Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Games on Demand: GenCon vs. NeonCon

A few years ago, a visit to GenCon's Games on Demand area blew me away.
  • Playing when I wanted, no scheduling or signups necessary.
  • Playing what I wanted, small press games that don't get the usual convention love.
  • A stable of willing and excited GM volunteers waiting for me.
  • A donated pile of books, dice, and everything else needed to play.
  • A 'library' of small press games to choose from.
  • Even a promise to sit down and figure out any game I brought.
  • The unprecedented opportunity to 'window shop' rpgs. "Looks interesting... let's play!"
I worked hard to emulate the concept at NeonCon 2009 and I think I did pretty fucking well. I had 5 or so volunteers to help run the tables. We ran 19 sessions and 16 different games. We played everything from Hunter: the Vigil to Dogs in the Vineyard, anything that wasn't getting the love it deserved from the RPGA and other scheduled gaming.

Strangely enough, during my entire visit, the Games on Demand offering at GenCon 2010 was disappointing as hell.
  • No sign-age, no markings, no greeters, no indication of being in the right place.
  • No excited and available GMs to accept me and my fellow willing gamers.
  • No visible library of games to peruse or flip through while waiting for an available GM.
  • No obvious way to get involved, call 'dibs' on the next game, or anything.
What did it have? I'm glad you asked...
  • An Apocalypse World book was the only indication that it wasn't another RPGA event.
  • Eight or so tables, all full, all happily mid-game, all oblivious to passers-by (me).
What does this all mean? I'm I just bitching about a crappy con experience? Not at all kids. What it means is that Games on Demand at NeonCon 2010 will rock that much harder than it did last year! I had a blast last year and I learned a lot about running a good event. I saw piss poor execution at GenCon this year and I learned even more about running a good event.

I'll keep you posted and I'll see you at NeonCon!

1 comment:

  1. Jarvis did a rocking job for us last year and I am stoked to see what he puts together for us in 2010!


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