Gen Con, the largest annual fantasy, science fiction and adventure gaming convention in North America, got to blow out 50 candles just two weeks ago. As we raise our glass to this impressive birthday and congratulate everyone at Gen Con on a record breaking edition, we have a look at some of this year’s highlights. Game on!
At half a century old, Gen Con is in better shape than ever. Here are some numbers to prove it: in four days (17th – 20th August), Gen Con 50 noted a record turnstile attendance of almost 208.000, with 60.000 unique visitors. That means it broke its visitor record for the ninth time in a row. Oh, and for the first time ever, the gaming convention was totally sold out before it even started. How about that for a 50-year-old?
Meet the makers
When the event opened its doors on Wednesday morning, crowds, both costumed and normally dressed, were lined up at the Indiana Convention Center as far as the eye could see. That’s because for board game lovers across the globe, Gen Con is basically heaven on earth.
In the past decade, Gen Con has become much more than four days of around-the-clock gaming. At this year’s edition, you could trade cards and participate in card games, board games, video games and live-action role-playing games, go to a film festival, art shows, book signings, game launches, concerts and of course have a go at the inevitable costume contest.
“My first visit to Gen Con was in 2007 and I’ve been going ever since. It’s amazing to see how the event keeps on growing. The amount of new games is mindboggling, but equally impressive is the ever increasing quality of cosplay. Thousands of peoples clearly make huge efforts to bring their favorite characters to life and it is wonderful to watch.”
Peter De Weerdt – Cartamundi
You could attend seminars and Q&A’s with game designers like Paul Peterson (Wizards of the Coast, Zynga, Popcap) and Harisson Pink (Hangar 13), developers like Joseph Carriker (Green Ronin’s A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying) and Aljernon Bolden (Harebrained Schemes), authors like this year’s Industry Insider Guest of Honor Margaret Weis and much more. It’s safe to say that for gamers as well as game developers, Gen Con is the most important event of the year.
Gaming history on display
For this milestone edition, Gen Con even installed a museum, that showcased the history of the convention in some cool displays. There were some real treasures from private collections, like the first introduction of Magic: the Gathering – the legendary card game, and the birth of the collectible card game. Another display held multiple copies of Magic: the Gathering’s most valuable cards – the holy grail of all game worshippers.
If you want to be a part of Gen Con next time, get your calendars out: it will return to Indianapolis on August 2-5, 2018!