My adventures at GenCon all started in 1977.
The previous years, the local group was introduced to tabletop roleplaying games. In 1977, several of the local players decided to attend the big convention in Lake Geneva, the home of TSR, the company that published Dungeons and Dragons. It was held at the Lake Geneva Playboy Club, with a sidetrip to the Horticulture Hall for the D&D tournament, the site of previous GenCons.
It was a blast.
It was also pretty small, compared to what it would grow into, but for my first gaming convention, it was pretty impressive. I got to play a demo game of ‘Empire of the Petal Throne’ with its creator, M. A. R. Barker, on Sunday, and watched a lot of people sitting in the halls playing OGRE.
The following year I was busy with college and didn’t attend: I wish I knew then what I know now and found some way to attend, as the following year I went again, and I have attended every year since. I followed GenCon from the Playboy Club in Lake Geneva to the University of Wisconsin / Parkside campus to MECCA and the Midwest Center in Milwaukee and now to the convention center in downtown Indianapolis. Along the way I made many friends among the gaming and writing professionals and the talented gamemasters, volunteers and others who make GenCon the experience it is.
For many years after, I would write up my adventures and experiences at the convention. When I created my own website, I went back to my old files, dusted off the writeups and photographs, and can now present them here.