Monday, October 17, 2011
Musings on Gaming Conventions
It was fantastic -- my first honest-to-goodness exposure to wall-to-wall geekdom. So many things that I knew, other things that I didn't, and things that I might have seen somehow on TV or in bookstores but not really knowing what they were. For example, I clearly remember seeing someone dressed up as the Tom Baker incarnation of the Doctor, but hadn't seen the show -- yet I somehow knew it was from some SF show akin to Sapphire and Steel (which I did watch together with my sister when we were growing up).
Also, my first U.S.-based RPG purchase took place there: the Paranoia boxed set.
The two conventions that I went to with any regularity were: (a) Pacificon at the Dunfey Hotel in San Mateo, CA during the Labor Day weekend; and (b) Slug-a-thon in Santa Cruz, CA.
Pacificon was the first gaming convention I went to, and the one I attended loyally. I have fond memories of the Cthulhu LARP games (this was slightly before the Cthulhu Live ruleset came out) that were run there, and all the Champions games that I played in. And of course, the Willamses (Pat, Robin, and Courtney) a lovely mom and her two lovely daughters who enjoyed dressing up in tight leather and were into the vampire role-playing thing a year or two before the Vampire RPG came out.
They were a part of the reason I used to go to Slug-a-thon in Santa Cruz (the other part being all my friends who'd gone to UC Santa Cruz), which was a much smaller and cozier gaming convention, unlike the hotel-based Pacificon.
Ah, those days when I could stay awake for 72 hours straight before crashing at home. I remember signing up for 12 hour games (6pm to 6am) because I couldn't afford a room and could at least sit down and rest before the next day of gaming (we weren't allowed to sleep in those rooms -- the hotel was strict about that). I remember my dice collection growing and shrinking with each 6 and 12 hour game I played. I remember being thrilled as I experienced different GMing and gaming styles.
Man, I wish I could go again to one of those cons. But honestly, I don't know if I can handle the scene anymore.