Friday, May 15, 2009

The Con scene, 2009

Summertime means convention time for game hobbyists and the industry the supports their addiction. While there are conventions all year round all over the country, the big four game conventions are concentrated in the summer months and have all settled down more or less permanently towards the middling parts of the country -- or at least the East Coast.

While each con has its area of emphasis, just about any kind of game can be found at all four of them and they all include open gaming areas.

The Big Four cons are:

Origins Game Fair
June 24-28
Columbus, Ohio

Emphasis: Board games
Notes: Descendent of the Origins Game convention started by Avalon Hill

July 16-19
Lancaster, Pa.,

Emphasis: Historical miniatures
Notes: Originally a regional convention, this has grown into the de facto national convention for historical miniatures gamers.

World Boardgaming Championships
Aug. 3-9
Lancaster, Pa.

Emphasis: Competitive play of board games
Notes: Originally AvalonCon, this became an independent production after Avalon Hill was bought out by Hasbro. Takes place at the same site as Historicon. There are also "pre-cons" starting the weekend before the main convention begins.

Gen Con
Aug. 13-19
Indianapolis, Ind.

Emphasis: Role-playing and collectible card games
Notes: The oldest national gaming convention.


  1. Will you be at any of these this year? I'll be at both Origins and Gen Con.

  2. I am planning to attend the WBC this year.

    One of these years I'm going to catch Historicon, too.

    I haven't been to Origins in a long time, but I wouldn't mind going again someday.

    I'm not sure I've ever been to GenCon. I'm not much into role-playing, so it hasn't seemed worth the trip. I never have tome to go to more than one summer con, so it needs to be one that has a high payoff for my interests.

  3. I've been thinking about WBC. I'm attracted by the list of games, particularly some of the older games I don't get to play any more. But the competitive focus puts me off.

    Gen Con is fun for the sheer scale.

    Last year was the first time I was able to go to any con. This year I'm only able to get to go to two because by pure coincidence my employer is sending me on a business trip to Ohio just before Origins.

  4. Oh, I don't worry about the competitve aspect, as I don't expect to make it past the first round at WBC!
    I leave time available in case that should happen so I can get knocked out of the second round (although it hasn't happened yet, but I might get lucky).
    But it is a chance to play a lot of games (I do open gaming) and unlike some of the other cons the focus is really on the PLAYERS, not the distributors.