Monday, July 13, 2020

My first two reactions to online conventions

From what I can tell, in-person conventions across the board have been canceled for the year. Some, like GenCon and Pax are going to be free, online experiences instead.

While I fully support this, I don’t know how interested I am in attending a virtual convention. I already play games online, shop for games online and watch videos and vlogs about gaming online. I’m not sure how an online convention would be really different than what I already do on a regular basis.

That said, I still remember when I first found out about BSW (a site where you could play mostly European board games. It’s still around but I’m pretty sure it’s not nearly as big as it was back when dinosaurs roamed the earth when I first discovered it. Virtual gaming has come a long, long way.) I felt like I was at a convention while sitting in front of my computer and that was _amazing_

And in 2017, I discovered GenCan’t, the virtual convention for those who couldn’t make it to GenCon. It was a scrappy little event that felt like more like a movement than an event. The 2017 design contest alone forever changed how I look at Roll and Write games and dragged me even deeper into the world Print and Play. 

Both BSW and GenCan’t changed gaming for me. Both were fantastic experiences for me.

There is definitely a real effect of being part of something that isn’t just me and three other people playing Carcassonne online but something that involves a community that stretches around the world. My first, gut reaction forgot that.

I don’t know how much or if at all I’ll participate in online conventions but I have realized that I shouldn’t rule them out.

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