How many Jedis can dance on the head of a lightsaber (or at least clog up the streets of downtown Indianapolis)? Look, a 100,000 gamers/fans, many of whom look like they haven’t left their basement since last year’s Gen Con descended on the convention center. Let’s just say that if a bomb went off down there, many computers wouldn’t be fixed for a long time.

Early standout booths include the Champions Online and Privateer Press (Monsterocalypse). And while some of the independent stuff has broken through, sometimes you just want to punch a Nazi and ride a dinosaur.

So anyway, we have a pod of whales. A murder of crows. A stink of gamers. You’d be a stink of gamers also if you went 24 hours with no sleep, no showers, and barely eating so that you can focus on playing games. Mind you, that’s 24 hours on the go for four days in a row. How serious do they take their gaming?

The 9′ x 5.5′ Sultan Gaming Table features a 4′ by 7.5′ sunken play space and stands 36″ tall and includes over a dozen drawers, book racks, drink holders, dice trays, a removable area for game mats, fold out desk sections, all done in sugar maple and black walnut. The price of this ode to nerd lust? $9650.

The ENnies were held Friday night. The awards were dominated by the big dogs (Wizards of the Coast, Green Ronin, Paizo, and White Wolf – each having their own theme music for accepting their award). Dungeon Cult Classic’s stuff is really sharp, bringing an old school feel back to gaming (adventures amounting to kicking down doors, killing everything in the room, and then taking everything not nailed down).

Robin Laws and Ken Hite, who took the silver in the Best Rules category for their Trail of Cthulhu (the gold going to the Star Wars Saga Edition by Wizards of the Coast), developed the gumshoe system which after having played it, one assumes that the only way investigative games should be run.

White Wolf’s rabid fanbase represented, but Paizo brought home the gold in the Fan Choice for Best Publisher.

Fairly new to the gaming circuit myself, I got into a conversation with Anthony Gallela about the difference between Gen Con and Origins:

Tell me a little bit about Origins.

Origins is a five day game convention and is the gamers’ game convention. Our focus is not on science fiction or any guests; it is on games and gaming. We have more role-playing than any other convention, we have more historical games than any other convention, and we have better offerings.

How is Origins different from Gen Con?

Origins is different from Gen Con in its focus. Gen Con focuses on a lot of things. Peter likes to say that he is throwing a party for his friends who are gamers. Origins focuses more on the gaming and the game play. One’s about the party experience the other is about the game experience.

What is the Game Manufacturers Association?

It’s a 501-3-6 non-profit trade association for the game industry. Table top game, publishers, manufactures, distributors, and retailers are all members of our association. Plus freelancers and other interested parties. As an association we put on Origins. As a consumer show we put on GAMA trade show. And we have a number of programs which advertise games, games and education, games for troops, we have free commercials which we give to retailers to use in their areas. We have credit card processing, health insurance, 401K, and other educational components.

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