It’s that time of year when hordes of the devoted make their annual pilgrimage to nerd Mecca, that is, my very own Indianapolis and Gen Con. Now, before you’re too quick to make fun, during this madness we call preseason football, it’s ironic how Colts fans painted in blue can look at fantasy fans dressed as elves and think “some folks just take things too far.” Though there may be a hierarchy of nerds, fan devotion shows that they have a passion for something, though admittedly, some DO take things too far (thus why fans sometimes scare me).

This was my first Gen Con. Considering how many conventions I go to in a year, you’d think I’d actually attend the huge one in my own back yard. Already, Gen Con is Indianapolis’ third-largest convention, bringing nearly 27,000 people and $25.3 million to Downtown hotels, restaurants and shops. Gen Con stepped up to the challenge of replacing the E3 convention and is becoming a key stop in the multi-billion dollar videogame industry. Part trade show, part fan con, it has a strong writer’s track (after all, someone has to write the games and tie-ins. Plus, it’s always good to learn the politics in the writing game, the secret ins and outs of various companies).

(These pics courtesy of J.C. Hay)

[Mee aaand Mister, Mister (William) Jones] [J.C. Hay and William Horton]

That’s the business part of the con and I got a ton of it done. Special shout outs to my friends I don’t get to see nearly often enough: Lucien Soulban, J.C. Hay, Jesse Scoble, Tim Waggoner and Matt Forbeck. (The rest of the pics courtesty of Sheryl Hugill)
As for fans, yes, for some folks these kinds of cons are a way of life. It’s the rare place where a Star Wars ring tone goes off and a dozen folks check their phone. It’s where people can get together and filk in peace. Where else can you overhear conversations about orcs and werewolves? It’s for people who use web cams and Skype to run Hollow Earth Expedition – you know, exactly what Al Gore had in mind when he invented the Internet.

Gen Con is for game enthusiasts of all stripes: video, board, role-playing (including the live action (LARP) variety), and cards. And the multitude of folks in costumes: from Storm Troopers to Ghostbusters to Silent Bob to Jack Sparrow.
However, I don’t care how stylish you are dressed, you ain’t pimpin’ in elf ears.

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