(Incidentally, almost all of my friends who went to GenCon for shopping and open gaming have stopped going. It has become too crowded for them. So I just heard from my friends who went for business reasons and for the spectacle. So I got a much happier description of the con :D)
As I've mentioned about seven times in this blog, I found out about GenCan't through the Roll and Write contest. Which has been a lot of fun. There are some games in that library I could see being published and doing well. I probably won't play them all but I definitely try some more.
However, I have gotten to have some other fun with GenCan't, participating in one of the MegaKaruba games and the unofficial Knizia Decathlon tournament.
Many years ago, I swear I read how Alan Moon ran a game of Take It Easy with over a hundred players at a convention. Now, of course, I can't find a citation of that event. However, I love the idea that number of boards limits the number of players who can play a 'bingo with strategy' game. So MegaKaruba was something I really dug.
Of course, while it is a game I've thought of picking up, I don't actually own a copy. So I made a set of pieces with pencil, straight edge, glue, card stock and a paper cutter. I used matching pairs of dice for the explorers (one pip) and temples (counting down from five to two as the values decreased)
This was my first experience with Karuba and it was a crazy, silly way to try out the game, the moves live-streamed so that folks around the world could play the same game. I don't know how many folks outside the US played (or how many folks played period) but it was a fun time. Memorable introduction.
On the other hand, between being someone who is a Knizia fan and has had in interest in PnP, I'm no stranger to Reiner Knizia's Decathlon. However ever, this was the first time I played competitively, instead of solitaire. That definitely added some excitement to the game. Plus, I somehow won the tournament. Honestly, it gave me a whole new appreciation for the game.
Yes, going to GenCon would have been a bigger, possibly overwhelming experience. GenCan't can't compare to that. However, I got access to a library of PnP games that are fun and will probably push me to finally making a binder of solitaire games. I got to try out a new game and play with a bunch of people and even win a tournament.
Most importantly, I got to participate. I wasn't able to make it to the biggest convention of the year (or the one fighting with Essen for that title) but I was still able to be a part of the weekend. And that felt really good.