The Problem With Gaming Conventions

You think you’ve all seen posts like this before. The blogger has just gotten back from a gaming convention and, while mentioning a few good things—maybe one awesome thing—all that the person seems to talk about is the negative aspects of the convention. Especially when the title of the post is something that covers such a wide range of possibilities like “The Problem With Gaming Conventions.” Well, you’re wrong, I’m happy to say. That’s not what this post is going to be like. However, there is still a problem that I’ve found endemic to almost all gaming conventions and it needs to be addressed:

There are simply too many awesome people at gaming conventions.

Yeah, I said it: There are too many of you! I mean, seriously, how many awesome people are legally allowed to be in a single space? It’s enough to boggle the mind!

Mind = boggled.

As you might guess from the graphic above, I just got back from KantCon 2012 in Overland Park, KS (that’s part of the Greater Kansas City Area for those of you playing along at home). This is the fourth year of the convention and, seriously, there was too much awesome to handle. The same was true last year. The people who run this show are people that I’ve gotten to know over the last three years that I’ve been attending. They’re good, nay, great people. In fact, they convinced me to handle the event registrations for KantCon last year, a duty I happily re-upped for this year.

That’s not to say there weren’t problems. I mean, whenever you gather large groups of people (we had close to 300 attendees this year), there are bound to be problems. It’s the nature of large groups of people. However, most groups don’t meet each issue with a solution, a smile, sympathy, and helping hands. The folks at KantCon do all of that. Have I mentioned that I’ve become fast friends with many of them? I’m typing this from the guest room at one of their houses right now.

You see, KantCon 2012 just ended. Like every great game convention is was multiple days of excellent games events, great people, good food, laughter, and fun. And, like every great game convention, it leaves its own, unique indelible mark. I will carry the smiles, laughter, and hugs with me until I’m lucky enough to see these fine people next year. Sure, I’ll game with some of them online during the intervening time, but it’s not the same an we all know that.

Because, you see, gaming conventions are supposed to be filled with awesome people who make the world a brighter place for you, even if it does only last for three days.

That’s not the real problem with gaming conventions.

Not by a long shot.

The real problem with gaming convention is this:

Saying goodbye.

Special thanks to all of the volunteers, attendees, and—especially—friends that made KantCon 2012 such an amazing experience. I love you all and cannot wait to see you again next year. It’s worth the drive out every time.

I’m Tracy Barnett and This is My Game


Part idiot. Part old man. All geek. I write about RPGs like it's my job (man, I wish it were), and I am working on a campaign setting called Shadows of the Collegium. Also, I design games. You can find out more about me on Twitter, and about Shadows of the Collegium and my other games at sandandsteam.net.


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About Rolling20s

I write about RPGs like it's my job (man, I wish it were), and I am working on a campaign setting called Shadows of the Collegium. Also, I design games. You can find out more about me on Twitter, and about Shadows of the Collegium and my other games at sandandsteam.net.
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2 Responses

  1. Man, I soooo wish Anna & I could have been there. We had to wrestle with wedding obligations that weekend. :-( Still hoping we get to see you GenCon, though!

    Sorry about the oppressive heat, but I’m glad the Great Plains treated you right!

  2. Been far too long since I was a gaming con. There aren’t a ton of them over here in Blighty anyway, but that’s not a good enough excuse. Maybe when I get a real job and can afford it again.

    Closest I get is the yearly student nationals. This a weekend of drinking with outbreaks of gaming during the day when people from gaming societies from all over the country get together and just have fun. Same as a con though, the hardest bit is always the end. Sure, my liver looks forward to getting back to normal, but it’s so much fun with so many great people that I spend most of the year waiting for the next one.

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