Indianapolis, IN
August 13-16, 2009
Story and Photos by Chris "Darth" Spice

 

TRULY A GAMER'S PARADISE!
Gen Con Indy is a non-stop place for gaming action - RPGs, TCGs, Miniatures, Board and Electronic Games. Over 5,000 events and hundreds of world-class exhibitors gather here once a year for fun, fun, fun.

Gen Con Indy is the original, longest running, best attended, gaming convention in the world. For over 40 years, Gen Con Indy has been setting the trend and breaking records. Last year, more than 28,000 unique attendees experienced Gen Con Indy. The biggest complaint we hear is that there is simply too much to do, see, and experience. Get lost in a phantasm of art exhibits. Stare at jaw-dropping costumes, or better yet, wear one of your own. Meet the movers and the shakers in the gaming industry. Check out the newest games and get a sneak peek at the latest editions.

Trade day at Gen Con is a special opportunity for retailers, publishers, and other industry participants to discuss the business of games and preview new and upcoming products. It also provides a forum for participants to share strategies for using games in educational endeavors. Trade day takes place the day before the opening of the expo hall and general gaming events.

If you are a Star Wars fan and who isn’t? Meet up with the local 501st Bloodfin Garrison and the Rebel Legion’s Mos Espa Base! You can talk to them about Star Wars! Get your picture with many of them who are in costume and more!
Just geek out and debate with them why Jar Jar Binks is a most important and underappreciated character.

Also stop by the Indy Knights booth. The Indy Knights are Indianapolis’ Star Wars fan based group. They have book clubs, fan writing, Imperial Remnant their gaming group and more. Why not check them out at http://www.indyknights.com.

Brought the whole family? Not a problem. Families are one of Gen Con’s top priorities. The Family Fun Pavilion is an area dedicated to family gaming for all ages. It includes exhibits, demonstrations, activities and much more! Some of the exhibitors include Out of the Box, SimplyFun, North Star Games, Regal Cinemas, Herobits and The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Oh and Face Painting will be offered in this area during the duration of the weekend.

Someone with you being bad or you just want to get rid of them for a short while? For a small fee why not throw them into the jail and bail? You can lock up one of your friends or family. Just be cautious, you might end up there as well. Unfortunately I did not see the jail and bail but if I did I would have thrown some pesky gamers in there.

This is only the tip of the iceberg or should I say die? There is anime, art shows, films, auctions, charities, dances, miniatures, music and just so much more. I just cannot list them all here since every turn of the hallway in every room there is something going on.

Blood Drive. I am a huge supporter of Blood Drives. As you may know back in 1989 I was in a terrible car accident where I lost a lot of blood, someone who donated his or her blood saved my life. Each year the Indiana Blood Center and the Robert Heinlein Society, together with Gen Con, sponsors a blood drive. Reasons to Give. Do you need a reason? Just remember when you donate you will have someone’s undying gratitude. * Must be 17 years old to donate. 16 year olds can donate with parent permission. *Bring Photo ID.

I attended Gen Con Indy as I do every year, you have to support your local conventions to keep them coming back. Due to the healing of my recent knee surgery I was not able to get around as much as I would have liked. I walked the halls and various rooms to see what was on display and what was going. There are always lots of fun things to look at and in all honesty in the hallways is the best chance for you to see many of the costumes that people tend to wear.

I went into my favorite area, the vendors’ room. Here you can find just about anything you are looking for from gaming pieces, games, t-shirts, clothing, puzzles, toys, various odds and ends to some really fascinating artwork and so much more. It is neat to see many of the upcoming games and to actually participate in demos. With a lot of the demos you usually get a free gift that goes to that game just for trying it out.

Of course I always visit Wizards of the Coast LLC, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and the leader in entertaining the lifestyle gamer. Showing off its latest offerings this year from Dungeons & Dragons to Magic: The Gathering.

D&D players and fans are invited to experience the gaming area of the Sagamore Ballroom, featuring adventure opportunities previewing upcoming races, classes and monsters. Also see the latest additions to the D&D Insider, the online game-enhancement portal, offering demos and trial opportunities.

OK! Have I geeked out enough for you? Probably not if you have been reading this. Though I am not a hard core gamer I do respect and enjoy what goes on in the gamer’s world. Participating in some demos and seeing what goes on is actually fun. Who knows maybe one day I will become a full fledge gamer.

I meet up with my fellow brethren from the 501st Bloodfin Garrison and Rebel Legion’s Mos Espa Base. Today they wanted to get a group photo of everyone in their costume. Unfortunately due to my recent surgery I am not able to don any of my armor from my Stormtrooper, Sandtrooper, Black Hole Stormtrooper or Snowtrooper. I am currently working on and about to finish my Rebel Fleet Trooper outfit so yes this Imperial has or is about to join the Rebels. So shoot me. Oh wait you can’t. As I know Stormtroopers cannot hit the broad side of a Jawa Sandcrawler.

After I walked around the vendors’ area I walked around the convention center and peeked into the various rooms where just about anything you could imagine was going on. I got to talk with many people about the various games they were playing and got to partake in a few games myself. It was a lot of fun and very informative. I can say I am getting to really like the miniature games. Not only are the miniature neat to look at it makes the gaming experience come to life, almost 3D if you will.

Overall Gen Con as usual was outstanding. Lots to see and do 24/4. Just remember what happens at Gen Con does not necessarily stay at Gen Con. Just because an ork and a elf are skipping around holding hands to a Stormtrooper getting along with a Pokemon all the way to a troll batteling for his life in a dungeon being chased by one eye aliens does not mean it will not get out there into the real world. Remember someone is always watching and there is always someone around with a video camera phone.

Hope you all had fun this weekend and see you next year!

PHOTO GALLERY
To see the photo gallery containing 60 photos click here.