If the sound of dice rolling across a tabletop is sets you to excitement, or if waiting for the frown or smile of a gamemaster keeps you in gut-wrenching suspense, GenCon in Indianapolis, Indiana is a pilgrimage that you definitely need to take. Started by Gary Gygax, the father of gaming, almost fifty years ago, you will have the time of your life at GenCon. You will be a real gaming monitor.
Every one of the big game houses is there. Mayfair games, creators of fan favorites like Agricola and The Colonists, has a huge presence. Rio Grande games, one of the biggest innovators in card games, is also one of their top sponsors. Gale Force 9, makers of the hugely popular Firefly: the Game and Star Trek: Ascension, have a large display with all the expansions available for their games. Settlers of Catan has one of the largest set ups, with all the different versions of their game, one of the most popular board games out.
If see a game you find interesting, but just aren’t certain, there are test areas, where trained staff teach you how to play the game and guide you on strategy and tactics. Sit with your friends, or make new ones while you play and learn. There, a gaming monitor will help you learn even the most complex of games.
Are you someone who knows without counting whether throwing three d4s or two d6s is the better gambit, GenCon is without a doubt the place for you. Dozens of purveyors have everything you need for your next adventure, from flashy, custom made dice, to every campaign you can imagine, to the costumes you are looking for for your cosplay. Nothing makes your quest more real than that sword or wizard’s staff your character needs to survive the wilderness.
Aside from the dealer floor, there are dozens of other exciting events. Magic: the Gathering tournaments, as well as tournaments and challenges in almost every other game genre imaginable. Exciting LARPing opportunities abound like “True Dungeon” and several others. A gaming monitor will help you through the dungeons and puzzles. Often these events sell out very quickly, so you’ll want to make signing up a priority when you arrive.
And do not miss the costumes. Heck, participate yourself. Some of the most imaginative and fun costumes appear at GenCon. Things from Steampunk Ghostbusters to a full Klingon band. Many of the attendees dress for the event, some with a different outfit every day. Commander Shepherd, Browncoats from Firefly, Deadpool, little girl Darth Vader, and Dr. Who’s Daleks are some of the most common, but one of the most fun parts of the convention is figuring out who the characters are, especially those who do really creative mashups.
Can you wait? If you are a true gaming monitor, then probably not. But if you make plans now, you can attend this annual event, usually in August. It is a place every serious gamer needs to check out whenever they have an opportunity.