Around the World in 80 Turns

Musings from a long time game player based in Minneapolis MN. While I don't know how often I'll blog, I do a lot of traveling and always try to visit game shops while doing so. This blog will be about those travels, as well as general thoughts about Conventions, games, nerdy stuff, and wacky pointless comments. Could be fun, could be weaksauce... either way, I'm going to give it a try.

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Conventions - Con Of The North

Pete Lane
United States
Golden Valley
Minnesota
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February 18-20 at the Holiday Inn East in St. Paul, MN

The Con of the North is located a tight little Holiday Inn just off the freeway. A nice sizeable ballroom houses the bulk of events, and a ring of dealers surround the festivities all weekend long. Events range from the mundane (OMG Puerto Rico!) to the bizarre (Clay Monster Smash Up Derby!)... with a heavy lean on minis, wargames, RPGs, and AT. It's always a treat to wander around and admire the terrain bits, painted minis, and creative campaigns being played out. It seems to draw a ton of non-locals, and I've seen a few folks from other states make a special trip just for the Con. I appreciate this Con, and I admire that they have a presence in local "fandom" conventions to try and lure new faces. It's also a great place for people to volunteer to run events and campaigns, and because of this, is the senior prom of gaming for local GMs. You just DON'T find some of this type of creativity anywhere else.

Other than cramped parking lots (show up early if you're a local), where the con lacks is Eurogaming. The program is JAM PACKED with exciting events for everyone but... part of this might just be that no one volunteers to run them, or that the program fills up with popular mainstays first... but it's really not hard to find a confused Eurogamer clucthing a newly purchased title and wondering why they can't find someone to play it with them. It might be because so many of the attendees are loyal fans of the con and don't want to fuss with anything but the events they know and love each year, or because the types of gamers that show up just don't seem interested in straying from a comfort zone... it's none the less an effort to try and find pick up games.

Overall I'd encourage anyone in a 100-200 mile radius to give the con a shot. Even if just once. It's a celebration of our local Midwest gaming scene, and a great way to see creative events that you just don't see at GenCon or larger events. I always make an effort to stop in and walk around, and people are always enjoying themselves a great deal. I may not get the game of my choice in while I'm there, but it's always a nice thing to see so many people enjoying the hobby with such vigor.

http://www.conofthenorth.org/
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Tue Feb 8, 2011 4:02 pm
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First shot...

Pete Lane
United States
Golden Valley
Minnesota
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Microbadge: I love the UK!Microbadge: World TravellerMicrobadge: X-Men fanMicrobadge: Heavy Metal fanMicrobadge: I love Switzerland!
I thought I'd take this opportunity to try something new... I'm not a hardcore social networking kind of guy. I do have a blog, but it's only visible to my wife and I. I don't have a FaceBook account, and likely will never Tweet. It's not that I'm an old fuddy duddy (I'll be 37 at the end of the month)... I just like my privacy and have spent way too many wasted days of my life dealing with drama from different sources. It's just so nice to unplug and enjoy my surroundings without having to field a barrage of OMG and WTF.

This being said, here I am. I don't know how often I'll be musing, but since I spend so much time on this site... it can't hurt to piddle out some random thoughts. My wife and I do try and travel fairly often, and I ALWAYS hit up the local FLGS for each town I visit. Sometimes I find some really amazing shops... other times, I wonder how places stay in business. We also like to hit up local eateries and see life from a "local" perspective. This blog will allow me to share my thoughts on the shops I visit, recommend food to eat when in town, and maybe piss a few people off with a snotty comment about life in general.

What makes me qualified? I grew up a nerd. My dad was a sci-fi fan and my mother was a fantasy fan. My family's bathroom was filled with paperback novels and my living room had a stack of the 70's favorite board games. My family loved to play, have fun, smile, and be nerds. As I grew older, I was swept up in the "I've got to be cool, better sell my comic books" phase... only to be swept back up in it as an adult. I spent so much time understating my nerd side that I forget that it was helped me afford my charming persona and wacky sense of humor. It also helped that a college friend of mine was one of the original employees of FFG... and remains there to this day. I helped assemble boxes of games, sort cards, demo games, playtest, and fulfill customer orders on a voluntary basis on-and-off for a few years. You'll see my name on such classics as Twilight Imperium: Third Edition, Doom: The Boardgame, Descent: Journeys in the Dark, Runebound: Second Edition, Arkham Horror, and a few of the above's expansions. I have since slowly slid away from FFG after a series of personal setbacks with them which I won't dirt here... but I still do some side work and help the random event in exchange for some swag. So not only am I a big nerd, but I know a few things about how the industry works. I also have a dream of someday opening my own FLGS, which is years away into the future.

Let the OMG and WTF begin.
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Tue Feb 8, 2011 3:06 pm
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