the Calliope Booth. If you demo a game you get a button for that game. Demo all of their games and get a shiny brand new metal button…we had to have that!

The kids love the Calliope booth and all the people there are wonderful! Plus they make good games…we played them all and loved every single one.

As far as taking a break…we stopped for lunch, a break around 2-4 (usually one in between that time sometime) and then stopped when the Exhibit Hall closed and went home for dinner…and more games.

We let the kids decide when we ate lunch and took breaks. When they were younger we took a lot of breaks. One every 1.5 hours for 15 – 30 minutes usually.

Trying 5 new games was a combination of the Gentleman’s idea and ours. We asked him if he was going to try new games this year and he said, “of course!” though he said 2 because he wanted to play some of his favorites but we suggested 5 to branch out and possibly find new favorite games. He did…though he demoed a lot more than 5 games….which was amazing!gencon2016review (53)

Trying 5 new games also helped him get Knighted at Mayfair…which he added to his list of goals as soon as he learned about it. He didn’t learn there were more Ribbons until it was too late but his goal next year is to get all the Ribbons possible! I believe he will succeed…maybe I’ll even get Knighted next year!

The Diva didn’t want to get Knighted but she did want a Ribbon…just one she said and maybe next year she will get 5 she said…she has specific goals.

She did want buttons and both kids are collecting the Wood, Sheep, Clay, Ore and Wheat stuffed animals…er resources in this case. We buy them one every year…so I hope they don’t stop making them before we get them all!

The Diva’s list, being specifically set to visit her favorite “places” actually proved tricky at first…they moved the Family Game section to the middle of the room instead of the far left area…which was also in front of the Battle Grounds area.gencon2016review (12)

This is a great place for kids. Coloring, games, activities and so much to do there…it made no sense to move the family section away…but we did find them and she played every game she could at each booth!

We visit several of the booths every year…every day…several times a day to demo games. Every year. Every day. And we don’t get annoyed, bored or want to move on as the games are fun for adults! I’ll give you a bit of the kids favorite booths and games at each…since I know you are dying to know!

Here is the break down and most are new games but some are older and still among their favorites that are available to demo at the booths.

Gentleman –

Calliope Games – Running with the Bulls, Tsuro, Double Double Dominoes and Roll For It!

Mayfair Games – Isle of Skye and Costa Rica

Peaceable Kingdom – Lucky Dogs and Cauldron Quest

Rather Dashing Games – Graveyards, Ghosts and Haunted Houses and We Come in Peace…and Dwarven Miner

Mayday Games – Walk the Plank, Coconuts, Click Clack Lumberjack and Dungeon Busters…and Garbage Day…I had to stop him there…

Blue Orange Games – Dr. Eureka, Battle Sheep Crab Stack, Aztack, Fast Track, and I made him stop naming them…he likes most of their games and wants to try (and should be able to play) Vikings On Board.

R & R Games – Swipe Out!, Hearts Attraction, and Gobblestones

New Booth Favorite

AEG (Alderac Entertainment Group) – Greedy Greedy Goblins and he wants to play Dice Citygencon2016review (41)

Diva – 

Calliope Games – Thieves, Got ‘Em and Hive Mind

Mayfair Games – Karnickel and Gold Ahoy!

Peaceable Kingdom – Fairy Game, Willy’s Wiggle Web and Cauldron Quest

Rather Dashing Games – Running circles around Grant, literally and Graveyards, Ghosts and Haunted Houses and We Come in Peace.

Mayday Games – Coconuts, Click Clack Lumberjack and Garbage Day

Blue Orange Games – Dr. Eureka, Battle Sheep, Chicky Boom, Pengaloo, Fast Track,

R & R Games – Swipe Out!, Hearts Attraction, and Gobblestones

New Booth Favorite

HABA –  Logic Labyrinth and Keep it Steady

gencon2016review (67)Everyone who demoed a game with my kids was so patient, understanding and just kind to them. I am specifically talking about the random gamer who ended up at the table with my kids when we demoed a game.

The kids usually do well when playing games but they also ask a LOT of questions and just talk generally. So far we have yet to have anyone ask them to stop, refuse to engage or refuse to play with them.

Gamers are a special kind of human and the world needs more of them. That being said the people who demo the games were all very patient, kind and you could tell they enjoyed showing everyone how to play these games.

I know some are just volunteers who are fellow gamers and some work for the company whose booth they are showing games at but all of the people we encountered were amazing!

I am happy my kids are able to enjoy gaming (we do get to sit when we demo games) and love wandering the booths. I love that they love meeting new people and no one is a stranger (when mom or dad are around that is). The Gentleman and the Diva conquered another Gen Con and are already planning their goals for next year…button goals are pending in case they change that up.

Show us your Gen Con adventure! @MyGeeklings #GenCon2016 @Gen_Con

Here is our adventure gallery! Enjoy!

“Life is more fun if you play games.”
~ Roald Dahl

Author: sandyz