There are quite a many things that come once a year: tax season, Christmas, and your birthday just to name a few. While each of these things is enjoyable on their own, there’s one more annual event that happens that I personally look forward to above others – that’s Gen Con. We’ve covered many Gen Con events here at GamerFront, but since I’ve been writing about it I wanted to cover some general information about the event for first-timers and those who know little about it. The convention is two weeks away, so what better way to kick off your excitement than with a highlights article, am I right?
Gen Con is a tabletop/TCG/miniatures/video gaming convention that is held in Indianapolis, IN every year. It’s the original, longest running, best attended gaming convention in the world. The convention has been running for over 44 years, and it’s been setting the trend for modern gaming events everywhere. Last year alone the convention saw over 120,000 people in attendance, which set a record in and of itself. The convention center plays host to over 8,500 gaming events during the con, where attendees get the opportunity to lay eyes on the newest games, pick up rare collectibles, and grab a sneak peek at the latest gaming editions.
Each year Gen Con blows its attendees away with tons of content, gaming, and events to participate in and this year will be no different. Events this year include the brand new Future of Dungeons & Dragons Keynote, the debut of Star Trek Catan, the first ever World Magic Cup for Magic: The Gathering, and more than 45 all-new games for attendees to check out. True Dungeon, the epic floor-to-ceiling dungeon experience will be back at Gen Con this year, this time bigger than ever. Players can experience actual dungeon-crawling in this 45,000 square feet dungeon setting complete with its own NPC town. One of the best things about Gen Con 2012 this year, for the over-21 attendees, will be the new Sun King Brewing’s Ale of Destiny Tapping Party. Gen Con held a contest for fans to name the company’s new brew, and they’re celebrating the release of Gen Con’s official beer! There will also be special guests making an appearance, such as Will Wheaton and Nichelle Nichols. And let’s not forget the opportunity to cosplay! Some of the best cosplays I’ve seen have been from Gen Con.
With all that going on, it’s not to say that family fun has been left out. There’s a special Family Fun Pavilion which is dedicated to family play. There will be exhibits, activities and much more for parents and children to engage in. One thing that I find very cool is that there will be something called Training Grounds in the Pavilion. This exhibit is specifically designed for children age 4-12 years to help introduce them into the world of gaming and its vast possibilities. For the final day of the convention there will be a Family Fun Day. During this time there will be activities designated specifically for family involvement, including face-painting and learn-to-play events.
There’s literally something for everyone at Gen Con. You can browse the immense Artist Alley and pick up special prints, check out demos of new games, and let your nerd hang out. This year is shaping up to be the best yet and I simply can’t wait to make the trip. We’ll all be in attendance running around and covering things, so look out for us and say hello when you spot us! There will be a dancing ball as well as a zombie walk talking place during the event, so if you’ve got the itch to join a group it’s right up your alley. You can check out demo games that will be setup throughout the convention halls, and you’ll find plenty of places to just sit down and game it up. It’s great when you’ve been walking around all day!
Honestly if I could only make it to one convention per year, Gen Con is the one I’d choose. If you’re interested in attending, the con takes place from August 16th – August 19th, which is right around the corner. You can purchase a 4-day badge for $80, a 1-day badge for $50, and if you come on Sunday the 19th you can pick up a $40 badge for a family of four.
If you’re a gamer, a family of gamers, a cosplayer, or all-around nerd enthusiast, come on out to Gen Con 2012. It’s the best four days in gaming, hands down! For more information on the con, or to purchase a badge, head to its official website. We’ll see you there!