If you want to have fun over a four-day weekend, or any part of it, GenCon is a pretty good way to spend your time. Now in its 32nd year (it started in 1967) and celebrating the 25th anniversary of fantasy game giant TSR as well, the convention will have everything that anyone could look for in a convention. Live action roleplaying, traditional D&D and similar spinoffs, computer games, card games (Magic anyone?), as well as celebrity appearances and costume contests, leave enough for anyone to arrive and find something they like.
Must-see/do events for Thursday are:
Pre-Registration/Registration -- opening at 6 AM and 7 AM respectively, these two are HOT events (wonder why? *wink*). Play the ever-fun game of standing in line a lot, and make a few friends on the way through. Bring a cheery smile, hearty enthusiasm, and of course get there early to minimize the fuss. If you really want to skip this, there is pre-event pickup from noon till 10 PM on Wednesday, August 4th.
Face it -- Thursday is your day to scout the convention and find out what works for you. The best places to go today are the exhibitors' floor (opening at 10 AM) for those early-convention items that you won't be able to buy the rest of the convention, the various small game exhibitions (if you have time, stop by The Space Game -- I tried it two years ago and had a pretty fun time), and the large game manufacturers' areas to check out the newest in RPG's, board games, computer games, and perhaps the next expansion to your favorite CCG. If you get bored, try the Anime Pavilion -- if you don't mind watching cartoons, this is a great way to kill some time waiting for your next event, and they ALWAYS have good stuff showing.
Where I'll be:
6 - 7:00 AM: Getting into the convention, same as everybody else.
7-10:00 AM: Walking around, taking in the sites, and hopefully figuring out where everything has been placed this year.
10-1:00 AM: On the Exhibitor's floor, taking in the sites and talking to the people. I'll be bringing back news for everybody.
1:00 AM: Press Conference. Sorry, guys, I'll be absent from the main stuff while this goes on.
After: Who knows? I'll be going around, hopefully getting the Anime Pavilion's tentative schedules, and seeing what I can find in the way of pickup games. When I get home I'll give you guys what juicy details I can, and also my schedule for Friday.
ADDITIONAL: Wednesday: Went to the pre-event pickup session, to get my tickets. I arrived to find a scene of chaos -- not surprising considering the number of people who wanted to get ahead of tomorrow's lines. The staff were all very helpful, and apologetic about the confusion. If you registered online, be prepared to wait through a line -- a lot of the receipts bounced when Wizards ran them, and even if you have a confirmation letter your tickets may not be printed. You can pay there, and if you end up double -charged they WILL do everything in their power, and some beyond if necessary, to make things right. The big test will be tomorrow when instead of hundreds there are _thousands_ of people involved in the opening games of jumping the paperwork hurdles, and preventing the annual rushing of the exhibit hall doors at 9:59:59 AM :)
On to Day One! -->