Here it is folks. This will be the last Gen Con is coming article prior to the Con, as it starts this coming Thursday! Over the previous three posts I have discussed many of the wonderful things I have done at past Gen Cons, as well as challenges that have been overcome in the pursuit of gaming nirvana. However, in this final installment before Gen Con 2012, I will share, among other things, a cautionary tale about the dangers of loving something too much!
Ghost of Gen Con Past…
Can it be true? Is it possible to love something so much that it can lead to detrimental side effects or poor decision-making? When European colonists first discovered Niagara Falls, it is said to have inspired such awe, that some were drawn to their deaths by what was described as its,”sublime beauty.” They were simply overcome by the magnificence of what they were experiencing and would wander too close to the rushing torrent of water, only to be dragged in to the falls and down into a watery grave. It is uch like the urge to stick your finger into a fan, except on an exponentially greater scale. I once tempted fate in a such a manner while attending Gen Con 07 by proposing a plan that would come to be known as “Operation Saturnday.”
It began simply enough. I came to the realization that sleep was getting in the way of time that could be spent gaming at Gen Con, and that by cutting this “unneeded” activity out of our schedule we would gain several extra hours. I know. It was pure genius! We (Kris Hublar, Nick Garwood, Adam Pressnell, and myself) decided the best time to put our new strategy into effect would be Saturday night leading into Sunday. Given that Sunday is a short day at Gen Con, it was hypothesized that by staying all night without sleep, and gaming on through until about 4pm, we would reap the greatest increase in play time. We would effectively be combining Saturday and Sunday into one and thus creating Saturnday!
This idea was working great until about 4 A.M. in the morning Sunday or 2800 Saturnday. Back in those days there was almost nothing running at Gen Con after about two in the morning, and so we were hanging out in the Dungeons and Dragons Game Room playing Vs, (A superhero ccg) as we patiently awaited the morning rush. It was around 4 A.M. (2800 Saturnday) that Hub’s (Kris Hublar) resolve started to weaken. Hub may be the strongest “Human Being” that I have ever known, but when the whining starts it does not stop. He started looking around for places to catch a few hours of sleep, but everywhere that he laid down a janitor or security guard would find him and send him back to us. As he could not get any rest, the whining intensified and began to degrade our morale. Around 5 A.M., Sunday morning (2900 Saturnday) we started fraying around the edges. Vs did not sound fun anymore and we were getting anxious for morning to arrive. It was decided that some food and coffee would right this ship, and so we headed off to the Steak and Shake for some grub. This turned out to be a terrible error in judgement. We finished our meal and headed back to the convention center around 6 A.M.Sunday (3000 Saturnday) feeling a little fresher from the coffee with a whining Hub in tow. During our return journey we came upon an area in the convention center where there were people sleeping in large comfy looking chairs and some seats were available. This sight, mixed with the onset of post meal drowsiness and extreme exhaustion was too much for us to bear. We agreed that it wouldn’t hurt to grab a quick combat nap before things picked up at 8 A.M. (3200 Saturnday) and we crumpled. To Garwood’s credit, he remained the strongest of us all and is apparently some sort of non-sleeping mutant. He is that guy you know, that when he is told of how you have been up for 30 hours, he proceeds to inform you that he has not slept since 1986.
I remember the roar of the crowd awakening me at 7 A.M. (3100 Saturnday) after one measly hour of sleep. My eyeballs burned with exhaustion. My body ached all over. I was beginning to strongly question the wisdom of Saturnday. We tried to pull ourselves together, but we had nothing left. Garwood wanted to play some extremely complicated Marvel Heroes Game, but the rest of us knew there was no way we could learn a new game of that complexity in our state. I do not recall what simplistic game we played at around 9 A.M., (3300 Saturnday) but I do remember knowing it was the end. When the game finished at 11 A.M. (3500 Saturnday) Adam, Hub, and I, told Garwood we were leaving. He could not believe it and told us he would find his own way home because he wasn’t tired yet. I am pretty sure he is still up.
As we left Gen Con a full five hours before it was scheduled to end, I realized that my efforts to increase my time there had failed miserably. Not only had we spent less net time at Gen Con, but the time was of a much lower quality. It was through the failure of Saturnday that I learned the dangers involved in something too much, and how if you are not careful it can destroy the object of your affection or even yourself.
Ghost of Gen Con Present…
While I will not be writing any new blogs during Gen Con per se, I do intend to post an ongoing picture gallery of the happenings. I will simply add pictures, and perhaps small captions here as well as on Facebook assuming that my cell coverage allows it. I will also be writing super quick reviews of any games that we play via the Life in Games Facebook page so that you can find the games to play and avoid.
The wait is finally over and the games begin early Thursday morning! For those that can not make it, I truly hope to see you next year. For those who will be attending, you, like Conan the Barbarian are well aware of what is best in life: “Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the celebrations of the Gen Con,” or something like that!
Ghost of Gen Con Future…
It will not be too many years from now that Katie and Jarrett, if they still wish to attend, will be roaming freely at Gen Con pursuing the events of their choice. As it stands now, they will be joining us at the Con on this Friday, but I wonder in future years what they would do if left to their own devices. I know the boy would likely vanish into the loving embrace of the video game room and emerges sometime Sunday. However, I am not as sure what Katie will do when released into the wild. She may choose to pursue some of the crafting endeavors, or immerse herself in what is sure to be the even more advanced technological aspects of future Gen Cons. She does enjoy games, but is a technology wiz that picks up on the use of new devices very quickly and if there are puzzles or competitions that incorporate her tech she would likely be all over it. As much fun as we all have together, I am sure it will only add to their enjoyment of Gen Con when they have the option to hang out with Heather and I, or do what ever they feel like on their own. Whether we play on holographic boards, full immersion virtual reality, or move chess pieces with our phones using the telekinesis app, I know they will have a great time with or without us, and I will be going in my flying car!