Thursday, August 4, 2016

The changing world of Gen Con

Ah, Gen Con is upon us. The largest gaming conventional in the United States and one of the larger conventions in general.

While I did go to every Gen Con from 1999 to 2014, moving across the country and having a small child has made me stop. Quite frankly, I'm not sure if Gen Con will really have anything to offer me until we can go as a family.

And when that time comes, it will be fascinating. When I compare the first Gen Con I went to in Milwaukee to the last one I was at in Indianapolis, the later one was so much more family friendly and diverse. While I know folks who grumble about that change (in particular, the strollers the size of small cars), I think it's an amazing testimony in how the hobby has been growing and changing.

Earlier today, I had a discussion with my wife about how there are people who can drive and vote and drink for whom Dick Grayson has always been Nightwing, even though he is the definitive Robin. (Okay, I like him better as Nughtwing and Tim Drake is my favorite Robin. But Dick Grayson literally defined both the character and the role of kid sidekick) Admittedly, her part of the discussion was to ask why that was a discussion. However, it illustrates time and generations change things.

Dungeons and Dragons has been around since 1974 and computer RPGs are a worldwide cultural phenomenon. Settlers of Catan came out in 1995 and helped inspire a board game revolution. There are people going to Gen Con this year, including adults, who have grown up where this sort of gaming has always been a part of their world.

It's such a different environment than the Gen Con I attended in 1999. And my experiences are nothing compared to some of my friends who whose Gen Con experiences go back to the 80s.

And I bet the Gen Con we eventually take our son to will be different than the one I went to in 2014.

No comments:

Post a Comment