Games, panels, celebrities, cosplay and artists. Gen Con has it all! It was an incredible day yesterday visiting the convention. I’ve been to a lot of different conventions, and I thought I knew what I was in for. It was still sensory overload!
The convention center is massive and they use every bit of space that they can. There are rooms set up with old school arcade games, multiple monitors hooked up to consoles like the N64 and the XBox and there were even some virtual reality pods where you could play a game inside! On top of that there’s multiple exhibit halls where tables upon tables are set up with every kind of board game and card game you can imagine. There are so many different choices that nerds of every category can find something! Lord of the Rings, Marvel, DC, Star Trek, Star Wars, Bioshock. There’s something for everyone!
There’s a section for Dungeons and Dragons that had a castle gateway you pass through to enter and even a giant statue of a ferocious villain! I wouldn’t want to mess with her.
There’s a whole corner for different miniature games. There’s Settlers of Catan, the Game of Thrones board game, King of Tokyo, Ticket to Ride and many more! Just like their website says, Gen Con is definitely “the best four days in gaming”. I didn’t quite have time to sit and play all the different board games, but it was fun just watching people play. It’s a great way to discover new games or just enjoy the ones you already know. Check out this giant Star Trek version of the Settlers of Catan game:
Inside the gigantic main exhibit hall, aka the vendor room, there are board game demos, a family fun area, the art show, autographs with celebrities and over a hundred booths with wonderful things for you to buy. There’s so much to explore and discover! It’s a feast for the eyes. The whole entire room is massive, just look at the map inside the program book:
Conventions often have great deals on items and Gen Con is no exception. There are often brand new releases or even pre-releases! You can be the very first to get new merchandise. Conventions also have things that aren’t carried in stores or are hard to find normally. You can find some real gems! I was definitely tempted by some of these superhero hoodies:
One thing I always enjoy doing at every convention I go to, is checking out the artist area. Typically known as artist alley, this area is full of booths with artists selling anything from original paintings to prints to commissions to sculptures. There are always beautiful things to look at and buy! Getting a piece of art is often a more unique souvenir from the con, plus it supports the artist so they can keep making more! I snagged myself this awesome Dragon skull sculpture from artist Michael Bielaczyc. I think it will look pretty great on my desk at work.
Along with meeting many new artists, two of our very own IMPACT artists, Meredith Dillman and Emily Fiegenschuh, had their own tables. Don’t forget to check out their books, Fantasy Fashion Art Studio and The Explorer’s Guide to Drawing Fantasy Creatures. Conventions are always a great way to get your art out there and connect with people.
Overall it was a great day filled with wonderful nerdy things. It was fun to see what’s new and popular. Hopefully next year we can go again and see even more great new art and games!