What’s the first gaming convention you attended?
I’ve done the convention thing twice. Twice! I’m from Wyoming, it’s not really a thing. We do have some friends who hit up Comic-Con in Denver, and graciously invite us every year, but that is a very different thing to me. For instance, I had to look up how one spells Comic-Con. I love comics and superheroes and so forth, but going to be in a place full of artists and people flogging for autographs makes me feel about as uncomfortable as going to the zoo.
Which is something I do not do.
My wife and I honeymooned at PAX, though. That’s not the first convention I attended–I’m burying the lede mostly because I love to proclaim that I honeymooned at PAX. And then, after a beat, I point out that it was her idea. She’s dope. That was a fun time, in bites, but we spent something like three hours in line for the swag bag, which did not live up to such a wait. We did make a game out of not letting this very serious woman in a Teemo hat cut us, or if she did, passing her around the bends and reclaiming our place. We spent a good two hours of our wait boxing it out with her. The newly-minted Missus to my Mister wasn’t really clear on what PAX was, though; I tried, for instance, to get her to try Borderlands 2 because we’d torn a swathe through the first one, and she could not understand why we’d play the game at PAX instead of at home. Then, a couple days later, we finally closed the communication gap wherein I explained it was the sequel that was present, and that those big statues were characters from the sequel, and so forth.
However, we got to see GiantBomb straight up do it live. We were sitting in front of…it wasn’t Dave Lang, but it was a dude of renown. That pretty much made the convention. I also got to thank Brian form Penny Arcade for saving our Christmas; dude was working the merch booth with a thousand-yard stare and did not understand what I was talking about, but he really did preserve an otherwise grim holiday where I had a giant box of my most prized possessions dumped on my front porch–despite specific instructions that UPS not do that thing because I was out of town for several days–and then stolen. So that was great. I also got to hang out with a buddy of mine from high school and meet his daughter and wife, the latter of whom signed my copy of her book (she has multiple books at this point, natch).
So that was the convention I can tell stories about. My first convention was the DnD Experience in Indiana. I rolled up there with a group of guys I used to play DnD and DnD Minis with when I lived in Sioux Falls. We played Inn-Fighting, a game I just recently got a new copy of. That was the high point of the game, though I ended up at like…16th in the minis tourney, which was effectively nationals for that now-lamented game.
Conventions aren’t really my thing! It’s cool to be part of a zeitgeist, but it’s a lot of lines and standing and crowds and strangers. So many strangers. If I could teleport to the convention, bop around, then materialize in my home for food and sleep I might be more into them. We’ll probably hit PAX again in the next year or two though, give it another run armed with a bit greater comprehension of the focus it takes.