As I begin writing this post, we are recovering from Gen Con 50, a massive game convention that invades downtown Indianapolis at every summer’s end. We’ve been 15 years in a row (yes, same as we’ve been married), and each year we still manage to discover something new to enjoy.
This year, my favorite event combined three of my favorite things: day drinking, Scotty’s Brew house, and Call of Cthulhu. I’m a fan (or should I say “cultist?”) of H.P. Lovecraft, though were he contemporary, I’d probably boycott him because of his personal politics. Not only did I play in the posh private room of my favorite happy hour spot, I got to hang out with the head Brew Mistress! I’ll give you a moment to be envious of how cool I am.
One of the most impressive parts of Gen Con is the massive Exhibit Hall. Everything from Magic the Gathering, to Euro strategy, to Exploding Kittens can be found here to play, as well as all the geeky paraphernalia to go with it. During some free time, the Mister and I played a Demo (which we promptly purchased) of Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time. To our surprise, one of our fellow players materialized a hand-held camcorder afterwards and recorded a YouTube Video synopsis. Check out that video, as well as other fantastic game reviews by GreyElephant Gaming here.
One gem from the Exhibit Hall was revelation of a revamp of my all-time favorite childhood board game, Fireball Island. I’ve been trying to buy this game for years (the one I played was my cousin’s), but it’s hard and expensive to obtain. You’d think it was only available via actual active volcanoes. Not only is this game being re-released, but the team at Restoration Games promise to make the rules meatier. It would be impossible to find a bigger fan of this game than I am, but even I must admit, looking back, that it was simplistic.
With hotels at a premium availability and cost, we were excited this year to host a Lousvillian friend and a friend of his. Our guest-of-a-guest turned out to be the host of the +1 Forward podcast. Thankfully, he doesn’t seem to have recorded anything from our basement accommodations; that might have been too scary to publish.
Even the ambiance of Gen Con is a geek-tastic, with local restaurants switching their televisions from 24/7 sports to showings of Princess Bride and Marvel movies. For four days, it’s completely normal to see Gandalf or a Storm Trooper moseying in the crosswalks. If, like me, you need a friend (or a thousand) to conquer a legendary Pokemon Go raid, you are covered.
As always, our circle of friends debriefed after the Con, inevitably asking the question “What was your favorite part of Gen Con this year?” While my highlight reel includes the Scotty’s game, puppet karaoke, and Fireball Island news, my favorite experience was geeking-out and not adulting for 5 days. Sure, we operated on limited sleep and too much junk food, but it was awesome to spend time just being me. No dishes, no laundry, no arguing with kids about whose turn it is to feed Josie Junebug. Especially with two little ones, I get so bogged down in the minutia of managing (micro-managing?) everyone around me that, even if given an unlikely hour of freedom, I have nothing left in me to be…me.
While we were getting in touch with our geekiness, Josie Junebug was at her dog sitter’s enjoying being a dog. This girl loves to be with her people, but sometimes, there’s nothing better than wrestling with someone who doesn’t mind if you playfully stick their head in your mouth or sniff their privates. This visit, she got to romp around with Ted, the giant doodle therapy dog, who makes our eighty pound mutt look like a pup. Click here to watch them play.
Sometimes, you just gotta be with your tribe. Those groups (and there likely is more than one) that bring out the you-ness of you. We play a lot of roles in this life, but if there’s one thing Nicolas Sparks has taught us, it’s that everyone you love dies. Wait no, that’s not where I was going. You have to practice being your best self before you lose it and resent everyone you love. That’s only slightly less depressing. How about this…
Take some time every now and then to LET YOUR GEEK FLAG FLY!
Drop a note in the comments about Geek culture, dogs being dogs, or who brings out the best in you.