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Convention’al Wisdom October 9, 2009

Posted by webofwebhead in Conventions.
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While clearing out the office, I came across all of my saved up convention badges.  As I sort through them, I thought it would be as good a time as any to relive some of the gaming history they represent for me…

September 28 – October 1, 1995, Toledo, Ohio – AndCon:  This was my first big con, and luckily it was found right in my own back yard.  At this point, I had been playing Magic for a little over a year, and we had just started playing Marvel Overpower as our casual game.  I remember playing in Magic tournaments matching Ice Age commons against Power Nine rare decks.

September 12 – 15, 1996, Toledo, Ohio – AndCon: In ’96 I was playing both Magic and the Star Wars CCG, attempting to play tournaments for both games.  Star Wars already is beginning to eclipse Magic in our play group.

September 25 – 28, 1997, Toledo, Ohio – AndCon: By this year my play group is basically Star Wars CCG only, and this is reflected in my gameplay for the weekend.  I remember unloading a lot of Magic cards that I wish I still had today.

September 1998, Toledo, Ohio – AndCon: This was the final year AndCon was held, and attendance was way down.  We were still playing Star Wars CCG and I still remember furtively trying to track down Overpower singles.  Ironically I would be working across the street from the convention center the following year and never have the chance to simply walk across the skywalk from work to the con.

November 1999, Virginia Beach, Virginia – DecipherCon: The first DecipherCon held near Decipher’s home offices.  This was a great venue for playing cards, overlooking the water.  We were playing Young Jedi competitively at the time.  We also picked up a lot of the Austin Powers  CCG which was pre-released at the event.  This would be my first and only DecipherCon.

2000? – No record of any cons this year.  I know I traveled a lot to play Young Jedi…but not sure if I made an actual con that year or not.

July 5 – 8, 2001, Columbus, Ohio – Origins: My first Origins, and first major con I guess.  At this point we had started playing WWF Raw Deal extensively, and my play group did fairly well at the big tournaments of the weekend.

November 2001, Ft. Wayne, Indiana – PentaCon: I remember playing Raw Deal still at this event in nearby Ft. Wayne.  I believe this con is still going strong, and there seems to be a strong gaming community there.

July 4 – 7, 2002, Columbus, Ohio – Origins: We were still playing a little Raw Deal at this point…however, HeroClix had just come out a month or so before this event, and Origins 2002 was a big con for  pre=”for “>HeroClix.  I was already heavily involved with the HCRealms.com website and my own HeroClix Yahoo Group at this point.

February 21 – 22, 2003, Toledo, Ohio – BASHcon: This con is held yearly at my Alma Mater, the University of Toledo.  I know I attended more than just this once, but can’t seem to find any more of badges.  I believe this might have been the last time I played Raw Deal in a tournament setting, with HeroClix supplanting it completely in our playgroup soon after.

June 26 – 29, 2003, Columbus, Ohio – Origins: HeroClix, HeroClix, HeroClix

July 24  – 27, 2003, Indianapolis, IN – GenCon: This was the first GenCon to be held in Indy, and it was a disaster from an organizational viewpoint.  I remember waiting HOURS in line for entry, which really soured me on the exprience.  I would return until 2006.  We were of course still playing HeroClix…I believe we made a day trip out of it.  If memory serves, this is also when Magic 8th edition was released, which marked the re-entry for my playgroup back into that game.

June 24 – 27, 2004, Columbus, Ohio – Origins: At this point, my daughter was one month old, so I attended only for a single day, driving there and back on my own, a pretty full day.

2005 – No Cons recorded, I recall having family vacations during con weekends.  HeroClix playing on the wane at this point.

August 10 – 13, 2006, Indianapolis, IN – GenCon: Back to GenCon in Indy.  At this point, I had started doing some game design work for Hasbro, so this was the first con I attended from the perspective of someone on the other side of the industry.  I get introduced to “Eurogames” in a big way at this con.

August 16 – 19, 2007, Indianapolis, IN – GenCon:  My wife and I made a vacation out of this trip, and it is quite a good time.  I demo lots of new games, and really enjoy all that the con has to offer.

August 14 – 17, 2008, Indianapolis, IN – GenCon:  Still playing Magic, we play some games, get some singles, and demo as much as we can.  This is the year Mutant Chronicles, World of Warcraft, and Monsterpocalypse debut.  2 out of 3 isn’t bad I suppose.

August 13 – 16, 2009, Indianapolis, IN – GenCon: The first con I can bring my daughter too, she spends a little time with me walking the floors and collecting freebies.  Arcane Legions is the talk of the town, and it just hit stores two days ago. 

I’ve been very lucky to have both GenCon and Origins within a few hours of me, making it possible for both of them to be day trips if need be.  Gaming as a hobby has provided a lot of opportunities for both travel and recreation beyond just playing the games themselves.  I look forward to many more years of convention going.

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