The Convention Gaming Experience

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Joe
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The Convention Gaming Experience

Post by Joe »

I have never attended a game convention...ever.

I look at the pictures and it looks like some fun but...

I can't imagine having the type of quality immersive game one could have at home.
I imagine the buzz of crowds, being distracted by girls in skimpy outfits and people in other costumes and garb.
People walking over to watch you playing...and the usual din of noise from crowds. (Though dragon con sounds worth going just for the sake of lechery if nothing else)

I would imagine for me to have the fun one would want I would have to resign myself to just enjoying the con scene and not expect too deep of games. Though I expect smaller cons would be less hectic.

But you guys that have attended cons can either confirm or correct my suspicions.

If I were to go to a con for the first time what should I expect?
Would you suggest a smaller con to get my feet wet or should I jump into a big one?

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Omote
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Re: The Convention Gaming Experience

Post by Omote »

It really depends upon the con, but if you are playing a tabletop RPG, expect little chance of immersive roleplaying. The opportunities to roleplay with different people and GMs are better, and that alone is a fun experience that I would willingly sacrifice deep roleplay for. Larger conventions would generally exacerbate the issues of background noise and other general distractions in most cases.

As for your first convention experience, that also depends on you. As you probably well know, conventions like GenCon that attract 20,000+ people are a whole different type of con experience. Here there is a constant energy at all hours, but at the expense of intimacy. You are part of a machine at GenCon, buying, walking, and playing as many games as possible. While some find this counter intuitive to the RPG experience, I find this exhilarating. At GenCon for example, there is always something to do as long as you are willing to put in the effort to look for that something. Not only do you have, perhaps, ten thousand games over the course of a few days, there are probably thousands of games not officially part of GenCon, but certainly part of the GenCon experience.

Small cons may cut down on the frantic nature of larger cons and may provide a deeper gaming experience. While there are some small cons I love, I find that smaller cons often enough have too much “dead time.” Dead time is simply when nothing seems to be going on. The dealer’s area is closed, there are not that many games being played, and just not much to do (or to find to do) at certain hours. That being said, smaller cons are usually more friendly, and filled with parties or other gatherings of small numbers of people to just sit around, chat, get into small LARP games more easily, and is just more personable.

For small cons, it took me a while to find the ones I really like. Whereas with larger conventions (GenCon, Origins, DragonCon, etc) I generally like them all because of the sheer amount of things you can always do. Plus, with larger cons it is usually easier to meet people who share interest in the games you like. Small cons, this is obviously much harder.

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redwullf
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Re: The Convention Gaming Experience

Post by redwullf »

Omote wrote:It really depends upon the con, but if you are playing a tabletop RPG, expect little chance of immersive roleplaying. The opportunities to roleplay with different people and GMs are better, and that alone is a fun experience that I would willingly sacrifice deep roleplay for. Larger conventions would generally exacerbate the issues of background noise and other general distractions in most cases.

As for your first convention experience, that also depends on you. As you probably well know, conventions like GenCon that attract 20,000+ people are a whole different type of con experience. Here there is a constant energy at all hours, but at the expense of intimacy. You are part of a machine at GenCon, buying, walking, and playing as many games as possible. While some find this counter intuitive to the RPG experience, I find this exhilarating. At GenCon for example, there is always something to do as long as you are willing to put in the effort to look for that something. Not only do you have, perhaps, ten thousand games over the course of a few days, there are probably thousands of games not officially part of GenCon, but certainly part of the GenCon experience.

Small cons may cut down on the frantic nature of larger cons and may provide a deeper gaming experience. While there are some small cons I love, I find that smaller cons often enough have too much “dead time.” Dead time is simply when nothing seems to be going on. The dealer’s area is closed, there are not that many games being played, and just not much to do (or to find to do) at certain hours. That being said, smaller cons are usually more friendly, and filled with parties or other gatherings of small numbers of people to just sit around, chat, get into small LARP games more easily, and is just more personable.

For small cons, it took me a while to find the ones I really like. Whereas with larger conventions (GenCon, Origins, DragonCon, etc) I generally like them all because of the sheer amount of things you can always do. Plus, with larger cons it is usually easier to meet people who share interest in the games you like. Small cons, this is obviously much harder.

~O
Do you have any good links to track schedules for RPG conventions in general, so I can find them in my area?
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Omote
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Re: The Convention Gaming Experience

Post by Omote »

redwullf wrote:Do you have any good links to track schedules for RPG conventions in general, so I can find them in my area?
http://warhorn.net/

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Go0gleplex
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Re: The Convention Gaming Experience

Post by Go0gleplex »

I definitely find the smaller cons much more enjoyable...between 300-800 people provided they have obtained a space large enough to avoid cramming tables so close you can't hear your own GM as he runs your game. As Omote said, it's a lot more relaxed, you don't get as rushed around between events and there's enough people that you can find a pick-up game relatively easily.
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Joe
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Re: The Convention Gaming Experience

Post by Joe »

I have to say Omote excellent post!
I could visualize in my mind what you describe.
You also got me excited to experience both types!

I am wondering if I can put a spy cam on my shoes for dragon con though... :twisted:
Maybe mix it in a steampunk outfit. Not sure if that would get me arrested though. :o

I'm thinking for the sake of my nerves I should try a smaller one first.

But...

I don't want a lot of down time! I intend to bring my wife and want her first experience to be fun.

I was thinking maybe Gary con but the travel arrangements seem hokey there.
What are some of your favorite smaller events?

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