Eh, it turns out that I don't need to be really jealous.
Now, I did hear plenty of stories about how Gen Con has become too big and too crowded and how buying whatever the super hot game of the day is involved a combination race and brawl as soon as the exhibit hall opens. I heard stories about how hotels on the edge of the city were sold out and rollaway beds could be found for love or money.
And I don't really care about any of that. Frankly, I count all of that as a sign that both Gen Con and the hobby are doing well. Gen Con being an over-the-top, sensory overload kind of seems to be the point to me.
However, over half of the people who I used to go with or meet at Gen Con didn't go this year. During the last few Gen Cons that I did attend, a major component was that it was a reunion with friends. Losing that part of the experience would be a big loss.
But, like me, a lot of folks have other obligations. Work and family has to be your first consideration.
I do have a feeling that, forty years from now, when the folks who grew up as gamers retire and their kids have all moved out, there will a huge surge of the elderly at Gen Con.