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Subject: Why is GenCon at the END of the summer? rss

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Neil Carr
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This has tormented me for decades, but I've never heard if there was any particular reason why GenCon has always happened in August. Ever since a teenager I've had this knife twisted in my side at the thought that the latest and coolest gaming items were going to come out at the end of the summer holiday, just when school would begin and time would implode once again.

Back in the day there was no internet, but there were well informed game store owners, who would mention some exciting new RPG module or game system that was coming out, save that it was coming out at GenCon. The idea that all that free time of summer, sitting down in the stale basement air, far away from the burning sun that might add color to the pasty pallor of my friends and I... well, as a geek I was inconsolable. It was especially hard when the latest Middle Earth Role Playing supplement would be coming out, or the latest Storyteller system that expanded off of Vampire.

Anyway, it hasn't bothered me in years, until now when I see that Fantasy Flight is coming out with Descent this year at GenCon. Sigh... a group of old childhood friends will be in town at the begining of August for an entire week and Descent would be the perfect new sprawling item to bring to the table... even now GenCon torments me!

So the 14 year old geek in my cries out, "Why is GenCon not on June 1st?"
 
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Tom "Snicker Daddy" Pancoast
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So what's wrong with Origins? It's towards the beginning of the Summer, and it isn't really that far away from GenCon.
 
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Ray
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As a GenCon judge (in my school days) I always liked the end of the summer. If it was in June I wouldn't have been able to set up and playtest the RPG and miniatures event before the con because I would have been taking exams. If it was in the middle of the hot summer I would have had to deal with the poor air conditioning and funk (it was bad enough in August) and I was in the middle of my summer job. At the end of the summer it was one last major gaming fest before going back to classes. Of course in those days product releases weren't timed to GenCon (so I understand your pain). But wouldn't todays student bring the games back to thier college game clubs?
 
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Jayson Abbott
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Well, sit down, junior, and old Uncle Patch will explain it to you. Back in the day (mid 1970's) GENCON had to rent a church hall in Lake Geneva to host the convention - all 300 of us in 1976! The only time they could get in during the summer was in early August, and they wanted to be at least a month away from Origins (in early July). That meant the first weekend in August, and from that day to this they have stuck with the same date, give or take a week.

Besides, it better than the game industry jumping on the stupid Christmas bandwagon like everyone else and getting smothered in holiday hype. What else do you have to look forward to in August?
 
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There are quite a lot of product releases at Origins as well, although certainly not as many as Gen Con....
 
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