For those not in the know, here is a brief description of what, exactly, GenCon is;
It is a 4 day gaming convention, currently held in the hear of Indianapolis. Board games, card games, role playing games, both table top and live (LARP) are available for purchase and play-testing. All accessories required or wanted, as well as related apparel and knickknacks, can be found on the vendor floor, and several groups organize games of each category on an impressive scale. Guest artists and authors are present, and as with any type of remotely geeky convention, an ocean of cosplayers.
Last year, I had the privilege of attending as a Storyteller for an established group of LARPers. This year, I vaguely thought about returning as a player and actual con-goer. As a Storyteller, you don`t really get to enjoy much of the con. Your time is 95% claimed for the game you are running. Since this was a momentous year for the con, 50th year running, I got the brilliant idea of applying for a press badge. I thought this would be a great way to discover the con and interview some amazing guests and game developers.
Now I am by no means a professional journalist. I am a simple blogger, and an inconsistent one at that. But I did get approved for a media pass. Huzzah! As soon as I had confirmation, I began looking through the events listed and the attending guest list. I was getting ready for interviews and a full coverage of what the con can offer the modern geek, when I all of a sudden came to understand the limitations of my press badge.
Now bear with me, there is a bit of negative I need to get through before getting to the good stuff. It is not terrible, and will be over shortly, I promise.
I had full access to the vendor floor, as well as all free events available to con attendees. The thing is… All the events I was interested in required the purchase of additional event tickets. Sure, the prices were reasonable, but to a person on a very limited personal budget like myself, it is simply impossible. I had already purchased tickets to a 3 night LARP, and it added up to $42 USD. So I decided to simply enjoy that one event, and see who I could interview.
I was quickly informed that no one would be facilitating interviews on our behalf, so any and all appointments with guests would need to be arranged by myself. Okay, no problem. Wait. There is absolutely no contact information for any of the guests I wish to interview. No PR link, nothing! Gah! And what`s this? I am getting bombarded with emails from vendors and PR companies, extending invitations to me to sample their game and write about them.
Alright, so it seems I had to change my approach on how I would be covering this event.
This is not something I`ve ever encountered. But I get it. This is the place for game developers, Kickstarter games included, to get noticed and essentially get their game out there. I accepted this badge, and I am resolved to find a way to make it work. So I wrote back to two companies and accepted their invitation. The two companies I felt would appeal to me as a consumer. I made appointments to test their games and conduct a short interview with each of them, and I picked two drastically different games.
This week I`ll be writing about;
My play test with Morning`s latest card game Kill the Unicorns, and the details of their upcoming Kickstarter for it.
MetaArcade`s new RPG on mobile Tunnels & Trolls, with new art from veteran gamer artist Liz Danforth, and omg you guys I got to interview her.
My chat with legendary artist Liz Danforth! Guys I fangirled so hard. I only embarrassed myself a little bit, surprising I know.
Urban Myth`s 3 night LARP! This game is so next level it`s not even funny.
Lastly, my road trip to GenCon 50 with 7 other Canadians and 2 Americans, as well as my general con experience!