August 4-7, 2011
Photos &
Story by: David Syczylo a.k.a Boba Binks

 

AFTER ALL THESE YEARS, STILL IN THE GAME!
Well it is that time of year that is right you guessed it GenCon Indy 2011 is here. Let's first start off with the changes to the GenCon venue this year. As many may know the Indianapolis Convention Center had a major makeover and expanded it to double the original size. For those of you who have visited Indianapolis for Celebration II or III or for some other convention know that the Indianapolis Convention Center was large but now it is much larger. So what does this mean for GenCon and future conventions that come to Indianapolis? Only one thing, room and lots of it. 

Along with the plethora of room at the convention center the surrounding hotels and even Union Station have something going on with GenCon pretty much 24-7 for the four days that GenCon is in town. Even the restaurants were getting in on the action with specials and free giveaways such as game pieces, dice and more.

Ok, so though I am not an official staff member of Sandtroopers any longer I thought it was only fair and honest that I provide you all with my report for GenCon since I acquired a press badge under the credential. After I picked up my badge I wondered around the convention center just to get a feel of the new layout and more. Every room and I mean every room in the convention center had something going on from the gaming community. There were games going on from all ends of the gaming community; dice, card, rpg, larp (live action role playing), miniatures, board, video, arcade, ect. Remember that GenCon is family friendly but to cater to the adults at night there was evening entertainment besides the gaming going on from hentai, yaoi, burlesque shows, parties and more. Advertising is thrown at you from all directions for some nighttime fun no matter who you are or what you may into.

One thing that was lacking this year was the celebrity guests and an autograph hall. Not sure why GenCon has omitted this for there were many people mad that no celebrity guests were in attendance this year. But if you were lucky enough you might have run into Ron Jeremy (yes that Ron Jeremy) who is a hardcore gamer and attends GenCon every year. Also if you are into d-rated films Troma was set up (most know for the Toxic Avenger movies) and the legendary Lloyd Kauffman the founder of Troma was there with his crew. Lloyd is a great person and friend who has given me some great advice for life. 

This year I made it my intention to delve more into the world of gaming and partake in more demos. I want to thank the people from Lego, Pathfinder, Magic, World Of Warcraft, Star Wars gaming, and many more that allowed me to try out their gaming products and partake in various demos. I can say that most of the gaming stuff is over my head I did enjoy learning about some of it and how passionate people are with their gaming. It is another subculture of life that is strong and I see no end to it soon.

Besides games there were auctions, movies, anime, costumes, massages and one of my favorites the vendors hall that was doubled in size this year due to the expansion of the convention center. Anything you could think of in the world of gaming is in this hall from books, toys, miniatures, art, costumes, fandom and much more.

As I decided to take in all that I could this year I stayed around after the main halls closed down for the evening and wondering around checking in on the halls that were still open for the late night gamers, movies, anime, ect. I even attended one of the late night parties / raves that are very popular with this community of people. 

Like to thank Liz and her group of gaming friends who welcomed me into their late night group as we played a card game or two and hung out late at night being the geeks and nerds that we are who attend GenCon in the spirit of having fun. 

I sat and watched a few independent movies one in which I worked on "My Name Is Leah NOT Leia" which got many laughs for it pokes fun at a girl who grew up in the Star Wars age and her name basically has haunted her whole life. 

I ran into some of my furry / anime friends and this year I was honored with receiving my anime cat ears and long tail. Not all furrys are like what you have seen on CSI or True Life. Those two shows have given furry's a negative stereotype we are not all furverts. Most of us are normal as normal can be, it is no different than dressing up in Stormtrooper armor and attending a convention. 

Then of course there are the costumes. Costumes from every type of game, sci-fi, and horror to original creations are at GenCon. This is my other favorite guilty pleasure of GenCon is seeing all the costumes from the bathrobe Jedi to the full spent a year's income on the most creative and impressive to costumes. Of course my local 501st Bloodfin Garrison and Rebel Legion's MosEspa Base were packing the plastic to bring the Star Wars presence to GenCon as they do every year. 

GenCon is growing ever year and this year was much larger than previous years. . It was estimated by a news article I read on Saturday that GenCon was going to have around 100,000 people in attendance for the weekend. If you are or not into gaming there is something for you to explore at GenCon. Like most conventions everybody gets along and are very welcoming. Everyone is at GenCon to have a good time and it shows.

PHOTO GALLERY
To see the photo gallery containing 86 photos click here.