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Subject: Likely heading to GenCon 2013; have many questions: rss

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Mike K
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I've been to GenCon exactly once, about 6 years ago. If my son was alive back then, he wasn't more than 1 and was with his mother for most of the time; honestly, this may have been before he was born.

I suppose it wasn't really my kind of Con, as I spent most of my time paying to get into games that I already play for free at the local gaming club. I did enjoy playing Monopoly with people who also enjoy the game (and nearly made the final, to boot), and I met some great guys (most notably Reiner Knizia, who autographed my box of Amun-Re). Oh, and I enjoyed the poker tournament.

The fact is, though, I'm going with the family next year, and I'm going for my wife in celebration of our 10th anniversary. (I checked first that there was no conflict with the WBC; there isn't in 2013, but there will be in future years.)

Anyway, here're my questions:


1) I'm considering volunteering, as I suspect it's the best use of my time and I wouldn't mind giving back (or getting a little back, to be fair). Can anyone shed some light on the volunteering process from a first-hand perspective?

2) I wouldn't mind running an 'event', but I'm in the dark about this as well. Are event tournament-based? Just for fun? Demos? Do I need multiple copies of a game I'm interested in? Again, does anyone have experience with this who can share?

3) How much lead time should I give in terms of reservations? (We'll be driving from the Philadelphia area.)

4) Any sort of 'puzzles' around? I remember those from my one other visit.

5) Do they still have poker?

6) My son will be 7 by then. Any suggestions for his experience?


I realize that GenCon 2012 just ended, but for me, now is as good a time as any to prepare. In two weeks I'm back to work for the school year, and won't be thinking much about this sort of thing again until late-June. By then it'll be too late to get much info.

Thx in advance to all that can offer guidance. WBC 2013 awaits.
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Todd Mulholland
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#6: My sons were 9 & 7 at GenCon this year. They had fun, although it was tiring. My tips:

1) Keep him well fed. It's amazing how much better kids can push through if they're well fed.
2) Go over your "if you get separated" procedure a number of times.
3) There's a "Family Fun Pavilion" with some kids events (if you get him a badge instead of just a wristband). Wooden Wars was awesome for my sons.
4) Cosplayers seem to love to have pics taken with kids especially. Keep your son involved in what's going on as much as possible.

We even got our sons into some of the demos (they played sentinels of the multiverse & smash up) but they also have quite a bit of experience with board games. Even so, my 7 year old was dogging and not nearly as engaged as my 9 year old.

So - to sum up, keep them fed (and as much rest as you can), go over procedures so you and they can feel like they're safer, involve them, and manage your expectations of what you'll be able to do with children in tow.
 
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Pete Lane
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Coyotek4 wrote:

1) I'm considering volunteering, as I suspect it's the best use of my time and I wouldn't mind giving back (or getting a little back, to be fair). Can anyone shed some light on the volunteering process from a first-hand perspective?

2) I wouldn't mind running an 'event', but I'm in the dark about this as well. Are event tournament-based? Just for fun? Demos? Do I need multiple copies of a game I'm interested in? Again, does anyone have experience with this who can share?

3) How much lead time should I give in terms of reservations? (We'll be driving from the Philadelphia area.)

4) Any sort of 'puzzles' around? I remember those from my one other visit.

5) Do they still have poker?

6) My son will be 7 by then. Any suggestions for his experience?



1 & 2 - Volunteering is a slippery slope. I've gone to cons where I spent more time volunteering thinking "If no one wants to run the games I like, then I'LL run the games I like." Problem with this is that you spend most of the con "working" when it should be your vacation. one year I realised I had taken PTO to basically work a 40 hour work week in 4 days time. My body didn't like me so much after that.

If you DO volunteer, make sure it's small at first, and work your way up the chain as you feel comfortable. Running one or two events isn't the same as running a booth or playing gopher.

3 - I drove from Minneapolis. We reserved hotel the day of the hotel block being opened and we got a great spot in one of the Marriots. If I go back to Gen Con, I wouldn't do it any other way. That and you can rest at ease and not have to fight for the outer circle of hotels if you wait.

4 - The puzzles I saw were the "False Dungeon" and Cheese Weasel events. Like anything at Gen Con though, there was likely more than that I just didn't see because it wasn't on my radar. But even the program had puzzles.

5 - I never saw any, but that's not saying there isn't.

6 - Kids are all around, and I saw many families this year. Just make sure you take breaks and know they will be completely overwhelmed by all the craziness. Also, if you are concerned with "what he sees," there are plenty of scantily clad cosplayers.
 
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Kyle Seely
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stagger lee wrote:
Coyotek4 wrote:


4) Any sort of 'puzzles' around? I remember those from my one other visit.



4 - The puzzles I saw were the "False Dungeon" and Cheese Weasel events. Like anything at Gen Con though, there was likely more than that I just didn't see because it wasn't on my radar. But even the program had puzzles.



Don't forget about Puzzle Quest. Their booth is usually right around the corner from the Will Call area. Basically, you search the convetion center for puzzle clues, then use them to solve the overall puzzle- so there's a little bit of a scavenger hunt aspect involved. That's the "quest" part, I guess. Some of my friends do this every year, and the puzzles are apparently quite challenging.
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Chris Funk
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stagger lee wrote:
6 - Kids are all around, and I saw many families this year. Just make sure you take breaks and know they will be completely overwhelmed by all the craziness. Also, if you are concerned with "what he sees," there are plenty of scantily clad cosplayers.


I was more worried this year by the fully clothed cosplayers. There was one gent in a Pikachu outfit that had skin tight yellow spandex pants, enough to almost tell his religion. Some things cannot be unseen...

Also, saw far more cleavage from corsets than scantily clad.
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Brian Smith
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I, likewise, am planning to go to gencon 2013 (this year was not an option) and have some questions as well.

My wife has stated that what she wants in a hotel is that she wants one that is attached. I was originally planning to book a hotel room on my own, outside of the gen con block, but this seems like it would cost a lot more, as the hotels increase the price of their rooms for those dates.

1. If I book as part of the block, how likely will it be that I get my first choice, if I book as close to the opening of the block that I can? (for me, that's the embassy suites)

2. If I book as part of the block, can I also book if I check in the day before the con, and out the day after? (so check in wednesday, check out Monday)

Any help you can provide would be appreciated.
 
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Pete Lane
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Yeah you can work with the travel group to make sure you can get in and out on the days you want. They are very flexible and nice to work with. You can also change your reservations once everything is "locked" up to a month before the Convention. It looked like we might have had 2 additional people in our room, and I was in contact with them as early as end of July.

As for attached hotels, I would say this is the best way to go. I have foot problems and I've stayed at the Omni most years I've gone. This year I was in the "non-JW" Marriot and it was amazing how much of a difference it made to me. Esp if the weather is bad or hot, you'll dread those slogs too and from the hotel. This year there was a fairly heavy rain storm and I felt down right dirty watching the people skittering on the sidewalk while I had the skyway.
 
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Chris Funk
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I was at the Omni this year and really enjoyed it. That rain storm actually felt pretty good to me after a day in the halls.
 
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marimacc .
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I don't think anyone yet answered your question about running events.

It's amazingly simply to run an event. Anyone can; you simply submit it at registration.gencon.com. You can run enough events to get badge credit, or just one for fun; you need just one copy of the board game, if you are running a board game; if you are doing an RPG, people often,but not always, have pregens ready for those events, just in the interest of time.

I recommend you download the Event Host Policy in the downloads section of the Gen Con Forums, at community.gencon.com; that will give you all the info you need to run an event. And please feel free to post in the Gen Con forums if you have any further questions or concerns;we love to help newbies there.
 
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Victoria Osborne
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GenCon, like every other con, always needs volunteers willing to host games. the highest demand are people that can run war games, followed by rpgs especially if you are willing to do pathfinders. If you are a DCI sanctioned judge or a judge that is sanctioned by another tournament circuit consider volunteering for those events.

When you host your own boardgame take precautions to protect your things even if you do not normally sleeve use penny sleeves. if you are running a complext game with lots of pieces set them up in advance in planko boxes or whatever....you will have an easier time, and read the read read the rules read the rules. if you are running with several expansions make a three ring binder of your rules and a good index on the binder to find the rules right away. YOu will need em.

I love to run games at cons but it can be exhausting. Start small, but firest teach at a local game day etc...so you can learn how to run a game when you do not have 1000 screaming fans of boardgames watching your ever single move.
 
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Robin Breeden
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First and main advice go to the Gencon Forums. Gencon.com to get your questions answered thre are a lot of people there with a deep ammount of gencon experience.
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Pete Lane
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RBree wrote:
First and main advice go to the Gencon Forums. Gencon.com to get your questions answered thre are a lot of people there with a deep ammount of gencon experience.


I agree 100%. I've been several times and there is always some aspect that I knew nothing about. Those forums were amazingly helpful for that reason.
 
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Josh Walton
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Does anyone know about when they start reserving for the official Gen Con block of hotels? I was looking today and you can reserve hotels in general but I'd rather wait until you can do it officially for Gen Con.
 
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toliveischrist77 wrote:
Does anyone know about when they start reserving for the official Gen Con block of hotels? I was looking today and you can reserve hotels in general but I'd rather wait until you can do it officially for Gen Con.


January
 
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