Matt Kinard
United States
Dallas
Texas
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So this was my second swing through BGG Con in the past three years (Last year was interrupted by the arrival of our second child…I love games, but not so much that I want to put my marriage and or life at risk), and much like my first time through, I was completely blown away by the experience.

I suppose I should start out by outlining a little bit of what I mean by “opportunistically hardcore”. Like I said, I love games, but I also love trains, and comic books, and my family, and my church, and my job, and the list goes on and on and on and on. I’m a man with a lot of responsibilities and hobbies, and as such, gaming time tends to take a backseat. The kids are still too small to really play much and my wife looks at me like I’m purple when I suggest that we pull out a game, so game time (at this point in my life) represents time apart from the family and its attendant responsibilities.

I look at those of you who are able to get together with gaming clubs and whatnot on a frequent basis with a great deal of envy, so when the opportunity to game like a gamer presents itself I tend to binge.

So back to the con…

I’m local and eschewed the hotel (more on that later), so I wheeled out to the con on Wednesday morning, expecting that I’d have to wait in line. There was some debate about hanging back and coming a bit later as to miss the line, but in the end, I’m glad I got there when I did. I really liked waiting in line. I’m one of those sorts of folks who enjoys the experience of things like this, and waiting in line for about an hour or so, talking to new folks, and just soaking it all in was a part of it.

After the line and the door prizes, the con basically worked like I remember it. The omnipresent “players needed” signs beckoned, and games were played. I thought Team Geek and the hotel did an amazing job putting the whole thing on. Everything I was a part of seemed to work like a well-oiled machine and I had an absolutely awesome time.
So in the spirit of many a church-camp evening home group, I present my “pows” and “wows” (or “woopies” and “poopies”)

Pows:
- Not getting a hotel room for at least a night. I think I mentioned this last time, but if you are a local and reading this thinking about BGG Con 20XX, I can’t suggest enough that you spring for a room at least one night. The Con is really at its prime between 10pm – 2am, and if you’re anything like me, a 2am drive back home is probably not the safest idea in the world. I stayed until 12:30 on Friday, and that was about as late as I could push it. I WILL GET A ROOM NEXT YEAR!! I WILL GET A ROOM NEXT YEAR!! I WILL GET A ROOM NEXT YEAR!!

- Being trapped at the airport – Again, this is pretty much a local’s issue, but it’s a hassle and a major time sink to get anywhere outside the airport for meals. This lead to my cadre of gamers grumpily settling for hotel food. Access to delivery pizza would have been a real plus. All in all, though, it’s a minor gripe.

- Saturday night only drawings – Unfortunately, I had to beg out of the big day of the con due to family commitments. Two years ago, there were smaller prize drawings every(ish) night of the con. I wish they’d do that again. That way those of us who can’t make it Saturday night at least have a chance to be a part of the fun of the draw.

- Not playing in the battling tops tourney – If you’ve seen the tourney, you know what I mean. I will rectify this next year.

Wows:
- Working the library – It was only for an hour, but I’m super glad I did this. It was a chance to see what folks were playing, and meet a few more new folks. It was also a chance to feel like you were “on the inside” at least for a bit. Very cool experience….

- Re-learning about what kind of gamer I am – Like I said earlier, I just don’t get to game as much as I like, and a consequence of that is that I’m something of a scattered gamer, I don’t ever really get to think hard about what I do and don’t like in games. The con gives you a chance to think about those things. I’ve learned that for me, games are a social thing, and if I’m not interacting with other players in meaningful and interesting ways, why bother?

- Fiasco – I know it’s not a “boardgame”, but man, who knew that playing a failure of a father buying a huckster’s avocado farm in Mesa, AZ with a hidden stash of illegal immigrants could be so much…FUN!

- Not burning out – I took it much easier this time around (last time I burned out after two days), there was lots of variety in my gaming, ranging from old favorites (Quarriors), to new ones that I loved (1969), to heavy ones I didn’t like so much (T’zolkin), and that helped to keep me fresh. I could have easily gone Saturday and Sunday (doing the “whole” con) and been happy as a clam.

- The people. I promise you, you will NEVER be around a happier, more open, inviting, friendly group of 2,000 people in your life. If you are on the fence about checking out BGG Con, the only answer is, YES!

So that’s it! Another BGG Con is in the books, and I have to say, it was an absolutely awesome weekend, and everyone involved in planning, attending, or otherwise participating should pat themselves on the back for being a part of something really really cool. Like I said, if you’re thinking about coming next time….if you’re on the fence….just do it, you’ll be glad you did!
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Digren K
United States
Austin
Texas
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Just a note, it was possible to order Papa John's pizza and have it delivered to the hotel, if you can stomach their offering. My wife and friends did it once last week.
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Peter Sarrett
United States
Redmond
Washington
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The front desk gave me two pizza delivery menus (neither of them Papa John's). I ordered from Il Fratelli's and was very satisfied. Thin crust, obviously hand-made, good toppings, and it arrived hot. Would order again next year.
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Sean Tompkins
United States
San Antonio
Texas
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Agreed - we asked the concierge for delivery options, and they had a lot to offer... the chinese food we ordered was affordable and each order had a TON of food.
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Donnie Clark
United States
Arlington
Texas
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As a first timer to this con, I agree that it was a great experience all around, and I should probably spring for a room on Friday or Saturday night. Just about everyone was awesome and friendly. The only grumble experience I had with the attendees was the pushy collectors elbowing their way to an exhibitor table fishing for freebies and handouts towards the end of the show. C'est la vie.
 
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Anne Freitas
United States
San Antonio
Texas
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No one expects the Anne-ish Inquisition!!
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seanp wrote:
Agreed - we asked the concierge for delivery options, and they had a lot to offer... the chinese food we ordered was affordable and each order had a TON of food.


I can second this. Fried rice for days.
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