Why go to a con?

With GenCon still fresh on my mind, Geekway to the West Patron tickets on sale this week, BGG Con a few months away and of course Moon City *constantly* in the mix, I’ve been mulling over what draws me to the Con scene and why I spend, literally, all of my vacation days for conventions.

So – first and foremost, let’s discuss this year’s GenCon.

The 50th – a HUGE convention. Almost intimidatingly so. Upon reflection, there was only really one day (the first) where I really felt like there were *that* many more people… Thursday morning at 8a felt like Saturday at 2p – the halls were a crush. Other than that, the vendor hall felt about the same to me, as well as the rest of the con. I think GenCon did a smash up job of keeping the flow of traffic and people moving throughout the “Best Four (and a half) days of Gaming”. With the addition of Lucas Oil (which I *still* have not ventured over for a walk through), the crowds have been well dispersed. Plus they increased the vendor hall tremendously – which I also think made for an easier time when I finally made my rounds.

 All people’s motivations for going to various cons are unique.

GenCon has fantastically diverse pull: every single type of gaming, cos-play at an almost professional level, and of course the newly released (or soon to be) games, and the shopping. Most of my gaming friends from the local scene ask me about the spectacle of it all – what were the new hot games, what did I get, etc..? But that’s not how I do a con. I don’t rush to the vendor hall and fight for the new limited released games or the special promos or any of that. Though – I do completely understand the draw.

My main attraction to cons is the experience of gaming with new people. Older games that I may have played 20-30 times, but through the fresh eyes of different interactions at the table. That and really epic games. Games that you can’t get to on a typical game night. (we’ll get to that in a few). But when you play with the same people consistently, there becomes a certain interaction that will cloud all games, even new ones that you haven’t played before. And while this is good to hone certain habits – or learn to change things about yourself, it’s also fantastic to experience a game you know through and through with new players. First and foremost, the obvious of different ways of attacking the strategy, new insights on how to manipulate certain features/actions. Not just that, people’s choices are clouded by their experience with you – so if you play a game with all new players, you get a new experience because the interaction is completely different.

 Epic games are another major attraction for me at cons. To me an epic game is anything that is over the three hour mark as the standard. Games that you build up with a fantastic arc and so satisfying conclusion. Here’s the thing with those types of games, I understand that it can be frustrating to invest so much time and energy into a game that ends in defeat – but the beauty of the epic game is not the winning or losing, it’s the moments in the play that such interesting and crazy things occur that you don’t get in shorter games. You don’t have the same tension, build up and arc in the shorter (still great) games. Die Macher is fantastic because regardless of the front runner in rounds 2 or 3, the way an election can fall to switch out the Nation’s platform can completely change the game in the last round. But it wouldn’t be the same game if you didn’t have the full build up of all 7 rounds. You get a gaming experience like none other when you play an epic game. You get to know people on a completely different level. So – if you’ve never had the opportunity or time to participate in one of those 4+ hours, come join us at Moon City this spring – message me with any requests, I will be sure to give you some great options to schedule an unforgettable experience. (plus – there are always cookies when you game with me.)

Get your tickets today – email me at [email protected]

to get a game scheduled. #meeplenewpeople

A growing library

Here is a peak at our library. Keep checking back, because it might grow.

1812 The Invasion of Canada
1846: The Race for the Midwest
7 Wonders
7 Wonders Duel with Pantheon
A Game of Thrones the Board Game
Airlines Europe
Archon: Glory and Machination
Bang! The Walking Dead (card game)
Between Two Cities
Beyond Baker Street
Bottom of the 9th
Brew Crafters
Bruges (with Cities on the Zwinn expansion)
Bruxelles 1893
Bunny Bunny Moose Moose
Ca$h ‘n Guns
Camel Up
Captain Sonar
Cards Against Humanity
Century Spice Road
Chicago Express
Concordia (with all map expansions)
Conflict of Heroes: Guadalcanal
Cutthroat Caverns
Dancing Eggs
Dead of Winter
Deception: Murder in Hong Kong
Dogs of War
Doshboard Golf
Dungeon Fighter
Eight Minute Empire: Legends
Empire Builder
Freedom: The Underground Railroad
Get Bit
Glass Road
Good Cop Bad Cop
Hansa Teutonica
Happy Salmon
Hero Realms (with Hero packs)
Imperial Settlers
King of Tokyo with (Powered Up and Halloween expansions)
Le Havre
Lords of Waterdeep (with Scoundrels of Skullport)
Lost Cities
Marco Polo
New York Slice
Number 9
Once Upon A Time
One Night Revolution
Paris Connection
Ponzi Scheme
Power Grid
Roll Player
Shadows Over Camelot
Specter Ops
Star Realms
String Railway
Tales of the Arabian Nights
The Battle at Kemble’s Cascade
The Duke
The Game
The Game of 49
The Grizzled
The Networks
Ticket to Ride
Triassic Terror
Trick of the Rails
Tumbling Dice
Twilight Imperium 3rd edition (with Shards of the Thrown and Shattered Empire expansions)
Viticulture (with Tuscany)
Whistle Stop

About the 417Gamers

We’ve reached 800 plus members in our MeetUp group. That’s a number we’re very proud of. The 417Gamer group has been trying to cultivate the board, card, and tabletop gaming in the area. Largely centered in and around Springfield, most of the meetings and gaming events take place in the queen city. Gaming weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays, there is almost always some type of gaming taking place during the week.

Thanks to the great gaming stores in Springfield, it is not hard to find a place to play. Finding people to play used to be the issue. The 417Gamer group grew from a small group of about a dozen or so gamers, to what it is now grown to around 30 regulars every Thursday night at Meta-Games one of our friendly local game stores.

The most important part is YOU. The 417Gamers group is made of people like you. Coming out to gaming events, sharing with friends and families, and evangelizing our group IS our biggest asset. We come from different walks of life and with different views, but when the box opens a bond is made over those cards, bits of wood, hunks of plastic, and folding pieces of cardboard.