Much to my excitement, Convention season seems around the corner. Geeks of all sorts flock to their own little worlds to meet people just like them. There’s always a little something for everyone, where they form bonds and enjoy the fact that while at home, they are lonely, but now they have 3000+ people who have the same interests. No doubt these people bond with each other because unlike in their normal lives, people here get it.
In October, we have Blizz-con. Every year I stream it, because $50 to watch it seems much easier to swallow than the obscene cost of actually attending it for 3 days. I never understand why I watch it. Sure, the pet is cool enough, but the emotions I have watching it infuriates me. Oh look, a new expansion to the game! Exciting! New things… oh and then they ruin it. Oh Diablo III, everyone wants to play that. Three years, and it’s still not done? Suddenly, I’m not so excited. Then, the next year, I watch it again. That has become my guilty pleasure and my vicious cycle of gaming cons.
The highlight of this for me is springtime in Boston to attend Pax East. At first, I’ll admit I didn’t want to go. This was my husband’s thing. I’m not a hardcore gamer, I didn’t think this would be something I’d want to do. Plus, there’s that whole “I’m surrounded by people thing”, which I’m not so cool with. It meant a lot to him, so off we went. Walking from booth to booth, I didn’t get it. I took in all the sights, and I felt more out-of-place than I ever thought I could. Then I saw the classic console room, and that’s when I started to have fun. It hit me that this place wasn’t just for people whose lives revolve around Magic or DnD, it was also for people like me. The best part was, everyone felt like they had a place there. When Sunday rolled around, I didn’t want to go back. But I’m sure other attendees felt the same. I’d also note, I bet my husband regrets this because now I’m really into games of all sorts; not just Warcraft and Sims.
The following year, I went in more “gamer”. I realized a love for board games like Last Night on Earth and The Game of Thrones, and a continued love for assorted other games. Additionally, after the previous year, I started reading Penny Arcade more religiously and watched every episode of PATV. Toss that in with having more friends attend with you, it was a blast. We also found new areas we missed last year, including an area to free play board games and card games. We also ended up with a list of games we couldn’t wait for their released and a few new games to play when we got home. The concerts also never fail to please, with my personal favorites of Video Game Orchestra and Jonathan Coulton. Last year was the most fun I had experienced
in a long time.
This year, like many other people, I’m counting down until they’re back in Boston and preparing for another incredible weekend. Attending a convention about things you love with other people who love the same things, makes you feel like you’re part of a culture, and not some loner who likes to read fantasy books and play games endlessly in your spare time. In fact while you spend half your time hiding the fact you love Magic, or that you’re the Game Master of your group, you are with other people who hide it too! Imagine that.