This is the first of several entries on my trip to GenCon 2015. I wanted to break them into smaller (ha!) bits for consumption. I just have so much to say about so many things.
What was on my mind the most, though, was, well. . . the people at GenCon. No, not those of us commoners who go there for the games, but the other people. The game designers, publishers, and personalities. Plus, I have to make some personal excuses for my own. . . I guess you could say, weirdness.
ROCKSTARS! When I see you in the hall, at a booth, walking right in front of me. . .I can't contain my "excitement." I kind of can't not say "OH! SO-AND-SO!" in a kind of loud, excited way. Then I instinctively cover my mouth in a moment of humiliating "wtf me." Or, let's say, I start to stutter and back-talk over myself and get all tongue-tied. That moment of JELL-O brain that occurs when you are starstruck!
For those who don't get it, it's like your favorite boyband just walked in front of you or you saw Robert Downey, Jr. and Chris Pratt sitting at the table next to you eating burgers and fries. Yes, they are normal people, just like everyone else, but to you, these people are special! They deserve to be honored and revered! That is what these game people are to gamers.
Sadly, I have to peep. Sadly, it scares people. Sadly, I look like a total dork. At the same time, I hope you know your fans show their love and appreciation in different forms. Sometimes from afar with a smile and sometimes a shocked "YOUR NAME" as you literally pass right in front of them or appear right next to them. You are THAT amazing.
I wanted to start by saying that the people at GenCon are Rockstars. It's like going to the biggest tabletop game concert in the United States. The outfits are loud (yes, even the everyday outfit), the hair (whether on the head or the face) is representin' and the sound of the dice or the shuffle of the cards are a sweet, sweet solo riff.
Here are the ROCKSTARS I encountered at GenCon this year. Some from a distance and some personally.
- Boardgame Corner - Mark
- Ran into Mark in the Exhibit Hall. I saw him first and kind of awkwardly stopped him, but my husband talked to him. I smiled and participated in a non-verbal way. Great guy and seriously busy. Saw him EVERYWHERE! Even saw him at Wil Wheaton's Titansgrave Event. He actually gave Wheaton something and I was like "woah.... he's so cool." Um... to both guys. We met Mark last year, too, and he's still rockin' the Con hardcore. If he had a FitBit, I bet it exploded!
- Drive Thru Review - Joel
- Another at-a-distance moment where I let my husband talk. Mostly because my husband and Joel exchange tweets a lot. Now Joel can put faces with funny twitter handles. We love Joel's work and follow him. A great and funny guy! Plus, he's a total workhorse. He suffered the horrible heat of the hall and recorded so much stuff. Always so much work. You rock!
- Undead Viking - Lance
- I was standing in line for some food at one of the trucks and I was being that super awesome karma-earning person who leaves space between myself and the person in front of me so that the crowd can pass through. Karma smiled down on me and Undead Viking walked through! I stumbled as I said "oh my god, Undead Viking!" He paused, turned, and shook my hand. Totally remembered me as a nun from last year. It was just a quick exchange and some praise for him. Surprisingly, we ended up next to them in the hall on the floor eating and my husband said hi to him, and Mrs. Undead Viking and I talked food. Saw him again later in the con and waved. Love his work and he's a super awesome guy.
- Watch it Played - Rodney
- The last day of the con. . . sitting debating over trying to go to our reservation early and I saw him emerge from the mist of people exiting the exhibit hall. I slapped my husband across the chest and gestured, saying loudly, "Look! Look! Rodney! He's there!" I urged him to go say hi and off he went. They talked and my husband pointed at me. Hilarious tidbit, they met each other in the same spot last year, too. Nicest guy IN THE WORLD! Happy Day!
- Bruno Faidutti - Mission: Red Planet, Citadels, Incan Gold, Warehouse 51 (Just to name a few.)
- He was signing stuff and I basked in his awesomeness from a distance.
- Chris Cieslik (Asmadi Games) - Consequential, Red7
- Taught us Consequential, which was really a great deal of fun.
- Chris Handy - Pack O Games: GEM, FLY, BUS, HUE, LIE, SHH, TKO, TAJ
- Talked to the other person at the booth, but shared an exchanged nod and smile. Love these little games.
- Ignacy Trzewiczek (Portal Games) - Robinson Crusoe, Imperial Settlers, Neuroshima Hex
- We were having coffee near the Mayfair entrance to the ICC and playing some small games while we waited for the hall to open on Sunday. We looked over and saw him. Didn't want to interrupt his morning, so I tweeted my fangirl love.
- Mike Selinker (Lone Shark Games) - Pathfinder ACG, Betrayal at House on the Hill, Lords of Vegas, 12 Days, Unspeakable Words (Just to name a few... seriously.... this guy is like... a god!)
- My husband and I were at Steak n' Shake and we were eating and playing Love Letter: Batman. My husband looked up and saw him. As we were preparing to leave, he politely nudged him and apologized for interrupting, but had to express our love of his creative genius and let him know we backed Apocrypha ACG. Fistbumps and hurrahs!
- Mike Richie (Rather Dashing Games) - Dwarven Miner, Pirates, Ninjas, Robots & Zombies, Graveyards, Ghosts, & Haunted Houses
- Met Ms. Richie first (when I essentially bought one of every game. One copy for my school kids and an additional of my already owned so my club kids could have their own copy) and then she brought her husband over. I had met both him and Grant last year at their booth and I have their business cards still in my wallet. I gushed about being a fan and how I have turned all my club kids into fans. I also revealed that I used their games as Mentor Games in my Calkins game unit. I had a mental moment later in the con, though, when he appeared next to me on the floor of the hall eating (my friend was blocking him) and I blurted out "OH HI!" and caused him to pause mid-get-up. I'm so awkward sometimes. I <3 them, though and I am definitely a #fan4life . Grant Wilson was super busy working the sales booth and I have no idea how to approach him without feeling awkward. I mean, he's here for his games and his company and his book and all the work he's been doing with Mike and I want to respect what he's here doing. At the same time, it's because of his time on Ghost Hunters that I was able to learn about this super cool game company! Maybe next year I'll be more gutsy and talk, but I always hate to interrupt his work time for the games with ghost time gushing despite my shared passion for the paranormal.
- Ryan Laukat (Red Raven Games) - Empires of the Void, Above and Below, Artifacts, Inc.
- I hovered while my husband talked to him about Empires of the Void. Ryan said it's reprinting/2nd addition and it'll be almost a whole new game, because he's got lots of new ideas and has a new set of thought processes. Very friendly.
- Steve Kenson (Green Ronin) - ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying
- I wanted help with looking at some interesting and unique roleplaying games for my students and this one seemed perfect and aligned with some great writing strategies we use in our curriculum. Steve was extremely helpful and friendly when discussing this option.
- Trace Beaulieu (MST3K) - Crow-T Robot; Dr. Clayton Forrester
- Another at a distance fan moment for me. I've met him before and, let me say, he's amazing. Fangirl since it first started airing. I also have his book, which is hilarious and we've read it to our daughter. He was just swamped and aside from an additional "You're amazing, thank you for all you do," I had nothing new to say. My respect and love are out there in the universe.
- Anne Wheaton - Internet Personality, Sharknado 2
- Sweetest, most gorgeous lady and I'll discuss this in a later entry. OMG so sweet.
- Wil Wheaton - Internet Geek Personality, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Stand By Me, Big Bang Theory, Tabletop, Titansgrave (and so much more......)
- Future entry.
All the cool Cosplayers who Performed as Awesome People
Sidenote: My husband said I was being rather self-deprecating in the above description of my behavior, but in reality, I feel that way about me, because of the excessive fun-made-at-my-expense for having some FanGirl moments over my Fandom! You will see this kind of personal analysis a great deal, because I am excessively hard on myself for everything (except games... I lose those and as long as I had fun, could really care less). On the flipside, hopefully you'll find it humorous.