OK, I’m back. Road of Kings is out there and doing well, and I think I can breathe now and think about other things. Time to get this blog back on track.
I want to talk about GenCon. I was not able to go to GenCon last year due to moving, and again this year I won’t make it for various reasons. That said, I do still keep an eye on things, and anyone reading this blog will know I’ve posted several times about the growth trend it’s been experiencing for the past several years. Now, however, it’s getting a bit ridiculous.
Housing for GenCon sold out this year in less than a day. According to the email:
To put this in timing perspective, last year, open rooms existed in the block through March 18. In 2013, housing took seven weeks to ultimately sell out. This year’s sellout of rooms with three or more consecutive nights happened in less than three hours with all other rooms selling out quickly thereafter.
Coincidentally, last Thursday’s Big Bang Theory featured a plot whereby the main characters try and fail to buy tickets to the San Diego ComicCon. Four guys sit poised over laptops timing the moment tickets go on sale, then rapidly start refreshing their browsers trying to get into the system’s queue to buy tickets. Yup, for the past several years, that sounds exactly like my experience with GenCon’s housing and event registration systems.
To be honest, I’m kind of scared by this trend. Is it a bubble, and will it pop? If not, will the experience of going to this convention worsen as it continues to bloat and become impossible to get into anything? Will this flood of interest spill over into smaller local conventions, and if so what effect will that have?
In Big Bang, Sheldon decides to try and start his own competing convention. I’m already there my friends, I’ve been running a small local convention for a close group of friends now in it’s 7th year — HelgaCon. To be honest, these days I’m way more excited about HelgaCon than any of the other conventions I attend. It combines the joy of playing games with the pleasure of seeing old friends I haven’t seen in a long time. There’s no dramatic rush to get housing or sign up for events, and the best thing is, none of the games ever suck.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward next year to finally getting back to GenCon, assuming I can get in. This year though, I’m sure I’ll still get plenty of good gaming in, and I’m kind of glad to not be spending two Saturday afternoons sitting at my desk hitting the refresh button over and over.