GenCon is the biggest gaming convention in the world. Attendance dances in the 20K range. I’ve been attending since GenCon IX, and this was GenCon XXVII. Figure it out for yourself.
Instead of staying at one of the local hotels, I stayed with Paul, a old friend of mine in town. The long drive to and from the convention and the parking fees more than balances out the high hotel room prices.
One of the things I like about GenCon is that I meet a lot of friends there that I don’t have the chance to do any where else. This includes old fan friends like Van Seigling, a number of GEnie people including Mike Stackpole, Liz Danforth, and David Honigsberg; my fellow contributors from the gaming APA Alarums & Excursions Spike Y Jones, Mary Chriest Jones, and “Doc” Cross; fellow Amber DRP people Erick Wujcik, Carol Dodd, and Mike and Felicia Sutton; artists Phil and Kaja Foglio, Heather Bruton, Diana Stein, Pamela Shanteau, Susan van Camp, and Ruth Thompson; and just a lot of people in the industry that I’ve met as a long-time gamer over the years, like Jeff Grubb (my dungeonmaster from when I was back in college) and Nick Pollata.
This year, as I have done in years past, I signed up to run game events at GenCon. However, this year I signed up to run three events in three different systems: Amber, Fantasy Hero, and Vampire: the Masquerade. I spent weeks before the convention getting the character sheets prepared, working on the scenarios, etc. Thus I was a little annoyed when, out of a maximum of 20 players, only 14 pre-registered, only 4 showed up ultimately.