Tonight, Indianapolis sees thousands of gamers take over its downtown.
I wrote last year about how my first time at Gen Con reminded me of when they opened the big gates in Jurassic Park--the wonder, the sense of tremendous scope & size, of a world entirely unto itself.
It strikes me, as Indianapolis cheerfully (if somewhat bewilderedly) handles the registering horde of Gen Con attendees, that the convention is also very much its own community. Whatever roles people have in the outside world, for four days the role they have in our hobby are magnified. Fan, player, critic, publisher, writer, artist--all are heightened and admired (if not revered) in their own way here.
The happiness of meeting up with old friends, the bustle of exhibitors trying to get ready, the lines of people comparing swag bags, the games already starting at every available restaurant table, bench, and open area in the interconnected skyways and hotels around the convention--that is the herald of Gen Con.
Sadly, we also miss together old friends no longer with us, friends that gave and gave and gave to us and to this hobby. We also gather as inseparable part of their legacy ourselves.
This is an event that takes over nearly every aspect of downtown Indianapolis. Every hotel, every conference room, every last usable bit of the convention center, and every skyway that keeps it all wonderfully interconnected, gaming plants its flag, having no master but itself for a glorious, extended four-day weekend.
Gaming culture here--even for those who do not claim it as their own--is strong here. The currency is dice, accolades, and available gaming time. A lilting gamer jargon becomes the 2nd language.
I'll keep repeating this, but until you've gone to Gen Con Indy, some of these descriptions migth seem forced or far-fetched. For me, and I suspect many of the others who attend, they aren't. Seeing your dream, your love, your passion amplified, praised, and loved makes a physically enormous event mentally and emotionally so as well.
The pulse--the buzz--the feeling--of tens of thousands of expectant souls will not go away tonight, a night where gaming will be set to a neon hum, where again where all kids awaiting Christmas morning. Along with the thrill of a year-long wait fulfilled, that feeling will grow, reaching a crescendo just before 10 a.m. Thursday morning.
This is the event in gaming. Gen Con is ready for launch.
And I cannot wait.
My Gen Con coverage will continue on TheRPGSite, where you can make coverage requests, ask questions, and have me hunt down new product releases for you! Follow this link and stay tuned as I bring you all the coverage and pics you (hopefully) want from Gen Con Indy!